The Lion Sleeps Tonight

 Photo by Warren K. Leffler
Billy Graham got it right.  He didn’t get caught up in the murky waters of theological debate.  He didn’t hoist high the banner of any one Christian denomination.  He simply wanted to ask each of us the most important question on earth:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

When one studies the life of Christ, you see very quickly that He went about saving people, serving people, loving people.  Jesus is, quite simply and powerfully, the answer to all life’s questions.  He is the resolve to all our troubles.  He is our peace; The Way, The Truth and The Life.  Nobody comes to the Father except through Jesus.

And Billy Graham dedicated his life to making sure we knew that.  His message was also simple yet powerful.  

And for that – for being a very public, very strong, very vocal lion of our faith – I am thankful.

I’m sure we’ve all heard references to this pastor or that evangelist being “the next Billy Graham”.  In truth, there will never be another Billy Graham.  Which is okay.  What we need are more people on this earth to follow Dr. Graham’s example of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ without apology, without holding back.

So, let me ask you: do you know Jesus Christ as your personal eternal savior?  Do you trust Him with your whole heart? If not, let’s talk.

What (Not) to Give God

Give God praise.

Give God thanks.

Give God your heart

Give God your mind.

Give God your time.

Give God your talents.  (You know, the talents He gave you.)

Give God your life.

Give God your all.

Give God the credit.

Do not give God the blame.

The simple fact is we live in a sinful, imperfect world.  Everybody fades hard times and bad things and sorrow and pain.  Understand that means, at some point, each of finds ourselves wondering “Why God?  Why did You let this happen?”

We may never understand all the whys and how’s behind life’s tragedies.  But each of us can rest easy knowing that God is love, God is always with us, and God is in control.

Give God your focus.  Your full attention.

Love God.

Love others.

Seek Him first.

An Ash Wednesday Valentine

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 (KJV)

Cupid appears to have won.

As I checked out my Facebook feed tonight, there were lots of hearts and roses and romantic Valentine messages.

This year Valentines Day fell on Ash Wednesday.  And it got nary a mention.  

But, if you consider what Ash Wednesday commemorates – the beginning of forty days fasting time that mirrors the forty days Jesus spent in the desert – we quickly see what real love is all about.

Very simply, live requires sacrifice.  We sacrifice for our spouses.  For our kidlets.  For our parents.

But what we give up pales in comparison to what God gave us.

His Son.

The Perfect, Sinless Son of God came to live a perfect life and die a horrific death as the only possible atonement for our sins.

Jesus sacrificed His life that we may live.  Forever.

No box of chocolates can compare to the gifts from our Loving Heavenly Father.

Think about that.  Think about the love the Lord has for you.

For you.


And love one another as a means of reflecting the love God gives us.  Not only on Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, but every hour.

Every minute.

Every second.

Without ceasing.

Be joyful.  Be thankful.  

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I Hear the Train A-Comin’ (or a Priest, a Pastor and a Comic Walk Into a Blog)

Crossing Gates

Photo from

There seems to be a perception amongst some people that I haven’t been writing lately.

I understand this perception.  I assume it’s because I haven’t been writing lately.

You can blame my wife.  (Or, you can thank her – it’s all in your perspective.)  She pointed out a fact to me some months ago that had been painfully – painfully – obvious to me: “You’re writing the same message over and over.”

She was right.  I was writing the same message over and over.

And over.

And over and over.

And over again.

Needlessly repeating myself again and again.

And again.

And again and again.

Ad nauseam.

I have spent a lot of time trying to write.  I would stare at the computer screen, the cursor blinking at me.  Taunting me.  Daring me.  I felt like Billy Crystal in Throw Momma From the Train, unable to type anything beyond “The night was…”

Even now, as I’m writing about the writer’s block (boulder is more like it) I’ve been staring at for such a long time, I find myself riddled with self doubt about writing this piece.

Sitting down to write started feeling like waiting at a railroad crossing.  Usually I could see my train of thought in the distance, but it never seemed to make any progress.  On occasion, the train would come speeding across and be gone before I could get a good look at it.

After much prayerful consideration and reflection, I realize the problem isn’t the train.  The problem is the crossing arms – or, rather, my sitting at the crossing arms.  I can’t drive through the barrier.  It’s illegal and extremely dangerous to try driving between the lowered arms at a railroad crossing.

However, I can circumvent the impasse by turning around and finding another crossing.

Which is what I’m doing.

Sort of.

I’m driving the same vehicle (writing).  And I need to cross the same set of tracks (my train of thought).  I just need to find a somewhat different road from which to cross – a different approach to writing.  A style that is more aligned to me – to who God Himself created me to be.  More personal.  More humorous.

My goal is ultimately the same: help people through depression and anxiety through faith in Jesus Christ.  I can show you Scriptures all day long about peace and joy and fear and worry and quote Matthew 6:33 until I’m blue in the face.  But I need to demonstrate more faith and joy.  I need to widen the aperture a bit to let out more light.

It’s one thing to write about it.  It’s quite another to write with it.

I have a very nebulous idea of how my writing is going to look.  It will be more humorous in approach.  It may even be irreverent (gasp!) than some may like.  But maybe a little irreverence is what some of us need.

Maybe we need to lighten up and quit taking everything so serious.

Please stick with me as I seek my voice in writing.  Input is more than welcome – it is encouraged.  PM me or e-mail me ( or message me via carrier pigeon (although you may want to wait until the spring thaw – send a bird up here now and he’ll end up more freezer burnt than that bag of baby peas buried in the bottom of my freezer).

I have to go.  Got a train to catch!