I have a number of heroic figures in my life. One of them is my dad. I think there are a number of folks that would put him on their hero list, but the biggest reasons I do are ones that most of you would never know.
There was a man I knew to be a contradiction that my dad had the dubious honor to pastor. He claimed to have a ministry on the weekends at the fishing docks of a popular lake. He was almost never actually in church. He was a stubborn, difficult…
Well, he reminded me a lot of the story of Balaam (Numbers 22). He was a prophet that had been solicited by an enemy of God’s people for the purpose of cursing the people of Israel. He just couldn’t do it because God wouldn’t let him. But there was an interesting exchange when he was going along to attempt to help this enemy. Balaam’s donkey was spooked by the presence of an angel – which Balaam could not see. After a couple of serious beatings, the donkey spoke to Balaam.
What the donkey said is not particularly important. Balaam listened because she spoke truth. There is a powerful point to this simple but marvelous account: when God has something to say to us, any old… donkey will do.
This man that reminded me of Balaam’s story was a lot like that donkey. He confronted my dad about the horrible shortcomings of his ministry and proclaimed that he would never set foot in that church again as long as my dad was the pastor. He was right. He never set foot again. But he did roll in once.
Continue reading Any Old… Donkey Will Do
What do you need?
Oh, I know that, most of the time, most of us actually need very little. We have the absurd luxury to say that we need more bread when we get to the last two or three slices in the bag. I dare say we misuse the word “need” more than we use it correctly.
But I am a needy kind of person (and that is, perhaps, the most loaded statement I have ever typed). In this stage of my life, the one thing I find myself most often in genuine need of is direction. I need to know how to proceed – as a pastor trying to lead a congregation and as a father trying to lead a family.
Continue reading What Do You Need?
Sometimes I find myself unsure of how to proceed. And sometimes, when I find myself in such a spot, it seems I don’t even know what questions to ask.
Part of my problem is that I so often see a problem or a challenge or a situation and I spend a lot of energy, time, and thought trying to present a solution to God and ask His blessing upon it. And, in His grace and kindness, sometimes He even blesses that ridiculous notion – kind of like the little kid whose daddy lifted him high in the air thinks he really dunked the basketball.
But then there are times when it seems like every turn of the maze is a dead end.
Frustrated and exhausted and utterly discouraged, I finally stop and look up.
Some friends of mine and I are at one of those places. And, as God often does, it seems He has put a song in my heart and mind this morning. Would you take just a couple of minutes to consider this simple, beautiful, prayerful hymn?
How profoundly simple it seems, “Have Your way, Lord, have Your way.”
Continue reading Have Your Way