Monthly Archives: September 2017

September 29 – Light in the Darkness

You may have noticed the new street lights in Middletown Township. They showed up in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the township is going to save all sorts of money by shifting from sodium vapor lights to the new LED lights. Good for them. And good for us, I say.

Sodium vapor lights have been used everywhere for the past few decades, providing a dull orange nighttime glow to our streets and cityscapes. I never liked them.

The light from the new LED lamps seems more akin to the light of a full moon on a clear night than to a scene from some film about our dystopian future. I’ll take the full moon over dystopia any day.

Light is, of course, one of the powerful images used in Scripture to describe God’s presence in our world and what it means to live in fellowship with him. Continue reading

September 22 – Shall Danger or Sword?

Like many of you, Becky and I have spent the evenings of this past week watching Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War.” Five episodes and nine hours in, we have reached the halfway point of the series and the beginning of 1968 in the story it tells. The next episode will take us to the Tet Offensive. The second half of the series will add over 35,000 American deaths to the over 20,000 already seen through the end of 1967.

Over two million Vietnamese north and south of the DMZ lost their lives during the war.

At the end of 1967, I was a junior in high school. The story Burns has told through the first half of the series is largely the story that unfolded during my junior high and high school years, and I remember it well. Always fascinated by history and current events, I watched as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Chet Huntley brought reports from the war into our living room evening by evening. Our copy of Time or Newsweek was usually in the mailbox on Thursdays and I would read them first thing when I got home from school. Continue reading

September 15 – The Vocabulary of the Holy Spirit

Earlier this week LPC’s amazing mission partner in North Philadelphia, Hunting Park Christian Academy, posted videos on its Facebook page showing four students reciting their memory verses at this week’s chapel service.

You may view the videos here, here, here, and here.

Yes, they are pretty cute, and, full disclosure, Becky works at HPCA.

LPC people hear about HPCA all the time and have been generous supporters of its mission and ministry.  HPCA says of itself, “At Hunting Park Christian Academy, our goal is to raise up Christian young people who excel in all areas of their lives.  Our mission is to provide an affordable, quality, Christian education that celebrates a diverse community and leads children to know and serve the Lord.”  By all measures, they are succeeding, though they are hardly ready to rest on their well-deserved laurels. Continue reading

September 9 – Earthquake, Wind, and Fire

Becky and I spent four years early in our marriage at a church conference center near the south entrance to Yosemite National Park.  I was on full time staff and Becky worked part time. During those four years we came to know and love some wonderful people – Bob and Barbara, Bill and Mary, Dave and Cindy, and dozens more – whose names are still vivid reminders of friendship and the communion of the saints.
Calvin Crest fills 340 acres a mile high in the Sierra Nevada, and every summer the place is filled with children, youth, and families who come to sing the mighty power of God who made the mountains rise, and who has made his redeeming love known in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  The youngest kids, third, fourth, and fifth graders, still dress up as Robin Hood’s merry men and women for their week in Sherwood Forest.  Continue reading

September 2 – Fear of Flying: to the Glory of God

I’ve been to Kansas. Just a quick trip as I delivered our grandson back home after his week-long visit with us. Becky had done the fetching the prior week, and I did the return trip. No problems and just what we hoped for; Caleb had a grandparent with him as he traveled and both Becky and I were able to spend a little bit of time with Caleb’s family in their new home in Newton, a half hour north of Wichita. The flights were easy and on time; at seven years old, Caleb is great traveling companion. Kansas will treat our son and his family well as he has begun a year-long pastoral internship there.

But it is my traveling companion on the Wichita to Chicago leg of my return flight that has me thinking.

Ryan took the seat next to me as we boarded the plane and we exchanged a couple of friendly words. As the plane began to taxi, Ryan began to talk.  We talked through the two hour flight and more – until I went to find my Philadelphia flight and Ryan went to find his ride from the airport to his parents’ house in suburban Chicago. Continue reading