Enjoying the Journey

On a Thursday night in July of 1989 God made clear to me that He wanted me to be a preacher.  I was 12 years old and full of fear about the future.  Today I am more grateful to God than ever to be in the ministry. My first sermon behind a pulpit was given on Sunday, August 27, 1989.  Several young preachers were speaking in an afternoon youth rally.  My sermon was a simple one, taken no doubt from something that I had read or heard from someone else!  “I Have a Secret” was the title.  The Scripture I chose was the story of Paul pleading the case of Onesimus to Philemon.  It is the story of a man…

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Just this week as I walked through an airport bookstore I saw yet another volume on the development of habits.  Indeed, every detail of life is full of routine.  This does not mean that days are dull and uneventful!  It is often in the routines of life that God demonstrates His great power and wisdom. There is, however, a difference between routines and ruts. Habits are powerful things.  They are either enslaving habits or liberating habits.  Horace Mann, the famed educator, wrote, “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.” Properly planned routines are habits of life that are rooted in meaning and purpose – disciplines that keep us…

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Recently I was sitting in my study at home when my oldest daughter came in and proudly announced, “Dad, I am about to write my first letter.”  She is thirteen.  How is that possible? Now, she has written cards, short notes, and plenty of text messages – but a letter? Letter writing has been all but lost in our generation.  While I am not opposed to messages of 140 characters or less, there is something deeply personal and powerful about a letter that cannot be conveyed in short bursts of communication. I know that I am in danger of sounding terribly old, but I still enjoy getting a letter – especially a handwritten letter – in the mail.  Surveys of…

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It is my privilege to do a great deal of travel.  Through the years I have learned it is best to travel light.  Luggage slows you down and weighs you down.  Especially on airplanes!  The journey is much more enjoyable with as little baggage as possible.  This principle is true in all of life. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).  Perhaps you think the man who wrote these words had no terrible thing to…

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