A New Year, A New Look

Near the end of 2016, I kind of got away from posting as often as I had in the past. I consider myself an “occasional blogger,” but over the last few months I kind of became a “rare blogger” (if that’s even a thing).

So, with the start of the new year, I thought I would make an effort to blog a little more and with that, I thought I’d give the blog a new look. With the free WordPress themes, it was pretty easy to do.

I’m not one for making a bunch of resolutions (or any most years), but I ran across a verse last week while preparing for our New Years Day church service.

Early in the book of Acts, Peter and John performed a miracle that gathered a lot of attention. With a captive, intrigued audience, Peter and John began to preach about Jesus and His resurrection.

Their message brought opposition from some of the religious leaders and Peter and John were questioned about how they were able to heal this man.

After responding to their accusers that it was through the power of Jesus that the man was healed, the religious leaders made this observation about Peter and John:

“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
(Acts 4:13)

As we begin  a new year, whether we make a list of resolutions or not, that would be a great way to be described – that people would recognize as someone who had been with Jesus.

Happy New Year!


90 Day Challenge – Week 5

GOYOYesterday’s reading completed Day 35, which signified the end of week 5 in our 90 Day Challenge. Now that we are over one-third of the way through, hopefully we are saying consistent in our reading and, more than that, growing in our understanding of God and His Word.

We are moving swiftly through the book of Acts and it presents such a great picture of what the church should look like. As they met together, they shared whatever they had with one another and met each other’s needs. Because of how they loved each other and treated each other, God brought more people into their fellowship. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a group that loved genuinely and served selflessly?

As persecution comes on the church, the followers of Jesus spread out from city to city and village to village. As they went, they shared what they knew about Jesus. As you read the sermons and testimonies that were shared, the followers of Jesus always came back to His life, death and resurrection. It was simply about Jesus.

Hopefully we are reminded and encouraged to simply share what we know about Jesus with those we encounter. Keep up the good work in your 90 Day Challenge.

Blog Stats

internet-statistics I consider myself an “occassional blogger.” I know there are some people out there who post something everyday and actually support themselves through blogging. Not sure I would be up for that, but more power to those who can do that.

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for a few years now. My first post occurred on September 15, 2009. Since that time I’ve had a total of 423 posts (this one actually makes 424). I have picked up a few followers along the way, which I think is kind of cool. I’ve had 24,717 views of my blog and the highest was over 220 hits in one day just last month.

While I didn’t go back and look through all my posts, I know the majority of them have to do with books I have read, reposts from our blogs (especially other student ministers), stuff about my kids and family and then other random stuff.

I like how WordPress provides information on number of visits, comments made and different parts of the globe where people have visited. I’ve had visits from the UK, Canada, India, the Philippines and other countries. My guess is they run across the blog and then clicked off to somewhere else.

It’s been fun putting stuff up here and getting a few bits of feedback. It’s a good place just to voice something new, brag on my family or echo a great thought from someone else. So, if you are a follower or occasional visitor, thanks for swinging by!

Why the Church is Important

I grew up in the church and have served in the local church since my junior year in college, so it may seem overly obvious that I think the church is important.  There is an interesting “rub” when you are a part of the church as a member and also a part of the church as “paid staff.”  While you are a member, it’s also your job to be there, but that’s perhaps another discussion. Yesterday’s worship experience reminded my why the church is important.

The very quick back story is that a couple of weeks ago my wife and I took vacation and had a Sunday off. We enjoyed attending another church in our area and simply being participants in the service rather than leading.  As with everyone else I’m sure, the first week back from vacation is the “re-entry period.”  Catching up on emails and phone calls, getting back into groove of the work schedule and moving out of vacation mode.  So, this Sunday was my first Sunday back.  It was a great reminder why the church is important.

As we sang together, I was struck by the fact that I was worshiping with people I know – my church family and friends.  I know some of the challenges we have faced and how God has been faithful to us.  Even though we are broken people and dinged up a little (or a lot) by our life experiences, we stand together as His church and worship.  It’s not because of our goodness, but His grace.  Similar to what I wrote a couple of months back, I was struck again by the fact the God accepts us and wants us to worship Him.

During the message, the scripture was not just a challenge to individual followers, but to the church as a whole. While each of us is responsible for our personal development and growth, there is also the reality that we are in this together and God calls the church as a body to be just that – His body.  One person can’t be the church on his/her own.  We are in it together.

There are some who criticize the church and we do have our flaws, but yesterday was a good reminder to me that the church really is important.  I need the time together with my church family to worship, study and be reminded of what we are called to do and be.