Things Kids Say


The other day I was at a school that messed with my esteem. Let me explain. First, there was a student who said to me,

“You don’t look like a science teacher. You look more like an art teacher.”

I said, “Really? How’s that?”

He replied, “You have a colorful way about you.”

Floating for most of the day with that beautiful comment, my bubble was popped by another student who was walking down the hall and yelled out to me–

“What’s up ma’douche!”

My feet quickly came down to earth.

Honestly, though, I smiled inside at both of them.

Fear Defined


On most occasions when I read Tweets I role my eyes at the fortune cookie philosophical and spiritual advice that people give (including me!). However recently I read a simple definition of FEAR written by @GarrherSampson that had me thinking for a while.

Fear is vision without optimism. When all you see is everything that can go wrong all you act on is what can destroy you.

What intrigued me is that fear is actually foreseeing a bleak future instead of a positive one. Fear, like @GarrhetSampson says is VISION.

The reason I was so enthralled with this concept is that there are times I let fear be my motivating factor for doing something, sometimes without even realizing it.

  • I am fearful that a person might not like a decision I also make as a pastor, so I push it off
  • I am fearful that I will be obsolete in my role as husband and father so I dig an emotional foxhole and hide out in it.
  • I am fearful that I would lead a church in the wrong direction so I don’t lead them at all.

These are just a fear of the ways that I set a vision of fear around me.

For so long I was taught that vision was this great a mighty thing that leaders used to propel people toward an amazing future, however, I see that fear can also be used for the same thing. Isn’t that how we are being led this political season? Aren’t we being forced by both candidates to think fearfully about our futures and trust them to overcome the fears that they have created in our minds?

I will be examining my fears–looking deep into what gives me pause, what changes my direction, and what gets me running away. Once I know them, I can face them with true leadership, truth and confidence in an optimistic future.

Separating Calvinists and Arminians in One Sentence


Ever wonder what separates Calvist and Arminians in a succinct statement?

Jerry Walls, in his book, writes “The deepest issue that divides Arminians and Calvinists is not the sovereignty of God, predestination, or the authority of the Bible. The deepest difference pertains to how we understand the character of God. Is God good in the sense that he deeply and sincerely loves all persons?”
– via Roger E. Olson

Dongell, Joseph. Why I’m Not a Calvinist
Olson, Roger. Against Calvinism

Piddlin’ Poem


One of the reasons I love poetry has got to be because of my grandpa, Charles Horn. He loved reading and reciting poems. He memorized quite a few throughout his life.  I enjoyed listening him recite in cadence and rhythm. He would get lost in them, it seems.

As a treat for you, I am sharing one of my grandpa’s favorite poems. I remember him reading this and stopping to laugh and dry his eyes from the humor he found in it. This remarkable little rhyme was published in a small volume entitled Bawdy Ballads and Lusty Lyrics: A Curious Collection of Somewhat Salty Classics Seldom Sung in Sunday Schools, edited by John Henry Johnson, published by Maxwell Droke, Indianapolis, 1935.

The Romance of Rex
[A Tale of a Pedigreed Piddlin’ Pup in Ten Piddles and a Puddle]
Piddle No. 1
A farmer’s dog came into town,
His Christian name was Rex,
A noble pedigree had he
Unusual was his text.
And as he trotted down the street
T’was beautiful to see
His work on every corner —
His work on every tree.
Piddle No. 2
He watered every gateway too,
And never missed a post
For piddling was his specialty
And piddling was his boast.
The City Curs looked on amazed
With deep and jealous rage
To see a simple country dog
The piddler of the age.
Piddle No. 3
Then all the dogs from everywhere
Were summoned with a yell,
To sniff the country stranger o’er
And judge him by the smell.
Some thought that he a king might be
Beneath his tail a rose,
So every dog drew near to him
And sniffed it up his nose.
Piddle No. 4
They smelled him over one by one
They smelled him two by two
And noble Rex, in high disdain,
Stood still till they were thru.
Then just to show the whole shebang
He didn’t give a dam
He trotted in a grocery store
And piddled on a ham.
Piddle No. 5
He piddled in a mackerel keg —
He piddled on the floor,
And when the grocer kicked him out
He piddled through the door.
Behind him all the city dogs
Lined up with instinct true
To start a piddling carnival
And see the stranger through.
Piddle No. 6
They showed him every piddling post
The had in all the town,
And started in with many a wink
To pee the stranger down.
They sent for champion piddlers
Who were always on the go,
Who sometimes did a piddling stunt
Or gave a piddle show.
Piddle No. 7
They sprung these on him suddenly
When midway in the town;
Rex only smiled and polished off
The ablest, white or brown.
For Rex was with them every trick
With vigor and with vim
A thousand piddles more or less
Were all the same to him.
Piddle No. 8
So he was wetting merrily
With hind leg kicking high,
When most were hoisting legs in bluff
And piddling mighty dry,
On and on, Rex sought new grounds
By piles and scraps and rust;
Till every city dog went dry
And piddled only dust.
Piddle No. 9
But on and on went noble Rex
As wet as any rill,
And all the champion city pups
Were pee’d to a standstill.
The Rex did free-hand piddling
With fancy flirts and flits
Like “double dip” and gimlet twist”
And all those latest hits.
Piddle No. 10
And all the time this country dog
Did never wink or grin,
But piddled blithely out of town
As he had piddled in.
The Puddle
The city dogs conventions held
To ask “What did defeat us?”
But no one ever put them wise
That Rex had diabetes.

A Church of Grace


“I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness…”

“…By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth…”

– Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, March 19, 2016

The Myth


I recently came across a quote from a professor of mine from Bethel University.  I think this greatly speaks to the manner in which believers are to be giving themselves over to the kingdom of Christ, more so than the kingdom of man.

The holiness of the kingdom of God must be preserved.  If Jesus refused to acknowledge and fight for Israel as God’s favored nation–even though it was the one nation in history that actually held this status at one time–how much more must his followers refuse to acknowledge and fight for America as God’s favored nation?  To say it another way, if Jesus was committed solely to establishing a kingdom that had no intrinsic nationalistic or ethnic allegiances–not even with Israel–how much more should his followers be committed to expanding this unique, nonnationalistic kingdom?

– Greg Boyd, “The Myth of a Christian Nation” (2005, pg 153)