A Letter to My Fellow Pastors

My fellow-laborers in this kingdom work,

I’m sure that most of you have heard about the tragic loss of one of our brothers who ended his life on this earth this past weekend. He was, by all accounts, a gifted, successful, and fruitful servant of our King. But he was also a man embattled with things that a good many—perhaps even most—of us face in our often lonely lives in full-time ministry.

I didn’t know the man and I am not trying to draw conclusions about his life or his death. But I understand how even a faithful child of God could find themselves at such a desperate place.

My last pastorate ended over eleven years ago soon after a diagnosis of a severe depression. I learned many difficult and painful lessons in that season. I learned that sometimes the intense and overwhelming feelings we can experience are so unbelieveably loud while the foundational truth that we know is very quiet. When what we know and what we feel are so greatly at odds, our whole being is in conflict. It is agonizing at best. Continue reading A Letter to My Fellow Pastors

Stretching the Comfort Zone

Sunday night our CityReach team had our last preparation session before our departure for this grand adventure.

It was a bit… awkward.

Well, it was for a moment now and then.

Of course, we could say the same for our time of commissioning prayer as various individuals came along and put their hands on our shoulders as they prayed for us. Some people are rather uncomfortable with such things. But then I suppose that’s part of the point of this whole project.

Well, sort of…

Continue reading Stretching the Comfort Zone

Happy, Happy,…CRAnniversary?

No, I have not been corporately sponsored by Ocean Spray…

Twenty-five years ago today I sealed the second best decision of my existence – to spend my life with the most amazing person I have ever known on this earth. Twenty-five years…can you even believe it?

(For those of you that are ready to scroll down through this post to see what in the world is up with the c-r in front of anniversary – just hang on a second.)

We were just kids…

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And before you know it those kids were having kids and hauling kids and teaching kids and attempting to train kids.

And this week, as we pass the day of our twenty-fifth anniversary, we are once again on a new adventure with the last two kids in our home – plus almost three hundred others – in Austin, Texas, in the midst of an event called CityReach (#CRAustin – and that’s where the CR comes from).

And yes, I realize that, in one sense, it may take me a long time to make up for signing us up to be on a huge mission trip on our twenty-fifth anniversary, but I also know that it has already been an incredible experience that just may be helping to pry some doors open in our hearts and minds for the direction of our ministry into the future. God works that way sometimes.

You see, traveling the twists and turns of this life with a strange gathering of people in tow is kind of what God made us to do.

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So, in a sense, bringing a group to this CRexperience may be a pretty fitting way to mark twenty-five years together…even though we’d sure like to go away for a week or two to some remote spot, but it doesn’t fit in the calendar or the budget right now…and it’s ok.

So many moments of challenge and hard choices and difficult consequences… and joy – and awful lot of joy just being together… all swirl into this one big, messy, beautiful life that God made out of two.

Could there be a more fitting way to pass this anniversary than to do it stretching our hearts and muscles and vision for the path for which God made us?

So…happy CRanniversary, Sweetie. I love you so much more than it may look right now. This is another of those amazing experiences I never would have had the courage to pursue without you by my side.

Happy, happy CRanniversary to you!

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels. (Proverbs 31.10)