Weekend at the Lake

After a long week on the road, I was looking forward to heading to Lake of the Ozarks with Wendy, Taylor and her boyfriend, Clayton. The weather was beautiful, the lake was awesome and we had a fantastic time.

This past Spring my parents’ neighbors sold their house across the cove and were getting rid of their waverunner, so Wendy and I snatched it up. While this was our third trip to the lake this year, it was the first chance Wendy and I had to really get out and enjoy it – so we spent part of each day touring the lake on the wave runner.

We also took the boat to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and hiked the tortuous trail up the bluff to the castle ruins 🙂 It was a hot, sweaty hike – but after all of the food we’d been eating we needed the exercise. The rest of the weekend was spent eating, playing Trivial Pursuit (Clayton & Tom won), nightly games of Catch Phrase (Taylor & Clayton won) and a mini-golf championship (Tom won).

Tay_wendy_jul07_lr
Wendy_jul07_lr
Tay_clay_jul07_lr
Tom_jul07_lr

Weekend at the Lake

After a long week on the road, I was looking forward to heading to Lake of the Ozarks with Wendy, Taylor and her boyfriend, Clayton. The weather was beautiful, the lake was awesome and we had a fantastic time.

This past Spring my parents’ neighbors sold their house across the cove and were getting rid of their waverunner, so Wendy and I snatched it up. While this was our third trip to the lake this year, it was the first chance Wendy and I had to really get out and enjoy it – so we spent part of each day touring the lake on the wave runner.

We also took the boat to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and hiked the tortuous trail up the bluff to the castle ruins 🙂 It was a hot, sweaty hike – but after all of the food we’d been eating we needed the exercise. The rest of the weekend was spent eating, playing Trivial Pursuit (Clayton & Tom won), nightly games of Catch Phrase (Taylor & Clayton won) and a mini-golf championship (Tom won).

Tay_wendy_jul07_lr
Wendy_jul07_lr
Tay_clay_jul07_lr
Tom_jul07_lr

Madison Update

Madison_july07_lr
I had a voice mail from Madison yesterday afternoon. She had arrived safely in the village where she and her team will be ministering in Costa Rica. She was emotional on the phone, but assured me that she was doing well and that God was doing amazing things in her and her team. She asked for continued prayer that she not be too homesick and that she can continue to focus on the work there. I sense that this trip is much more of a challenge for Madison, and that God is shaping her through this experience. Please pray for Madison that she becomes "mature and well-developed" and that her faith shows its true colors!

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at
you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is
forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out
of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and
well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4 (TM)

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 37

God, the Master, told the dry bones, "Watch this: I’m bringing the
breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to
you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into
you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!
" Ezekiel 37:5-6 (TM)

Death to life. Dry bones to living flesh. The theme of resurrection flows throughout the pages of the Bible. We see it in Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of "dry bones", and I see it again and again in my own life. God takes that which was dead and makes it new. "What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father
of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been
given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a
future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful
watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it
all—life healed and whole
." I Peter 1:3 (TM)

Only In a Small Town

Weddingbells One of the things that I appreciate about a small town is that there aren’t too many distractions for young people. It forces kids to create their own fun. Yesterday Taylor called me while I was in a training session here in Montana. When I called her back she explained that she had called to ask for "what you say in a wedding ceremony".

My first thought was, "I’m 1000 miles away from my shotgun!" But Taylor quickly explained that her truck – the 1991 Dodge Ram pickup that she and her boyfriend named Tabitha – was getting married. The "groom" was her friend, Walker’s, pick up. They had bought a wedding cake at the bakery and arranged for one of the local garage bands to play at the reception. Taylor even borrowedRam some mesh material from Wendy to make a veil for Tabitha.

After I wiped the tears from my eyes from laughter, I told Taylor to give Tabitha my best and tell her I was sorry I couldn’t be there to drive her down the aisle.

Only in a small town.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 35

"This is the verdict of God, the Master: With the whole earth
applauding, I’ll demolish you. Since you danced in the streets,
thinking it was so wonderful when Israel’s inheritance was demolished,
I’ll give you the same treatment: demolition. Mount Seir
demolished—yes, every square inch of Edom. Then they’ll realize that I
am God!
" Ezekiel 35:14-15 (TM)

In his book, People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck examines the nature of evil. It’s a brilliant study in the nature of evil in everyday "normal" people. One of Peck’s observations is that the only thing evil will respond to is an overwhelming show of force.

On a national and international scale, corporate evil has the same dark nature. When a nation does evil, the only thing that it will respond to is force. In the last century, we saw what happened when Chamberlain attempted to negotiate diplomatically with the evil of the Nazis regime. The only thing that could stop the Third Reich was was the force of the Allies washing up with the Normandy tide.

It was no different when God declared his judgment on the evil that was happening in and around Israel during Ezekiel’s day. When it became clear that evil was rampant and the people refused to repent, the only thing that the nations would respond to was disaster.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 35

"This is the verdict of God, the Master: With the whole earth
applauding, I’ll demolish you. Since you danced in the streets,
thinking it was so wonderful when Israel’s inheritance was demolished,
I’ll give you the same treatment: demolition. Mount Seir
demolished—yes, every square inch of Edom. Then they’ll realize that I
am God!
" Ezekiel 35:14-15 (TM)

In his book, People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck examines the nature of evil. It’s a brilliant study in the nature of evil in everyday "normal" people. One of Peck’s observations is that the only thing evil will respond to is an overwhelming show of force.

On a national and international scale, corporate evil has the same dark nature. When a nation does evil, the only thing that it will respond to is force. In the last century, we saw what happened when Chamberlain attempted to negotiate diplomatically with the evil of the Nazis regime. The only thing that could stop the Third Reich was was the force of the Allies washing up with the Normandy tide.

It was no different when God declared his judgment on the evil that was happening in and around Israel during Ezekiel’s day. When it became clear that evil was rampant and the people refused to repent, the only thing that the nations would respond to was disaster.

Madison’s Mission Update

I received a call from Madison last night. She was in Dallas and sounded tired after two full days of travel and training. She related that her team is much smaller than the one she was with in Thailand last year. Her trip leader encouraged her to leave as much of her stuff behind as possible. They are preparing for a 3 hour trek to a village in Costa Rica through mud and muck. No sense carrying anything you don’t really need.

Her team was set to leave Dallas this morning for Costa Rica. She is supposed to contact me when she’s safely in country.

Thanks for your prayers.

Chapter-a-Day Ezekiel 34

"‘God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m
going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they
get scattered, I’m going after my sheep
." Ezekiel 34:11 (TM)

One of the awesome things about reading the Old Testament is seeing how God laid the way for what would happen hundreds of years later when he sent his son, Jesus. Here in chapter 34 of Ezekiel, God speaks of the "shepherds" of Israel who didn’t do their job – ending in disastrous results. As God so often does in history (as well as our own lives) He steps into the gap to provide what we can’t find within ourselves. God sends "The Good Shepherd" to come after us – the lost sheep.

"I once was lost, but now I’m found…"

Western Experience: Watch Where You Step

Cheyenne
I’m in Cheyenne, WY and Billings, MT this week on business. Last night I had a wonderful meal at a restaurant in the the old train depot in Cheyenne. As I drove out of the parking lot on my way back to the hotel I had to pass through a large pile of horse poop (Yikes!).

I don’t mind being out west, I just have to mind where I step.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Peter Borcherds