Saturday, July 22, 2017


I delivered pizzas in college…lots of pizzas…it is possible that I may have eaten more pizzas than I delivered.  Minnesota winters can be nasty for pizza drivers.  However, like our U.S. mail service, our motto was, “The pizzas must get through…” except on holidays…like Christmas, Thanksgiving,…birthdays…Columbus Day…Canada Boxing Day…walks with girlfriends or finals week.  I remember getting caught in several snow and ice storms while driving…thus finding myself pushing my ’81, rear wheel drive, Plymouth Grand Fury up a hill, with no traction under the tires…or my shoes, but the pizzas must get through…even if they are cold…or fall on the floor of the car, sliding all the cheese off the top…but hey…they arrived!
Minnesota winters also bring darkness.  Because of the darkness, I often couldn’t see the house numbers let alone read them.  This made it necessary to practically memorize as many house numbers as possible.  After several encounters of attempting to deliver a pizza to the wrong house, I invested in a little flashlight.  It was a Q-beam Maxi-million.  A one million candle power…who just turned on the sun…and every other light inside the house…including the refrigerator…spot light.  This thing could literally light up your life…and the neighborhood.
As I would drive down the delivery street, I would use the Maxi-million to shine from house to house looking for the correct house number.  In the darker neighborhoods, it wasn’t uncommon to see people duck down below their windows, behind curtains, or quickly turn off their lights, at the flash of the spot…pulling their Glocks and flushing their drugs…thinking it was the Po Po.
This light was so bright…and hot…that one time I forgot to turn it off before setting it on my passenger seat.  The light burned a hole in it, and nearly set the car on fire…that is what I call “hot ‘n ready.”
For the most part, this light was used for the forces of good.  However, on one occasion, I did use it for evil…though in my mind…a justified evil.
After finishing up my deliveries, I was driving home and waiting at a stop light…because it was red and that is what you do at red lights.  There were two lanes at the light.  The left lane, which is for turning left or going straight, and a right lane, which is used to turn right…ONLY.  As I am waiting for the light in my 318 V8, posi-traction, full suspension, former Hwy Patrol, Plymouth…a loud and very large Chevy pickup pulls to my right…but does not turn.  It is very apparent that this gentleman intends to use the “right turn only” lane…to go straight and get ahead of me, before his lane ends. After thinking about this for about 3.5 seconds…I decide to not allow this to happen.  So, when the light turned green, we both gunned it.  My Mopar out accelerated him easily…forcing him to hit his brakes and quickly cut in behind me.
In his anger, he pulled up close to my rear bumper and flipped on his bright lights.  At this moment, I decided to introduce him to Maxi-million.  This was naughty…I should have not done this.  However, I have never seen someone back off my bumper as fast as he did that night.
Light is powerful.  Light overpowers ANY darkness.  Light cuts through darkness like a hot knife through butter.
There is a moment, when Jesus is in Jerusalem for the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Each evening of the feast the Israelites would light huge torches that were on top of 50ft. towers.  The lights were intended to remind the Israelites how God had provided for their people when He led them out of Egypt and through the desert for 40 years.  It is near the end and the pinnacle of the celebration, when Jesus calls out in a loud voice…“I AM the light of the world…anyone who believes in me, will never walk in darkness.”
Are you tired of walking in darkness?  Are you tired of striving and working and feeling like life is going nowhere?  Are you tired of being stuck in sin?  I believe that there is only ONE way to step out of the darkness.  It’s Jesus.  Jesus himself refers to himself as, “that light.” We often like to keep our dark places secret…like that closet or cabinet or drawer, where everything gets shoved to keep it out of sight…and then we close it quickly, so it doesn’t come crashing out on us.  Perhaps it’s time to let Jesus deal with the darkness.  Perhaps it’s time to let Jesus shine his light in your life…and then through your life.
Maybe it’s time to see the light.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


In 1984, Hasbro introduced some of the greatest toys to ever hit the market…Transformers…not the big electrical boxes sitting atop the power poles outside your home…rather the amazingly cool robot action figures that “transform” from battling robots to far-out stylish vehicles and devices, like boom boxes, sports cars and semi tractor trailers.  As a boy, I always longed for transformers.  I think my younger brother was gifted one at some point from some Rich Uncle Pennybags…otherwise we mostly settled for the less popular “GoBots”…same idea, but not nearly as hip.
I remember several occasions where I would be over at a friend’s house, and I would want to do nothing but play with their Transformers.  Some friends had Starscream…a robot that would transform into an F-15 fighter jet…another friend had Optimus Prime…a semi tractor and trailer, and the General of the good guys (Autobots). The envy of all my friends was Jason...(Truth be told...I made up his could have been Jason...but I really don't remember...all I remember are those fabulous TOYS!).  Jason had an original Megatron…the leader of the bad guys…the Decepticons.  Megatron would transform from a robot, into a Walther P38 semi automatic handgun with scope on top…it was totally the coolest!
I love stories of transformation. Transformation where you have a man like David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam killer, who terrorized New York City in the late 70’s, a man who was a devout Satanist, who finds forgiveness and hope in Jesus Christ.  Recently I heard Justin Bieber talk about his choice to follow Christ…how his life has changed…how his life is different…transformed...that's great!...his music is still not my favorite...sorry Biebs...I'm probably just too old.
I am amazed at how Jesus continues to draw people to himself…and through the work of the Holy Spirit…transforms their lives into lives without hope…to hope filled lives…lives in relationship with him…and a hope of a future to be with him forever.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18, tells us about this glorious transformation.  In the Old Testament, there is a story of Moses, coming down from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets…his face shining so brightly that the Israelites can’t even look at him.  Yet, in this passage, we find that the experience is NOTHING compared to the glory that can shine through us as followers of Christ. Now that, is a transformation that I want to be a part of.
If anyone is in Christ…he is a new creation…the old has passed…the new has come…

Saturday, July 8, 2017


For years, it has been recommended that, each person should drink 6-8 glasses of water each day.  At my age, if I tried that, I’d be making hourly trips to the little boy’s room…not to mention, three times each night.  According to “” there are signs that point to the fact that you may need more water.  Here are some of them.
#1, You may need to drink more water if…you are thirsty.  Hmmm.  I wouldn’t have thought of that…but…good to know.  Usually when I am thirsty I dig into a big bag of potato chips.  Maybe next time I’ll try a nice cup of coffee…hey there’s water in it.
#2, You may need to drink more water if…you have bad breath.  I wonder if that is what is going on with our dog.  Water…huh…yeah let’s try giving him some water…never given him water before…what could it hurt?
#3, You may need to drink more water if…you can’t think straight.  I did not know that…next time my wife asks me “what were you thinking?” I’ll simply say…”I think I should have a glass of water.”  Hey students, keep this in mind for math class…that way during your next big exam, you have every right to ask to go get a drink…it will help you think straight…plus if you are really thinking straight you could have a calculator hidden beneath the fountain, (bubbler for all of you Wisconsinites)…wait…that would be wrong…I must not be thinking straight…I’ll be right back...I'm going to go get a drink of water.
#4, You may need to drink more water if…you are sweating.  Ok…I may just need to wear a Camelbak on my back. I am a perpetual sweater…not the kind you wear…the kind that makes your face and armpits wet.
#5, You may need to drink more water if…it is hot outside.  Seriously?!…who’s the guy that wrote this stuff…perhaps he needs a glass of water…
#6, You may need to drink more water if…you are in the mountains.  This one I did not know.  I have learned however that you should not drink from the streams coming down from the mountains…unless you have iodine tablets or a filter system…can you say “beaver fever?”
#7, You may need to drink more water if…you have a fever.  My mom taught me this.  Although I always preferred my water in the form of 7up…it’s the same…trust me.
#8, You may need to drink more water if…ummm….how should I say this…ahh…coming out both…ummm…let’s just say, “beaver fever.”
#9, You may need to drink more water if…you are pregnant.  I have nothing to say here.
#10, You may need to drink more water if…you have run out of coffee…(I added that one).
Water is vital to our world in so many ways.  We cannot live more than three days without water.  Plants need water to grow.  Animals and insects and virtually all aspects of our lives and this world are affected by water.  Water is known as the universal solvent.  We use water to fill tiny latex balloons and smash our siblings with them, leaving big red welts on their backs until the victim grabs the garden hose and soaks anyone within reach with a volley of pressurized retaliation.
We also see water taking on a very important role in the scriptures.  God provides the Israelites with water on several occasions.  Twice from rocks on the ground…and once God changed bitter, nasty water into sweet water for the Israelites to drink.  The Israelites would not have made it those 40 years in the desert without God’s provisions of water.  Moses parted the red sea.  Jesus calmed the waves.  Jesus turned water into wine.  Elijah soaked his altar with water before the Lord consumed it with fire.  John baptized with water.  Jesus was baptized in water.
In John chapter 7, Jesus attends the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles.  It is the equivalent to our “Thanksgiving.”  On the final day of the feast, as the celebration is reaching its climax…Jesus stands in the midst of a crowd of people and he calls out…”If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink…whoever believes in me…will have streams of living water flowing from within him.”
Are you thirsty?  Maybe you need some water.  I will tell you this.  Too often have I tried to dig for myself, my own water source…a well…a cistern…a pond…a puddle…all of my efforts in life have left me dry…but Jesus has given me a living water.  When I find myself fully dependent upon him…I find myself fully satisfied in him.  Maybe you have been digging your own wells…looking for something to satisfy…yet have found yourself thirsty.  Jesus says that he is the only one who can take away your thirst.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


I didn’t have a lot of dates in college.  It may have been my own fault.  I had a fear of rejection.  The fear of rejection is a powerful thing.  It can keep us from doing the things that we really long to do…like asking our dad to take us somewhere special…“Dad, can we go to McDonalds?”
“No!...We can’t afford that!...What do you think, money grows on trees?...We can go home and eat a cold ham sandwich on the stale, dry bread heels…and if you are real good, I might let you put some butter on it too."
“Dad, can we buy Cocoa Puffs?”
“No!...I just bought cereal”
“Dad, it’s shredded wheat…it’s like eating miniature bales of hay!”
“You will eat and you will like it!”
…Ok…How does that even make sense?...
I remember one particular moment in college.  Our chapel time had just finished (we were required to attend four chapel services per week) and I had really been trying to amp myself up to ask this particular girl out.  Day after day…for weeks, I would, intentionally, wait outside of the chapel doors and watch for her to arrive.  When I would see her arrive, I would watch closely to try to find a place in the near proximity of her. 
On this particular day, I had contrived a plan.  My younger brother, who was still in high school, had a wrestling tournament on the Saturday of the upcoming weekend.  I was going to ask her to accompany me to this festive event.  This was the perfect plan that would lead to either A: It would inform me if she was a wrestling fan, or B: Give me an opportunity to expose her to the great sport of wrestling.  After all, is there a better first date than to go watch sweaty guys, in tight fitting singlets, pound each other relentlessly into submission inside a loud echoing gymnasium for 8 hours? I thought not.
After the concluding prayer that concluded chapel, I made a beeline for her.  She was already talking with friends…some girls…some guys…bad guys if you ask me.  I stood nearby waiting for my moment, and just the conversation allowed me to interject I asked...“Hey, do you want to go with me to watch my brother wrestle this weekend?”
She curtly replied, “Ummm, I’d want to do this because….?”
In John 6:60-72, we find that Jesus Christ gets rejected.  He has been doing amazing things.  He has been healing people, feeding thousands of people, walking on water, calming the winds and the waves…and countless other miracles.  Despite all of these wondrous signs…many people reject Jesus, in a sense saying…“No thanks Jesus…if you don’t give me what I want…I am out of here…in fact Jesus…you are not teaching the way I think you should…so I am done following you.”
It makes me wonder.  What happens when we don’t agree with what Jesus says?
Will we reject him? Or will we come to understand that Jesus is sovereign…and He is who He is…not what we want Him to be.
Oh…and I ended up marrying that girl.