Thursday, June 25, 2009


We are getting old(er). Pop stars that we grew up with are dying. I have watched some of the coverage...and have read some of the thoughts of my friends on Facebook. Michael Jackson's passing this afternoon has struck a nerve....

Why? Because we are getting old(er).

Many of us who grew up in the 70's remember the Jackson Five. We remember the ever- changing music landscape and how it really reflected the cultural changes of the day. And for those of us born in 1958, we remember MJ being a superstar young adult, who got really wiered after he became famous. His was a troubled life. He had the talent, the fame, and the money. And the heartache ( no pun intended .) The last 25 years were bizzare at best.

I listened to a Doctor who was asked, "Isn't 50 really young to suffer a cardiac arrest?" The Doctor said, " No, it's not, it's actually pretty common."

Hmmmmnnnnnnn.... We are getting old(er). 50 doesn't seem that old...and in many ways it's not... Honestly, I like 50. But I am seeing the things my parents have seen for years. Contemporaries of thiers have been dying for years. Now, contemporaries of mine are dying too. Guess that is called getting Old(er).

So this begs the question for all of us.... Are we ready to leave this world and get on with the next? Psalm 90:12 says, "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

We ought to figure this out. After all.......

We are getting old(er).


It's been a good vacation. Lots of sun, water, time with Pam and Abigail. It will have been 14 days when we get back. Pam and I believe that is the longest vacation we have taken...

Some observations....

ANYOMINITY is a nice thing... at least for a while... Here I am just another dude walking around with his shirt off (not a great visual I suppose). I need that from time to time.

Because of TECHNOLOGY, it is hard to completely get away. I checked my email WAY too much, was on Facebook more than I wanted to be... and along the way asked a few more questions about church than I should have. And guess what???? The church does quite well without me. (You would think I would have that figured out.) Maybe that is the biggest "learning" from a vacation for me.

I have done alot of WALKING , which has been hard because of heat and humidity. But I persevered and kept after it.

The hardest parts of vacation are the three days before and the three days after you get back. Most of us have jobs that have deadlines that accomodate vacations, but do not give into them. We work hard to get ahead before we go, and then we have to work hard to catch up when we get back. Just the way it is.

I appreciate vacation because there is an start and end. I also appreciate the fact that I get vacation, because it means that I have a job. In 2009, that is a big deal.

I have appreciated this vacation because we really had no I read alot.

- The Essential Church- Ranier
- Beyond Megachurch Myths- Thumma
- The Three big questions for a Frantic Family- Lencioni
- Pistol ( Biography of Pistol Pete Maravich)- Kriegel
- God Built- Steve Farrar
- Bible- (just parts of it)

It has been alot of reading...Most of it work related... but pretty good stuff...What did I enjoy the most? PISTOL was really good.. I am a basketball reading this book was fun and interesting.

One other observation... Life goes on, even when you are on vacation. Rock and TV stars die...and so do many others. Church members get difficult diagnosis from doctors, politicians confess thier affairs, governments under go revolutions, the stock market goes up and down, and LIFE GOES ON.

When I get back, I will jump back into writing, preaching messages, working on vision and the exciting future of First Christian Church, loving my wife, kids and granddaughter, and working harder to establish relationships with people outside of the Kingdom...And along the way, I want to build a stronger relationship with God... ALL PART OF LIFE...

It has been a very much needed break...God blessed us...



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vacation report

Technology confuses me until it blesses me. Today I got to e-chat with Abigail who was in Phnom Penh Cambodia. It was a nice surprise. She arrives back in the states Sunday Night. I think it has been an incredible experience for her.

Joel has arrived in Portland Maine. On to sports Camp tomorrow. I know that he is so excited to have something to do, after being unemployed for the last 7 months. I was grateful to God for saftey in travels ( about 3400 miles). And I don;t believe they stayed a night in a hotel. They had lots of friends strategically placed.

So, here I am in Panama City. Someone asked "why two weeks?" It takes me a week to relax... and to enjoy things. I feel that after 5 days, it is happening... no real schedule, no demands to speak of... lots of reading... time on the beach, or in the new Pier Park which is really cool.

We watche Paul Blart, Mall Cop tonight... pretty funny.

I say a vacation is a something where you can do what you want to do, when you want to do, how you want to do it. I can be pretty anonymous here in Florida, which is really nice...Sometimes, living in a smaller town, and pastoring a larger church, makes it harder to go out to stores, or restruants and not be stopped. Don't get me wrong...I like connecting to people...but there are times when I feel like being anonymous is something that is refreshing.

So it is going goood.... reall good...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two much?

I have become quite conflicted over all this communication technology. I have a cell phone, that allows me to access my office email account at almost any time I want. I have a lap top computer, which has WiFi capability, thus making me accessible to almost anything I want. I have developed the ability to Text on my phone. That is is almost always to our kids, or to Pam, and a couple friends. Then I got on Facebook. Mostly to spy on church members..but I post on there every so often. It is amazing that people I know not know want to be my friends on Facebook. Hmmmmmnnnnnn... I used to think you needed to know someone before they became your friends. Now, I am also on Twitter. Although I have not figure it out... It just seems to me to be a "sound-bite" kind of deal where you tell people what you are doing ( some are much more transparent that I ever would be), what you are thinking... and what others are telling you. You only have 142 characters to use in this, so it has to be brief.

All of this is okay...some of it is interesting... I enjoy getting a glimpse into people's lives...but the flip side...not so much. I am too much of a control freak. And gues what? On My vacation I have my computer, phone, texting, facebook, and twitter.. That's a problem.

On a happier note... I am far away from O-Town... on a white Sandy Beach for the next 12 days. What will we do? Pam and I will walk, read, lay around on the beach, check out some of the cool things in Panama City... not answer the phone unless it is one of our kids... and in general, just veg. But I also look forward to some quiet time where maybe God can work on some things in my life. So lots of bible reading, prayer, and some solitude.

The last time we were here was 3 years ago... just a couple months after the stroke. I feel alot better this time around. I still hit the wall... and when that happens, my speech slows down...I labor for words.

I am not near as verbally conversant now. Pam has had to live with someone that she could never shut up to living with someone who might only utter 10 sentences in a 15 hour drive. Lots of quiet...( I really am content to listen to music, or Pam talk). She misses the old charlie... and so do I. But it is what it is...

More from Pamana City later this week.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Tomorrow morning, Abigail gets on a plane and heads to Cambodia for two weeks.

Pretty amazing... first that she would go....Second ...that i would let her.

But I saw God's hand in this from the first time Abigail told me last fall... I saw his hand in her fund-raising... and I saw it in her eyes as she worked this spring with a group of girls at College Heights Christian Church. She has a passion to help young women.

I always thought she would be the star especially. And she was good. But she was better at Volleyball. Played in High School, and then played in College ( Made 2nd team all-region). But all along, it became clear that ministry was where she was headed. So this year, along with working two jobs, carrying 16-17 hours of school at a really good GPA, she also helped in the ministry at College Heights.

She packs more activity into less time than most. She is disciplined, loving and caring. She loves God, loves Mom and Dad, Loves her guy ( tyler), and her brother and sisters. And she will love her new team and the people they serve across the world.

Pray for her...For protection, strengthen, peace, and a hope-filled time sharing the love of Christ.

Pray for Pam and I. Abigail is a long ways away. Joel is driving from Portland Oregon to Portland Maine... And we are traveling for most of the next three weeks.

I am thankful that God can keep up with all of us, including Lydia, James, Elizabeth, Nathaniel and Gracie.

Thanks for the prayers