Veteran:  from a Latin word meaning, old or mature.  In today’s vernacular, it refers to someone having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time. To each of you who have served our country “having served or experienced an occupation over a period of time” in one of the branches of the military—we honor you and say “thank you”.  From what has been termed “the greatest generation”, to those who have served most recently, this nation owes each of you a debt of gratitude.  You signed on, swore an oath to defend this country—a country made up of individuals who live in thisRead More →

Dear Church Family, The news from Roseburg, Oregon has left that community and our nation in shock.  As the information continues to be shared, we are all struck by the grief these families and friends are experiencing by the senseless loss of life.  Beyond this, our thoughts also turn to the family of the shooter as they attempt to make sense of what drove their son to do such a horrific thing. There are, of course, stories that emerge out of this tragedy—the heroic efforts of the Veteran whose actions likely spared more lives from being ended; the efforts of the first responders who putRead More →

Dear Church Family, It is Memorial Day weekend.  There has been a recent occurrence of reminders on Facebook saying:  “It’s Memorial Day, Not National BBQ Day.”  I understand the sentiment, as many of our holiday’s origins are being forgotten or minimized by our propensity to party and have a good BBQ.  Now, just for the record, let me say this:  I love a good BBQ.  I am not an advocate of NOT enjoying the day, or having family and friends over for a picnic and BBQ.  A day like this is set aside for a purpose and that purpose needs to be remembered.  The originRead More →

Dear Church Family, Deadly earthquakes in Nepal . . . ISIS on the move in Iraq . . . “Blood Moons” this fall . . . Are these sign of Jesus’ return?  These questions and more are being answered in our Adult Sunday School class, but they are also similar questions that the Thessalonian believers may have had.  After receiving a forged letter (as if from Paul) that left them doubting what Paul had told them earlier, the Apostle had written his second letter to calm their fears and encourage their hearts.  We are continuing this series on Sunday, but I wanted to encourage youRead More →

Dear Church Family, Our hearts are grateful for your outpouring of love for our family in honoring and remembering my mom!  Thank you for your many cards, phone calls, food and expressions of love!  Though there remains a sadness with mom’s passing away, there are many reasons to rejoice.  The mercy of God of was seen and felt in how quickly her cancer progressed and her death came peacefully.  One of her gifts to us was simply her expressions of anticipation to see her Lord!  There was no fear in death – only a single focus on being with Christ!  Carolyn and I returned lastRead More →

Dear Church Family, Just this last week, a sobering anniversary was observed in Europe.  It was the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death Camp.  Some 300 Auschwitz survivors attended the ceremony under a large tent to remember both the 1.1 million people (1 million were Jews) that died there as well as the liberation by the Soviet army in 1945.  Personally, I cannot imagine their thoughts as they retraced their own steps along the railroad track that brought them to Auschwitz, lit candles in remembrance and shared their own stories.  Auschwitz, with its horrible legacy of persecution andRead More →

Dear Church Family, To be “in concert” means to be together or in agreement with someone or something.  While this has its roots in a musical setting, the broader meaning certainly applies in many arenas of life and certainly to the Body of Christ!  I would like to use this week’s issue of our family letter to address two specific areas of being “in concert” or “being of one mind” . . . . . . . in prayer:  While this seems like a “no-brainer”, it is worth repeating and emphasizing.  We have a couple of urgent matters in relation to prayer as a churchRead More →

My dear church family, It has been said that ignorance is bliss – or not knowing is better than knowing and then worrying.  Solomon (the assumed author of Ecclesiastes) echoed this in Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 where he concludes that more information and knowledge only results in grief and pain.  However, we need to understand that Solomon was likely nearing the end of his life and was lamenting on his past pursuits when he was not focused on God, fearing God and walking faithfully with God. Ignorance, or being unaware and uniformed, is not a virtue.  Why people choose to be ignorant or uninformed is a discussionRead More →

What if . . . . As a child, playing the make-believe game of “what if?” was fun and entertaining.  As we get older and ask the question of “what if?” we can stray from reality and waste precious time in dealing with ideology and philosophical mumbo-jumbo.  However, asking the “what if?” question can be very helpful and clarifying.  So, I want to pose a “what if?” question for you to consider about the church.  First, a clear understanding of the word “church”: It is not a building—but people It is not a verb, describing what we do (doing church) It is not merely anRead More →

Dear Church Family, The inevitable is upon us:  Fall. . .but hasn’t this been an incredible summer??  By now you are probably well into your fall routines.  Sometimes that feels pretty good doesn’t it?  The more predictable, the comfortable, the expected.   But, if we’re honest, those routines that we follow- as comfortable as they may feel- also lead us to simply live in our own strength, our own abilities and requiring very little faith, or so it seems.  Admittedly, we all get into our “groove” and it’s a comfortable place to be—we can be confident there, very little surprises and we can look back andRead More →