A Reason To Celebrate!

11 08 2011

I honestly can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that my children were all anticipating their big SUMMER BREAK. We had so many activities and plans we were making together — things we wanted to do and ways we wanted to celebrate the warm summer days. And as I look back over the past few months, I think we did most of the things we wanted to do. There were movies we saw, camping activities in the back yard, evening fires and smores, as well as outings and a week of vacation to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. All in all we had a great summer.

Some of the more memorable moments for me came the past few weeks. In my home, the months of July and August are filled with BIG DAYS! It began with my wife’s surprise birthday party. This was a big one…but I’ll just say it was her “29th” (again!). This was the first time I had ever thrown her a big party — and a surprise event to boot! It was a ’70’s themed gathering complete with platform shoes, huge afros, bell-bottoms, and my green plaid polyester pants! We discoed the night away.

The next big moment was to celebrate my daughters 11th birthday…quickly followed by my middle son’s 8th birthday. And did I mention that the summer began with my oldest son’s 13th birthday. Well, at least I get a break before my youngest turns 6 in December. But then the celebrations continue right through Christmas and the New Year!

Well, here’s what I’ve come to discover. Life is worth celebrating. My family and friends are worth celebrating. Life was meant to be enjoyed with those I know and love. Jesus said his primary purpose was to come and give “life”. Life to the max. Life lived in connection with Him. Abundant, joy-filled, celebratory life! I love the way Jesus ends the story He told His followers about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. The father declares his love for his son and reveals his heart of celebration. The father said, “…We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (Lk. 15:23-24, NLT).

Isn’t that great? “So the party began!”

Oh, by the way…this Sunday my wife and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary! How awesome is that? I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Let the party BEGIN!

Something New…Video Blogging!

8 02 2010

I chosen today to prepare my thoughts and blog them via a video. I’d like for you to give me some feedback and let me know what you think. Do you like this medium better or would you prefer the written word (I really mean typed)! Enjoy!

Sticking Close!

1 07 2009

Vineyard_in_MontoneOkay, so I thought I might share a bit of my own devotion today.  In John 15:1-8 1 Jesus says,

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  John 15:1-8 1 (NIV)

Now, let me just make a quick observation from this passage. Here it is — Jesus used the phrase, “Remain in Me!” – not once, but 5 times! Now, as far as communication goes…anything that is repeated or emphasized again and again is always key (or central) to the message being shared.

It’s fascinating to me to see how directly and with almost a sense of abandonment that Jesus does this. His is so in the face of those around Him…and it is without hesitation that He makes His point clear.

He states the most important thought here again and again. He says, “Remain in Me!” Now, if you get nothing else out of this post – get this…Jesus wants you to emphatically understand the importance of sticking close to Him!

I’m sure this seems obvious – but here’s what I got out of this. First, this is so important to our daily living…because the the vine is always the source of everything needed to not only survive, but thrive. And secondly, because all fruit has it’s beginning in the source!

Everything good that we long to produce in our lives will only come from the source…the vine — Jesus!

Think on these things!


12 04 2009

And it happened again. This morning God surprised me yet again by doing the most amazing thing ever. He showed up, encouraged, offered freedom and forgiveness…and saved 7 people from an eternity apart from Him. It is the beauty of the message of Jesus. He came, He lived, He died, and He lived again! It’s what Easter is truly all about – Jesus overcoming death and in return, offering all of humanity “everlasting life”. Wow! What an amazing act. It is extraordinary…almost unbelieveable. It reminds me of a song we used to sing when I was a little boy. “God is so good! God is so good! God is so good–He’s so good to me!”

Today, Easter 2009 — I am celebrating the extravagant gift of God in Jesus. He is the Messiah, my Savior, my Lord…my soon coming King! In the words of the ancient church…”He is Risen – He is Risen Indeed!”

Happy Easter everyone.