Showing posts from February, 2022

In Pursuit of Prayerfulness

I have been a Christian for nearly 60 years and I still struggle with the implementation of “unceasing prayer” in my daily life. The Apostle Paul instructed the Thessalonian Christians about the quality of continual praying, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), How do we pray throughout the day to such an extent that it rises to the level of “unceasing?” "In the moment" praying throughout the day seems so different from most prevailing practices of petition and intercession. I have tended to see traditional praying as scheduled, structured and formal like during a daily quiet time, a visit with a friend in need, before meal time, or at small group and worship times. These have seemed like the opportune times for praying. "He walks with me" Image credit: I'm discovering, however, that prayerfulness can also be exercised while driving a car, cooking a meal, playing kickball with the grandkids, or when taking a nature walk at the neighborh

Christianity: Not a Monobob!

During the Olympics this week in Beijing, I have been intrigued to watch the women compete in a new addition to the sledding competition. The “monobob” is a women-only event so far and it debuted in 2016 during the Youth Olympics. But. this year it has been mainstreamed into the official Olympic program as an exciting new venue! Kaillie Humphries, a Canadian-American slider, has become the first to win a Gold Medal in the monobobbing event. The Thrill of Sledding! Image credit: When I was a kid, we lived up a pretty steep elevation just at the western edge of Vandalia. The actual street is Randolph, but back in the day, it was referred to by the locals as “the old shoe factory hill." My dad’s house, our old home place, is at the peak of that “hill” today! During the years of my childhood, I spent hours sliding down the sidewalk along that snowy and slippery slope during some pretty ferocious Illinois winters. Watching the Olympic bobsledding reminded me of how I fa

The Habit of Worship

I have a mileage tracker feature on my iPhone that reminds me each Sunday morning how many minutes it takes for us to drive to church. It is not an app that I intentionally downloaded, but it came with a recent operating system upgrade. A notification is displayed as my device is synced with the car’s Bluetooth. After getting behind the wheel, I usually prop my phone up in a prominent position on the console. The next time I look at it as I pull out of the garage, I see this reminder on the screen: “18 minutes to 2941 S. Koke Mill Rd.” That is the address of our church, Springfield First. Pretty neat, isn’t it?! Worship Image Credit: Edward Cisneros Back in the day, I remember preschool children singing, “I like to go to church. I like to go to church. I like the happy songs we sing. I like to go to church.” As a pastor, I loved to see the happy expressions of joyful anticipation when children entered the church and ran down the hallway to their morning classes each Lord’s

Missing Kayley Janelle!

Prized and greatly anticipated even before her birth! Kayley Janelle was the third of our four granddaughters! While we love each of our eight grandsons, I often remarked, “Girls arrive for a premium in our family!” It was my way of celebrating each time God gave us the rare opportunity to have another beautiful granddaughter. Mimi revels in the idea of girly outfits, an assortment of baby dolls, and female shopping sprees! As Kayley's Poppi, I was also thinking about the many ways I would spoil this new little person of the “gentler gender!” Kayley, Poppi and Mimi Kayley's two brothers were so excited to welcome a sister into their lives. The anticipation grew each day during the nine months of waiting for her to arrive. They would talk about her among themselves, with family and friends. You could hear them say, “Hey! Mom’s going to have a baby! It’s a girl and her name is Kayley!” They loved the idea of having a sister! The day finally arrived on November 24, 2015. Phone c