Enjoying the Journey

A friend and I were enjoying a time of fellowship together just a few days ago.  During the conversation I asked about a man who had been a pastor in the town where I was visiting.  The answer was all too familiar – he was no longer in the ministry but doing very well in business. And then my friend said something I cannot forget:  “The last time I heard from him he said that life couldn’t be better.” How is that possible? I believe the greatest life is the life given to God, the life of obedience to His will.  It is not always the easiest life – in fact it never is!  Following Christ leads to a cross.…

Read More

Recently I was in Vancouver, British Columbia for a meeting.  On Saturday night I had a little time alone at the hotel and decided to do the Christian (and Canadian) thing: walk across the street to Tim Horton’s for a cup of coffee and a donut.  It is good to immerse yourself in the culture when you are traveling!  (At least this was how I justified the donut.) It was a beautiful evening in downtown Vancouver and I enjoyed the walk.  As I waited at a crosswalk to return to my room, a distinguished looking man nearing seventy years of age came and stood beside me.  A conversation was initiated and very soon I realized that the Lord had given…

Read More

Family is a very precious thing.  I have been blessed with a wonderful heritage that I hope, by God’s grace, to pass on to my children.  Last night I stood and preached the funeral of my 54 year old uncle.  On the platform with me were two of my spiritual fathers, my Uncle James and my dad. It is never easy to say goodbye to someone you love, but the Lord gave me wonderful thoughts from His Word.  I found help in the New Testament book of Hebrews.  About the only verse typically quoted at funerals from Hebrews is Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  Yet the book is…

Read More

Winter is a strange time in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Snow one hour…sunshine the next.  This morning I awoke to see a thick, freezing fog.  The Lord reminded me of one of the most powerful verses in Scripture: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). Vapor is an amazing thing.  It appears.  It disappears.  This is life.  It is beautiful and mysterious and then it is gone.  I think it is a wonderful thing how God uses His creation to illustrate His truth. For many years when I was a boy my dad worked in the cemetery business.…

Read More

The Mayans were wrong.  Today was not the end of the world.  At least if it was, it has not yet arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee.  History is full of speculations and predictions about “the apocalypse.”  Again and again God’s Word has been proven true: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). The end will come.  We do not know when.  God does. It is a different event that I am anticipating.  As a believer, I am not looking for the end.  I am looking for a new beginning.  I am not watching for the destruction of the world; I am watching…

Read More