coronavirus is hard

This Coronavirus thing is hard.  It hits us in so many ways.  Loneliness.  Fear.  Hopelessness.  Irritation.  I can’t see people.  My “net” worth feels like it has holes in it.  One friend said, “I had a 401K.  Now it is a 201K!”  I laughed when he told me.  But I wouldn’t have laughed during those two or three crazy weeks when my retirement savings was disappearing.  My kids still have jobs, but I have friends who no longer do.  Second homes don’t help when I can’t get there.  It’s just… Continue reading coronavirus is hard

I have been surprised

AMAZING wood word on compressed or corkboard with human's finger at G letter.

I’ve been surprised by lots of things lately.  I’ve been surprised that I miss people so much, but also that I’ve adapted so quickly to not seeing people.  I don’t worry about not being included or missing out, since no one can really do anything.  I’m surprised that I really can connect on the phone, and I don’t hate it as much as I thought.  I’m surprised that I was so spooked about the market crashing and my financial future;  I thought I trusted God more in that area.  I’m… Continue reading I have been surprised

what’s the point?

ancient wooden bucket with water stands in the backyard outdoor

Have you ever tried really hard to do something well, have it succeed, and then had it fall apart?  A project? An article?  I remember writing something that was probably ten pages long on my computer and accidentally erasing it.  Then I did the exact wrong thing in trying to recover it.  It was just gone. But sometimes it is even bigger.  Back in my 20s, I started a brand new Young Life ministry at Western Branch HS in Chesapeake, Virginia.  No one had heard of Young Life, kids or… Continue reading what’s the point?

does half-full work anymore?

Glass of pure water on wooden table

I am a half-full kind of guy.  I am optimistic about meeting new people or going to social gatherings.  I think the stock market will go up.  I think I am capable of more than I actually am.  Recently I read a book on Ecclesiastes titled Living Life Backwards.  I was drawn to the title because it reminded me of Stephen Covey’s principle  to ‘begin with the end in mind.’  I like to think of myself as intentional and purposeful.  It was very impactful, but when I started the book… Continue reading does half-full work anymore?

two directions

When he addressed the people of Israel on Mount Carmel, Elijah posed a potent question: “How long will you waver in two directions?  If the Lord is God follow Him; if Baal, follow him!” I don’t know about the Baal part, but I sure resonate with the two directions.  I watch TV and see terrifying scenes in New York.  I hear horror stories about the lack of necessary PPE (personal protective equipment, which I had never heard of until two weeks ago) and fearful anticipation about new “hot spots.”  But… Continue reading two directions

boring together

Words keep distance in wood letters and two birds on birdhouse on aquamarine background. Copy space for text.

This is an odd season, isn’t it?  I can’t go to the office.  I can’t meet friends for lunch or coffee.  I am home much more than I was a month ago.  I feel more isolated.  I am trying to call people on the phone more, just to check in.  But talking on the phone isn’t the same as face to face.  I am in a few small groups and we are trying to meet online through Zoom and other apps, which has been even better in some ways because… Continue reading boring together

uncertainty is in the air

Uncertainty is in the air.  Yet, the world looks normal.  The spring trees are starting to bloom.  Charlotte weather goes from hotter than expected back to chilly and back again.  The TV works.  There is plenty of food and water.  But everything has changed.  Life looks normal on the outside, but sure isn’t. In Charlotte, the coronavirus itself really hasn’t hit, but it sure has changed life.  Businesses are closed.  Friends are not going to work and some are losing jobs.  Everyone lives with a sense of financial and economic… Continue reading uncertainty is in the air

where can stress take me?

I used to think that the best way to handle stress was to ‘manage’ it well.  What can I do to avoid stressful situations, relationships, or circumstances?  How can I create a stress-free life?  I mean, they do talk about that in some advertisements! I tried all sorts of management strategies. I told myself it’s a calendar issue;  I am doing too much;  I am hanging out with the wrong people.  I could manage my way out of this, so I read books about time management and goal setting.  I… Continue reading where can stress take me?

just once i want to play my usual game

I was playing golf the week after Christmas; I hadn’t played in two months.  It was brisk, to the say the least, when we started.  But I was hopeful. I’m always hopeful on the first tee.  The slate is clean.  Everything in front of me is an opportunity.  As a friend said to me years ago about golf, “Just once I would like to shoot my usual game.”  Get it?  I find that I live on the verge of being a decent golfer.  I show flashes of accomplishment.  I look… Continue reading just once i want to play my usual game

who did he come for?

  I don’t like to be needy.   I want to be humble, but also noticed and respected.  I have been in Christian “leadership” for forty years, and I have been privileged to start and serve at the Barnabas Center.  I have taught Sunday school, led countless Bible studies and small groups, and served as an elder and pastor in the church.  And despite all of that service to the needs of others, I still hate feeling needy myself. So what does neediness have to do with Christmas? This is the… Continue reading who did he come for?