Skip to main content


Kim and I love London, England. It is my favorite city in the world, and we sit around dreaming up excuses for spending a large wad of money on another trip. The last time we were there was in March of 2003 for our tenth anniversary. We stayed in a hotel in Picadilly Circus, right across from a London Underground station, which made the city readily available to us. We wanted to see some shows in the West End while we were there, so we bought tickets to see the Lion King. The show opens with the "Circle of Life" number, as the animal kingdom gathers to celebrat the birth of the Lion King. It is staged so spectactularly, and the song is so inspiring, that I wept like a little girl.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..." and you know the rest. I don't know about a circle of life, but there is a cycle, a God-ordained order of things. This cycle illustrates the Easter story and gives us hope for the future - there is spring, summer, autumn, then winter as nature is born, matures, and dies, only to be reborn every spring. We Christians can look forward to the same thing - we are born, we mature, we will die, only to be reborn, so to speak, in eternity when our Lord comes and makes all things new. There is continuity. I am sure of it.

Yesterday I visited Bill Smith, who is approaching the end of his heroic battle with cancer. Phyllis was there along with some of Bill's grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bill was in his bed and there sleeping next to him was his great-granddaughter, a newborn. The contrast was striking but beautiful - Bill was so large, his pale skin bearing the marks of his years and struggles, and she was so small, her pink skin was flawless. She slept soundlessly as Bill held her. It seems that Bill's family lineage is intact, but more than that, Bill could see in the child a glimpse of His own future. That newness, that beauty, that innocense, that flawlessness awaits him in the presence of the Lord. There is continuity. I am sure of it.


Popular posts from this blog

Anxiety and Depression in the Ministry

Another pastor has committed suicide as a result of the struggle with anxiety and depression. This tragedy occurred shortly after I saw a blog post by Thom Rainer from earlier this year describing five reasons many pastors struggle with depression. It is right that attention be given to this subject. Most ministers I know battle anxiety and depression at least to some extent, and I think this is a widespread reality among the population in general.

Full disclosure: I too battle anxiety and depression. Fortunately, mine has never been severe enough to require medication or on-going therapy. My anxiety, or sense of a threat either real or imagined, comes and goes usually without rhyme or reason. I will worry, have occasional panic attacks, get depressed, and then feel better after a time. I am deeply respectful of the fact that others suffer more than I do. My symptoms are painful but usually mild and not incapacitating. That is not the case for others. I also want to say that I am in n…

Anxiety and Truth in the 2018 Hurricane Season

Last night I had my first panic attack related to the onset of hurricane season. I have not had a panic attack like this since before Hurricane Harvey. Yesterday I spent a lot of time listening to more recovery stories from people in our community and helping as many as I could with their financial situations. Last night I went to a support group for those wanting to talk about their fears and anxieties related to the storm. We spoke about hurricane preparedness and what the community was doing to make ready for hurricane season. The consensus between me and those who work for the county was that regardless of what happens this hurricane season, we will be ready to begin the recovery effort over again if necessary. I even said my go-to line, "Everything will be ok." I do believe that, by the way. Everything will be ok.

But then it happened, a little after 1:30 a.m. I woke up and my mind started racing. My house isn't completely ready for another storm just yet. If we had…

Remembering the Church that Shaped Me: Recollections of First Baptist Church, Cleburne, TX

“My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold” By William Wordsworth
My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So it was when my life began; So it is now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is father of the Man; I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:11-13
What difference does one church make? First Baptist Church of Cleburne is celebrating 150 years. It is natural on such an occasion to reflect on what difference the congregation has made in the community after so much time. It would be hard to say how Cleburne or Johnson County would be …