Enjoying the Journey

Reflections on Life

Grateful People Are Always In The Minority

All month on Enjoying the Journey we have been studying the life of thankfulness. Around many tables today people will share a list of things for which they are grateful. On this Thanksgiving Day I am taking a few moments to reflect on one question: Am I truly a thankful person? Are you? You might be surprised to find that grateful people have always been in the minority. It is more natural to grumble and groan than to give thanks. In the Old Testament the Lord sent twelve spies in to the land to spy out all that He had provided for them. He didn’t need their opinion or their idea. He just wanted them to see it and share…

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The Danger Of Shipwreck

As I ran along the coast in a Florida community some time ago I saw one of the most vivid reminders of the dangers of life. The sun was shining bright and the skies were clear. People around me mingled in the park, walking their dogs and talking to one another. Expensive private boats floated along the pier. And there in the middle of all that beauty was the wreckage… No doubt, the boat had served some useful purpose. Perhaps a family had enjoyed wonderful days onboard. Now it sat at the bottom of the harbor. The only evidence that it existed was the mast still sticking out of the water. A severe storm had revealed some weakness in the…

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From The Back Of My Journal

I am nearing the end of another journal and, God willing, will begin another soon. This is always a reminder to me of the passing of life and the importance of making every day count. In this particular journal I have some thoughts written in the front and back flyleaf. In the front I have two Scriptures that have been a great help to me. One is a promise for every place where the Lord may take me: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them” (John 10:4). The truth for every trip is that God has already gone ahead of me. This has encouraged me on many journeys! The other passage is a prayer for…

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What To Do When You Are “In A Lull”

Call it what you will. We all have those times when things seem just a little off the normal pace. The schedule may be the same or even heavier than normal, but something inside is just…off. It may be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. At times you may not know what the true cause is. Even David, the man after God’s own heart, had such moments. In fact, he had them more than once! In Psalm 42:5 he wrote, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” These very words are repeated in verse 11! Again in Psalm…

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Birthday Meditations

Birthday celebrations are special, especially when you get to enjoy them with family. The older I get the more my celebrations turn to meditations. (They tell me that reflection is just another sign of old age!) Every milestone in life is an opportunity to both glorify God and examine your own heart. I am very grateful that God has allowed me to live to my forty-second birthday. It has been a joy this week to hear from so many special friends and rejoice in the goodness of God. And it has caused me to think about so many things. God willing, tomorrow I will preach from the oldest psalm in the Bible. Not because I feel old, but because there…

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An Epidemic Of Loneliness

Recently NBC aired a special news report on the increase of loneliness in people around the world. The British government has now instituted a “minister for loneliness.” This new undersecretary in England has been commissioned to work on what the prime minister called “the sad reality of modern life.” How is it possible? We have more communication and more connection than ever and yet more people feel disconnected and alone. And it’s not just those living alone. Often those who are surrounded most by people – great crowds of people – feel very much isolated. In our own country medical professionals are now talking about loneliness as a public health issue. The former surgeon general went so far as to say…

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“Thank You, God, For 13 Years”

Today is my son’s 13th birthday. We have had a wonderful time celebrating this week as a family. How could we have three teenagers?! I asked Grant to lead us in prayer for our meal the other night. Near the end of his prayer he said, “Thank you, God, for giving me 13 years.” It was a simple statement. It made a profound impact on me. Indeed, God is the One who gives us every year…every day. And we should be grateful for every one of them. As a dad I was encouraged by his prayer. As a Christian I was convicted by it. How often do I pause just to thank the Lord for life? He gave it. He…

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A Self-Made Man?

Society is full of people who speak as though they made themselves what they are. Churches are too. It is so easy to think that it was our own effort or ability that brought us to where we are. It was not. Any good thing in our lives is because of God’s goodness to us. He alone is the Source and He uses many channels. The only thing I can make is a mess! Every blot on my life was made by me. Every beauty in my life was made by Him who does all things well. The hymn writer said it beautifully: Naught have I gotten, but what I’ve received. Grace hath bestowed it, since I have believed. Boasting excluded;…

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The Difference Between Faithfulness And Routine

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). We all want to be faithful…but what does that mean? Faithfulness is not a schedule; it is a spirit. There are many people who are present but not present. Fathers who are at home but not really with their family. Church members who are in the meetings but not truly engaged. Preacher’s who are going through the motions but have lost heart. There is a difference between faithfulness and mere routine. Vance Havner once observed, “A rut is just a grave with both ends knocked out of it!” Routines can become ruts. Ruts are death. Here is the real issue: faithful to what? Many a…

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A Big Day

Tomorrow is a big day for our family. In just a few hours Lauren will turn 16 and Morgan will graduate from high school. As a dad it is both joyful and sobering to watch my baby girls grow up. Later this summer our youngest, Grant, will turn 13. (Pray for us, please!) Today is reflective for me and for their mother. Where has time gone? Just last month they were all born. Just last week they were learning to walk. Just yesterday they started school. Or at least that’s how it all seems. Life…a vapor. I am not writing these things to depress you! Instead, I am encouraging you to make the most of every day. Don’t waste one.…

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