Sunday, April 21, 2019



How has the Risen Savior affected your way of thinking and living....
Easter Sunday found me awaking to the strains of Isaac Watts going through my head, time and again. It comes via his musical response to R. E. Hudson’s poetic meditation. I find it in my old 1940 Broadman Hymnal, edited by B. B.McKinney, longtime Professor at the School of Music where I was blessed to spend five years in Seminary (SWBTS (P. 112). Southwestern was not my church Family but those years affirmed a common faith all Christ Followers share in common – one faith, one Lord, one baptism (Eph 4). Read slowly … thoughtfully … personally, and note the markings.

Alas, and did my Saviour bleed?
And did my Sovereign die? 
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ the mighty Maker died
For man the creature’s sin.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
‘Tis all that I can do.
_____ Chorus_____

At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away;
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

But that was not the end! THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END. .  In words that may not be quite as well known as those of Watts, are those of Matthew Bridges and George J. Elvey.

Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul and sing
Of Him who died for thee;
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Thro’ all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love!
Behold His hands and side—
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his wondering eye
At mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of life!
Who triumphed o’er the grave;
Who rose victorious to the strife
For those He came to save:
His glories now we sing,
Who died and rose on high;
Who died eternal life to bring,
And lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of heaven!
One with the Father known,
One with the Spirit through Him given
From yonder glorious throne!
To Thee be endless praise
For Thou, for us hast died;
Be Thou, O Lord, through endless days
Adored and magnified.

ALL BECAUSE, He stepped out of the tomb and into my life…I bow in worship.
This is

Sunday, April 7, 2019


Years ago, Pastor Bill Siebert told a story I find quite ageless in its scope and application (VC/7-10-1966).  He described Jim, a man he knew, that was suffering from high blood pressure. Jim felt good and looked perfectly fine, but he had a way of tossing common sense to the four winds and indulging himself on his wife’s good cooking.

The doctor warned Jim he was overweight he needed to exercise some precaution. Nonetheless, Jim loved to eat!  Jokingly, he occasionally remarked, “Oh, well, you only live here once, you might as well enjoy good food.”

But now,  Jim was dead at forty-five. As a leader of youth in the local church, it was Jim that reminded the youth of the bible teaching that raises the question that asks, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own?” (I Cor. 6:19).

Jim was the leader of a teen-age group that decided to stop smoking. He said, “We have seen films on TV on lungs infected with cancer, and after talking it over we have decided to give it up. Since our parents don’t have the willpower to set us a good example by stopping smoking, we decided to set them one”

Seibert then added this observation: perhaps this will be necessary in the weight department as well! You see, Jim was but forty-five and just a week before his demise the pastor described him as “the salesman that looked more like an all-American halfback.”

Simultaneously, Jim’s two sons stood wide-eyed at poolside while dad vigorously swam the length of the local YMCA swimming pool several times.

It had only been a year since Jim and his family moved into the local community but that move had been a special blessing to the local church and to the Youth Group in particular. The Youth Group jumped from fifteen to sixty-five. That was the way it was with Jim said his boss. He described him as one with a magnetic personality - “He simply draws people to himself.”

Now Jim was dead! Pondering Jim’s departure, Seibert noted the inconsistency of quitting smoking and over-indulging with food and suggested his friend Jim had, in a very real sense, killed himself. He did it, “not with a gun or a rope around his neck” he had “committed suicide with a knife and a fork and his wife’s best cooking.”

It is too easy to emphasize a scripture teaching in one context and be very inconsistent in another context. Perhaps we all need to pray in this manner: Lord: give me the wisdom to live life consistently while also living it fully.

It is simple  to see the splinter in the other person’s eye but, oh so difficult, to see the log in our own eye. This is…

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


I. INTRODUCTION----------------------------------------1:1-4
II. THE SAVIOR ANNOUNCED----------------------    5—2:52 
              A. Annunciation to Zacharias                                               1:5-25                                                      
              B. Annunciation to Mary                                                        1:26-56
              C. Birth of John                                                                         1:57-80
              D. Birth of Jesus                                                                       2:1-20
              E. Jesus presented  in the temple                                         2:21-40
              F. Visit to Jerusalem                                                                 2:41-52

III. THE SAVIOR APPEARS------------------------------3:1—4:15
              A. Introduction of John the Baptist                                      3:1-20
              B. Baptism of Jesus                                                                  3:21-22
              C. The Genealogy                                                                     3:23-38
              D. The Temptation                                                                   4:1-13
              E. Entrance into Galilee                                                           4:14-15

IV. THE MINISTRY OF THE SAVIOR------------------ 4:16—9:50
             A. Definition of Jesus; Ministry                                         4:16-44
            B. Proofs of Jesus’ power                                                  5:1--6:11
            C. Choice of Jesus’ Apostles                                             6:12-19
            D. Digest of Jesus ‘ Teaching                                            6:20-49
            E. Cross-section of Jesus’ Ministry                                   7:1--9:17                                                         F. Climax of Jesus’ Ministry    

V. ENROUTE TO THE CROSS-------------------------- 9:51—18:30
              A. Perspective of the cross                                                     9:51-62
              B. Ministry of the Seventy                                                      10:1-24
              C. Popular Teaching                                                                 10:25—13:21
              D. Public Debate                                                                       13:22—16:31
              E. Instruction of Disciples                                                       17:1—18:30

VI. THE SUFFERING SAVIOR --------------------------18:31—23:56
              A. Progress toward Jerusalem                                          18:31—19:27  
            B. Entry into Jerusalem                                                    19:28-44
            C. Teaching in Jerusalem                                                 19:45—21:4
            D. The Olivet Discourse                                                   21:5--38
            E. The Last Supper                                                           22:1-38
            F. The betrayal                                                                  22:39-53
            G. The arrest and  trial                                                      22:54—23:25
            H. The Crucifixion                                                            23:26-49
             I. The burial                                                                      23:50-55

VII. THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR -------------------- 24:1-53
              A. The empty Tomb                                                          24:1-12
             B. The walk to Emmaus                                                    24:13-35
             C. The appearance to the Disciples                                   24:36=43
             D. The Last Commission                                                   24:44-49
             E. The Ascension                                                              24:50-53


Tuesday, March 12, 2019


A story that resonates deeply with me is that of John Akhwari. As the story goes, only a few thousand spectators remained in Mexico City’s stadium at 7 pm, Oct 20, 1968. Mamo Wolde, was the 26-year old Ethiopian who had won the 26 mile, 385 yard marathon event just an hour earlier, then the others finished.

As those remaining prepared to leave the stadium, sirens and police whistles suddenly turned every-one’s eyes toward the gate. A long figure wearing Tanzanian colors entered the stadium. It was that of John Stephen Akhwari. Akhwari hobbled around the 400 meter track as best he could. His leg was bloodied and bandaged from a bad fall he had experienced earlier. He grimaced with every step he took.

On seeing the long figure approach the finish, the crowd remaining arose and applauded as if he were the winner. After crossing the finish line, Akhwari walked slowly away.In view of his injury and with no chance to win a medal, one curio
us soul asked John Akhwari why had he bothered to finish the race, why he had not quit the race. He only reply was this piece of wisdom: “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

Your faith, mixed with good old grit and determination and common sense has brought you this far. Being a good Christian steward means much more than making a good start (cf I Peter 4:10). The biblical writer of Hebrews reminds us “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). He further reminds us (12:4) of the crowd of witnesses who have already completed the race and crossed the finish line.

And so, what is the message for us? It is the wisdom spoken by this young Tanzania: “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”

Our challenge is to finish well the race to which the Lord of our lives has called each of us.
I for one, plan to finish as best able that which I have started.

What about you?