Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Certainly Uncertain

I have to admit, I have been watching and to listening to a lot of news these days. There are two reasons why I'm so interested in our current "crises" ... I'm concerned. And I'm fascinated. I'm sure that many of you share these feelings with me.

Many of us are concerned about our job security, our retirement plans, nest-eggs, college savings for our kids, our future president, our economy/nation as a whole. I'm right there with you.

On top of that, many of us are fascinated. Fascinated at how we got here. Fascinated at how quickly things can turn south. Fascinated that we didn't learn more from the Great Depression. Fascinated at the uncertainty of a seemingly strong and certain economy.

This is my take: As a society (and I'm including myself), we have put our certainty in an uncertain area. And now, as a result, we are entering a period of relative uncertainty. Follow me? "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

In times of such uncertainty, the wise one will invest in that which is certain. What is certain?

We have gotten to this place by storing up treasures on earth (where things are uncertain at best), let us respond my storing up treasures in heaven (where things are certain at worst)! What does it mean for you to store up your treasure in heaven?

It will require faith and courage on your part, but it will result in certainty and eternal rewards! THAT'S SOMETHING YOU CAN BANK ON!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Twins are Breakin it Down

Tera and Toby are always dancing and having fun together. This time they took it to another level and we caught it on tape!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

We miss you, Nana!

Floride Morrison Glover
Dec 9, 1917 - April 2, 2008

At 2pm on Wed, April 9 we had a beautiful Episcopal funeral service that would have honored her greatly. She was a very humble person and she probably wouldn't have wanted us to talk much about her, but we did anyway! There were three wonderful eulogies (my sister Jenny, my cousin Frances, and my mom's cousin Kay) that focused on how she lived her life and the mark that she has left on us all. And then I gave a homily that focused on the spiritual realities that surround her death and eternal life. You can read the the transcript of my Homily below, because I believe it is a message that will bless us all.

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a time for everything … there is a time to be born and a time to die … a time to weep and a time to laugh … a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

Today is a time for all of these things. I have experienced this range of emotions this week but right now I want to focus on why today is a time to laugh, to dance, and to be born.

The reason that we can rejoice today is that hers was a life not wasted. What do I mean by that? Nick read, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

She epitomizes this passage. Rather than trying to take hold of that which is temporary and seen such as recognition, indulging in material comfort, and making much of herself, she tried to take hold that which is unseen and eternal – giving love, prayer, and money to others, making much of other people, and indulging in making others happy. And we have all seen the affects of what happens when someone lives their lives for the unseen.

Living for what is seen has temporary and incomplete rewards, while living for what is unseen has eternal and full rewards. To illustrate this point I did an experiment with my 2-year-old Tera. She has a sweet tooth, just like her great-grandmother, and M&M’s are her favorite …

I went up to her the other day holding out a shiny blue M&M, and said “Tera, would you rather have this M&M (which obviously represents the seen and temporary) or would you rather have a fully funded college savings plan?” (Obviously representing something unseen but with longer and greater reward). She was looking at some family photos and she looked up at me and said matter-of-factly, “ Cowwege pwan”.

“OK Tera, let’s try again. Do you want this M&M or a college savings plan?” “Cowwege, pwease.” She ruined my theory that humans have a natural inclination to choose the seen over the unseen … but my point is that unlike Tera and unlike Nana, sadly most of us often choose to take the so-called M&M rather than going after that which is unseen and eternal.

She lived her life for the unseen and today her body lies here but she is experiencing the eternal reward of fixing her eyes on what is unseen. So, what is this unseen thing that scripture is talking about?... It is Jesus himself!
He is both the source that provides the ability for us to fix our eyes on the unseen, AND He is the unseen object on which we are to fix our eyes!

But here’s the catch. We cannot just wake up and decide to fix our eyes on what is unseen. We cannot just one day decide to have the faith, and hope, and love, and humility that she had. Those things have one source … and that source is Jesus.

As Nick also read, Jesus has indeed gone to prepare a place for us. An eternal place that we are to look forward to. A place that is made especially for us, and also a place that we are made especially for. And Jesus is our only entry into that place.

We cannot get there by trying to be good people. Goodness was not Nana’s way into heaven and it is not our way into heaven. Jesus is our way. He is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.

I had the opportunity to speak with her a few weeks ago about what I would say today, and she wanted me to make one thing clear. She wanted you and me to be reminded of Jesus’ love. It is not her kindness or patience or generosity that makes her a special person … it is Jesus. It is not her goodness or her unselfishness that has gotten her into heaven … it is Jesus.

The Bible says that our attempts at trying to work our way into God’s favor have fallen short and have earned for us eternal death and separation from God. But Jesus says, wait there is still a way.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love to us in this way: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is love. When I sing to my daughters before bed, Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so … How do we know that he loves us? Because he died for us. Jesus, in essence, says, I will take the death that you deserve … and you can have the life that I deserve.

Yesterday, Jenny and I walked out to her grave. I noticed her epitaph. It reads, "In thy presence is the fullness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore." That is Psalm 16 and it is so fitting for today.

Earlier I said that living for what is seen has temporary and incomplete rewards, while living for what is unseen has eternal and full rewards. During her time on earth, she chose the unseen. Today she is experiencing the fullness of joy in God’s presence and pleasures forevermore at His right hand. All because of the love of Jesus.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A couple of Christmas pictures for you to enjoy!

Tera was pretty indifferent towards Santa this year. She's probably wondering what this fat guy in the red suit has to do with Jesus' Birthday. Next year, I would like to start teaching her about the real Saint Nicholas and how this tradition began.

Ava, on the other hand, got into the "Santa thing" so much that decided to try to become an elf. She did a pretty good job!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eat More Chicken

Last week, our Campus Outreach Virginia staff team went to Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference (a 2 day event designed to develop Christian leaders). Among the 11,000 participants were pastors, campus ministers, youth ministers, and business leaders from around the world. Each year our staff team attends this conference and returns with fresh vision and ideas for the college campus.

We also had the pleasure of spending some time with Truitt Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a. He's the smiley old man in the middle. I've had the privilege of meeting Truitt on three separate occasions, although he would have no idea who I am, and each time he has told me about his family, his foster kids, the 13 year olds that he teaches in Sunday school, and why he believes business principles and biblical principles are synonymous. Here is a successful business man that puts his faith and his family before all else. I don't think that he would say that his successful business is a result of his faith, but rather his business is an expression of his faith. He serves God by serving people.

Hiking with the Howells

To take advantage of the beautiful fall weather this weekend, we packed a lunch, invited good friends, and headed back to Cascade Falls for a scenic four mile hike.

As adults it's a lot harder to make new friends, but we've been blessed with the addition of Andy, Dawn, and Bella into our lives. Thanks for all the love and support you've given us. It's been a pleasure getting to know you and we sincerely look forward to more fun times together.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tera and Toby dance

Tera and her good buddy Toby are gettin' down to the Elmo song.