Showing posts from October, 2022

"Adding Value"

Last week, Monique and I made a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to celebrate with a close friend his retirement from active ministry. It was the second time I had been in this city on the Missouri River in five months. The first occasion was to bring a funeral message for a close friend and former staff associate who had a sudden and untimely passing in April. This time, the reason was celebrative and affirming. Dr. Tim Johnson and I served together in Southwest Houston for five years until he was called to his first pastorate in North Texas. The Johnson's and Keppler's at Tim's Retirement Party, Omaha, NE I had been the lead pastor and Tim was one of our associates. His specific assignment was youth and music, but he served in all areas of pastoral ministry as needed. Tim immediately became an invaluable partner in ministry during our years of service together. He made me a better pastor! I never questioned his loyalty, work ethic, or competency in service. He gave 100% effort to

"My Conversion Story"

Recently, I had a special visit with a senior adult in his home. Paul (not his real name) is in his seventies. He surprised me with this question, “Do you have time to listen to my conversion story?” How could I pass up this opportunity? I love to hear stories about how believers have come into the faith. Conversational Witness Image Credit: Paul grew up in an atheist family. His mother and grandmother had been atheists. He had never gone to any church and had spent his younger years vigorously defending the belief that there was no God. Retired now, Paul had spent his career working in journalism, and writing business articles for a major news organization in his hometown of Chicago. As fate would have it, a female friend of Paul, had been invited by her parish priest to bring a reading at the local Catholic church Mass. She had invited Paul to lunch with another coworker and persuaded Paul to go with her to the church with a promise that, “The service will only take a f

Why is Change So Hard?

Do you remember when you first ate the quintessential Speedy Gonzales with a taco, enchilada, rice, and beans along with the nutty aroma of cilantro wafting over the Pico de Gallo? How about those appetizing starters of chips, queso and salsa? Have you added a sliced avocado lately? What about a basket of sopapillas with honey or ice cream for dessert?   You may be thinking, what is this... a test about foreign substances? I’m referring to food items or more specifically, Tex-Mex cuisine.  Homemade Salsa! Yum! Many of us who live outside of the southwest these days are on a quest for meal alternatives that are spicy. We want dishes that are garnished with jalapenos, chile peppers, and sprinkled with noticeable traces of cayenne. We desire a culinary experience that puts enough fire on our tongues that it drives us to rate the experience by charting the degree of heat on the Scoville chart for bragging purposes! Yes! We are chasing the heat!  I can remember the first time I tasted Tex