Saturday, June 13, 2009


Rest day today. I'm taking a break. Hope you do, too. I hope to meet you here tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Best To Have A Sense Of Humor

I send an email letter each week to our church family. I write it ahead of publication, but it goes out on Thursday. Here is part of yesterday's edition...

"Cathy grew up at the edge of tornado country. The danger was serious enough that her parents built a storm cellar. They used it over the years for cool storage. But the main purpose was a place to stay safe if and when a twister came through. When Cathy was a kid, she had a few precious items ready to take with her to the cellar. Primarily, they were a Bible and a deck of cards (she loves to play table games).

As we study through the book of 1 Peter, it's obvious that difficulties (storms) are a way of life for Christ-followers."

We landed in Texas yesterday evening and were picked up by our daughter. We barely got out of the airport before we were made aware of tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms. We even had to take refuge in a parking garage for about 45 minutes.

Cathy had packed a lot of stuff...including (I'm sure) her Bible and a deck of cards.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My friend LJ called me yesterday. "Sam, are you doing okay?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Your blog's not up!"

Oops. That's what happens when you schedule it for 12:01 p.m. instead of 12:01 a.m.

Thanks, LJ! But this is all you get today. It has something to do with back-to-back meetings yesterday and that I'm traveling today.

Hopefully, I'll at least publish it at the right time.

Yesterday would have worked a little better if you were in Hawaii. Now, that's a thought!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Three Stooges

I received a call from another pastor yesterday: "Sam, how are you guys making church decisions about distributing money for missions?"

(For those of you who don't know, most churches share a portion of the gifts they receive to spread the Gospel to other places. Each congregation makes choices about how much, where and who.)

My answer included telling my pastor friend about our Missions Team, "The Three Stooges". They gave themselves that name because of their awe at what God is doing in our church in this area. They are constantly amazed at the way they get to serve and deploy others to serve.

Instead of Larry, Moe and Curly Joe, they are Mark, Jose and Ronnie. Mark is the passionate visionary. Jose is the consummate manager. Ronnie has unique skills in money management. Under their leadership, over 100 different people from our church have traveled on short-term, international mission trips. We are supporting and working with missions on the Mexican border near us, across our county, in other parts of Arizona and in Latin America.

They pour hours of their time, energy and money into this work and they all have full-times jobs and families.

They are three guys who personify Passion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Pause Button

The book of Psalms occasionally uses a mysterious little word at the end of some verses. For instance, Psalm 3:4 in the New Century Version...
"I will pray to the Lord,
and he will answer me from his holy mountain.

Those five letters -- S.e.l.a.h. -- are an instruction to stop. Pause! Think about it. Meditate.

I was trying to do that the other day when I noticed three new "Tweets" on my "Twitter" client. I tried again when my Facebook notified me of six new "Friend Updates." The third time it was my eight new emails that caught my attention.

By the time I finished with the day's seventeen blogs, I completely forgot.


Monday, June 8, 2009

I like to...

One of our men came up to me at church Sunday. Out of the blue he said, "I may get myself in trouble for this, but if you ever need someone to cook pancakes on a griddle for a group, it's something I love to do. I even have a large griddle that can also be used for grilling meat. I can take it on location and cook for big groups."

I said, "We're having the Vacation Bible School for a mission church later this month. It's about 60 miles from here and we plan to have food." He didn't say, "No." He must really like to do it!

Hmmmmm. Do you just reckon that cooking could be this guys passion? Oh, yeah!

What's yours?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The "P" Word

Our daughter, C. Beth, seems to write a lot about poop! It has something to do with raising preschoolers. That, however, is not the "P" word to which I refer.

As I caught up with my old friend Mike last week, I was moved by a part of his story. When Mike turned 16, he immediately joined the Volunteer Fire Department in our hometown of Socorro, New Mexico. He carried that interest through the next few years and became an EMT. Then, for some reason (mostly economic, I think), he changed directions.

Years flew by and here he is at nearly threescore years having just completed a nursing degree. Why? He went back to his passion. He rediscovered through a series of events that he really wants to serve in this field.

I was reminded again of this subject when we met some new neighbors the other day. This young wife grew visibly vibrant when she talked about working as a counselor with adolescents. From my perspective, Middle-school children are a challenge (to say the least). But I know several people (including our other daughter) who love to work with them.

I'm thinking a bit this week about passion. Our church has discovered that the same people who have lackluster performance in some areas of service achieve an entirely new level of energy when they start serving according to their passion. It's amazing to watch it happen!

What is it that makes your heart race a little and causes you to easily go all out because you love doing it so much?