Enjoying the Journey

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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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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As I write these words I am sitting in northern Michigan. It is a beautiful summer day at camp. This morning at breakfast I had an engaging conversation with a young man who is starting out in ministry. Near the end of our time together he asked me a question that seemed very broad. And yet as I reflected on his question only one answer would come to mind. Q: “What is the most important lesson you have learned in ministry?” While a hundred great truths could be discussed, there is one that stands out above the rest. It is the answer I gave to my young friend. It is the answer the Holy Spirit gave to me. A: “My…

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He was an engineer who had been responsible for the invention of things too intricate for me to understand. Yet the message he conveyed to me was one that I not only understood, I needed to hear. Over a meal in a city where I was speaking a very kind Christian gentleman was explaining to me the type of work he had been in and the specific machinery that he had designed. In the middle of that conversation he remarked, “The hardest machine to build is a simple one. The hardest building to construct is a simple one. You have to work hard to keep it simple.” Now, I am no engineer! But the principle applies to us all: The…

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1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

Mark Fowler and his wife Stephanie have been special friends to me and Tammy since college. The Lord is using them to lead a growing church in Elizabethton, TN. We had the privilege to be there again recently and were so blessed. His guest post and the available resource will be a help to many. Thanks for reading! Please share it with others… Is it possible to live in two worlds at once? As a child of God we live each day in the reality of two worlds. We know the Bible teaches us that we are a citizen of heaven and that we are pilgrims in this world. The daily struggle we face is that this world is all…

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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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This generation has grown accustomed to the 24-hour news cycle. Our eyes, ears, minds, and emotions are bombarded by the constant flow of headlines and pictures. We know more detail and digest more information than any people who have ever lived. Yet our souls are starving. Hopelessness and despair are at an all time high. Is it possible we are getting too much news? When our oldest daughter Morgan was very young I flipped on the news channel one evening, only to hear her say sarcastically, “And now for more of America’s problems…” Never were truer words spoken. This does not mean that we should not seek to be informed about what is going on in the world around us.…

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As many of you know I spend a good deal of time on the road. Another frequent traveler, the Apostle Paul, once wrote, “all things are yours” (1 Corinthians 3:21-22). F.B. Meyer observed that everything is God’s classroom and serves to teach me something. Sitting in a hotel room recently I began to make a list of some of the truths the Lord is patiently teaching me. God is the same everywhere. The omnipresent God is not bound by geography. I am never alone. I never check into a hotel alone or board a plane by myself. Christ is my constant Companion and He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The family of God…

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I am so very excited about the news I am going to share with you today! At the beginning of this year we began a daily podcast to promote the study of God’s Word. It is a joy to meet people who are being helped by the daily episodes. Friends have shared with me that they are using the podcast in their family devotions. Some are using it for Bible class as they homeschool their children. College students and working people have told me they have made it a part of their morning or evening commute. It is a privilege to teach the Bible to so many precious people. The first weeks of Enjoying the Journey were a study through…

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Every close to the day is a reminder that God has not failed or forsaken us. Weariness should remind us that His strength was sufficient. Memories should remind us that His wisdom was perfect. Quiet hours should remind us that His presence was real in the busiest hours of the day. Evenings are a time to think. To pray. To give thanks. One of the Old Testament patriarchs had a divine appointment in the evening hours. It was then that the promise came to fruition and he met the wife God had chosen for him. I believe that it is no accident that the blessing came as he meditated alone… “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at…

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