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I love the infomercials that try to lure you with the ‘hidden deal’. “You think this is good? Wait until you see what is behind door number 2!”

I’m guessing this must work often enough to make it worth their while because they (whoever ‘they’ are) have been luring us for years.

Our human mind is unbelievably conscious of the sensual. We are sensual beings. Our lives are built on what we can see, what we can touch, what we can smell or hear or feel. Anything that goes beyond this is considered out of the ordinary.

This is yet another amazing dichotomy of Christianity. Our faith isn’t built on the sensory. We believe in a God we can not see, yet who reveals himself in a multitude of very real ways. We put our hope in a world we can not see and never ends. The concept of eternity boggles my mind!

When we focus on our senses, we are limited. When we put all our hope in the here and now, it gets discouraging. Paul writes in Colossians to never forget we are merely temporary sojourners in a foreign land. Homeless immigrants longing for the homeland, and what a homeland that must be.

Take a few moments and invite your mind to imagine what the world would be like if you could speak anything into existence. You got rid of prejudice. You destroyed every disease known to man. You made all food health food. You destroyed greed of every kind. Keep going. Let your mind go wild! Then realize that your wildest imagination doesn’t come close to what God has in store for you in eternity.

I can’t wait. While here, I’ll tell his story, but my heart is home with him. Thank you Jesus.


20 years ago I officiated at one of the most difficult funerals I’ve ever had to do. I was pastor of a small church in a small town in NW Wisconsin. We were a close knit church family and I was more of a friend than a pastor to most. That’s one reason this funeral was hard. It was hard enough to mourn the loss of a five year old boy, but when that boy was the son of a close friend, it was almost unbearable.

How do you answer the ‘why’ question? How do you answer the ‘Where was God’ question? It’s often said, especially when a young person dies, that ‘they died too soon’ but in reality, God has every day of our lives planned There are no early deaths, no surprises in heaven.

Life is short. Live it with excellence. Never forget the lessons learned from your past, but let Jesus remove the guilt and shame. Whatever your past, it should be a stepping stone to the future, not an anchor holding you back.

Don’t wish for tomorrow because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Rather, trust your Father to bring the things of tomorrow to you in due time. The wisdom God gave you from yesterday’s lessons empowers you to face the challenges of tomorrow.


milky wayLook up to the skies above, and gaze down on the earth below. For the skies will disappear like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies, but my salvation lasts forever. My righteous rule will never end! 

My younger brother had a thing for garage sales. Every weekend would find him scouring through other people’s cast offs for ‘bargains’. When his life on earth ended suddenly as the result of an accident, those of us left behind had the task of going through his things. Apparently, my brother had a thing with shoes, tennis shoes in particular. All of us has that pair of shoes that are full of holes, worn out, and…comfortable. You know the kind. The kind you hate to throw away. My brother had boxes of them. We can only imagine that the shoes that many wives finally convinced their husbands to sell at a garage sale ended up in my brothers garage!

Nothing lasts forever, right? We outgrow that favorite sweater; get tired of the shirt grandma gave us; walk one too many miles in that pair sandals, or spill on that Easter dress. What’s true for clothing is true in other areas of our lives as well.

The flame in our marriages gets drowned out by bills, kids and familiarity until the honeymoon is a distant glow on the horizon. The new job becomes as full of monotony and drudgery as the old one. Our mid-life crisis car becomes the victim or cancerous rust.

Nothing keeps it glitter forever, right? But what about our faith? As I write this, I’m looking out my window at a Maple tree blazing with fall color. I’m reminded of the seasons and how they never change. Tonight the stars will shine brightly just like they’ve done for centuries and tomorrow morning the sun will rise above the horizon…just like always.

And, one more thing. God’s love for me will be the same for me tomorrow just as it was yesterday and will be for me for eternity. Eternity never grows dim. Eternity never loses it’s luster. Eternity never says, “I’ve had enough.” God’s love for us is eternal. So, while our love wavers from day to day and circumstance to circumstance, one thing, and only one thing, remains the same. God’s love will never fail.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” That favorite pair of shoes in the closet? You’re going to have to throw it someday, but you’ll never lose God’s love for you.

PRAYER: Father, there are so many times I take you for granted. So many times this temporary life clouds my realization of your eternal love for me. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for loving me so well. Amen.


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Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18

I remember family reunions at Thanksgiving. Gathered around the table with bowls of delicious food.  We kids would eat well, but always left room for grandma’s pie. The food was great. Dessert was better.

Looking back, I didn’t realize how truly blessed we were as a family. At that time no one we knew was touched by divorce, cancer or had been lost in the war. How easy it is when times are good to lose sight of the way things are for others.

Those who are born into wealth never have an inkling of what the rest of the world has to deal with. Their security has never in jeopardy. Yet those of us born in relative poverty struggle and strive for something better. For some of us we toil and spend, running up a debt we can never repay to have toys we will never fully enjoy. Others work a lifetime to build up a retirement account that gets washed away in illness or political and financial collapse.

What’s true in the financial world is true in the spiritual world. Some of us live with our debt hanging over our head. Even in the good times we are constantly aware of possible impending doom. In our physical lives we live paycheck to paycheck; in our spiritual lives we live sin to sin, always focusing on our failure, rarely living in the victory Jesus already fought to give us. Others of us run headlong into life, living on grace but never realizing the ultimate cost. We enjoy this life but fail to realize the full benefit of living wisely.

Those who live with eternity in mind are well aware of God’s benefits. Though the struggle now is great, they endure and enjoy the struggle and wait in eager anticipation for what comes ahead. Time and again I am amazed at the joy some have in the midst of sickness and poverty. They live a secret we often forget: ‘It gets better’. While we walk this earth we may never experience the comforts of the wealthy, but we are children of a king and someday we’ll receive our inheritance and the memories of the struggles here on earth will be washed away in the glow of Jesus’ face.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many times we get distracted by the ‘wants’ of this world and fail to remember that this world is not our home. Help us to live as citizens of heaven and not as slaves of this earth. In Jesus name, Amen.


I pray that the Lord, who gives peace, will always bless you with peace. May the Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally.

This is the phrase that came to me as I was pondering what it meant to be truly at peace. We live in a world where peace is merely spoken of as a wish, a dream, a hope we know deep inside of us will probably never come. We have just come out of the Christmas season in which we speak of “Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men”. We look forward to a new year in which we always hope for life with a stronger economy, more solid relationships and better health.

True peace, the kind of peace God promises us isn’t dependent on circumstances, nor can it be taken from us by other people. True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. True peace, God’s peace is best exemplified with the Hebrew word SHALOM. SHALOM peace reaches to the very soul. SHALOM peace encompasses the seen and the unseen, the things I can control and the things I can’t.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. While True peace is initiated by God, I must make a decision to make that peace a part of my life. The great enemy of our souls wants us to believe two lies. One is that we can’t do anything to change ourselves. The other is that the only way we can get better is to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and try harder. Both lies have partial truths in them. We must make decisions in our lives that will lead to healthier living spiritually, emotionally and physically. One day Jesus met a young man who was unhappy with life. Jesus told him the best way to gain the fulfillment he sought was to give away all he had and follow Christ, Christ alone. The man had a decision to make. He chose to walk away.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The false part of the enemies lies is that the outcome depends on us. The outcome never depends on us. If it does we are destined to failure. The power to change our attitudes, actions and reactions can’t come from us. It must come from the power of Christ in me. The Apostle Paul tells us “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Philippians 4:7) Our minds are guarded from defeat not because of our own power but because of the power of Christ that protects, strengthens and guides us.

True Peace begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ realizes that the trouble of this world, no matter how devastating, is temporary. Everything we can see, touch, hold, hear and taste ends at death. But our heart, our soul lives on eternally. The ‘eternal thinker’ spends his/her energy on things that build for eternity. Jesus says, “I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” (John 16:33)

PRAYER: Father God, as I move into a new year, let me live a life of true peace. True Peace that begins with me, is empowered by Christ and thinks eternally. Amen.

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