Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas Blues...

I'm always kind of bummed out after Christmas. You see, for months I have been looking forward to this one special day. Actually for us it is a string of special days. I look forward to opening gifts, eating great food but most of all, spending time with family.

After Christmas everything I have been looking forward to is over. It seems a little silly to look a year ahead to the next Christmas. My birthday is in March and that will be a good time. We have vacation plans with family this summer. I've been excited about that for quite a while.

It seems like life is more fun if you have something to look forward to.

Paul wrote something about this in Romans 8:

17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

We have something to look forward to! We are heirs to the Kingdom of God! Let us live with this in mind.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Rush

Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means the line just got really long at Walmart. Actually, I only know this from TV. When crowds go shopping, I stay home. Apparently, not everyone shares my aversion to standing in the parking lot at 4 a.m. The crowds were, for yet another year, incredible as people searched for that special bargain.

Many ran into the same issue as last year - the great price on that new flat screen only lasts until 5 a.m., or whenever the two TVs in stock are sold. Two TVs; 5,000 people in the parking lot. Somebody is going home disappointed.

That’s what is great about Christmas - the real reason we celebrate. The grace that was born that first Christmas is never out of stock. No one who has placed their faith in the Savior born that day will ever be disappointed in his love. His mercy will never wear thin or go out of style. This season, celebrate the greatest Gift of all.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Staying Connected

One of the things that gets put on the back burner so often for me is the need to stay connected with other parents/families. Fortunately, we had a family outing activity planned the first of November that allowed members and guests the opportunity to fellowship and connect with each other. We had a super time and spent around 4 hours enjoying the outdoors, children, and visiting with other parents. There was lots of fun and laughter and I even had some sore muscles the next day. One of the most enjoyable (but strenuous) activities was the boys versus the girls in tug of war (and if my memory serves me, the girls won the best 4 out of 7 tries- with a little help). Sometimes staying connected takes some extra effort but it sure is worth it!

Please join us anytime and keep yourself connected!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Diet

My doctor put me on a diet. Something about my cholesterol level reaching stratospheric levels. So I have become a devout reader of ingredient labels. I am supposed to avoid high levels of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and taste. So far, I’ve been successful in my quest. My levels are down to a physician pleasing number, at least until they readjust the recommendations again.
In all, the process hasn’t been all that bad. There are only a few foods that I really miss. Actually, only one. French fries. So far, I’ve found nothing that comes close to the taste of a french fry that doesn’t have a month’s worth of fat in each bite. That hasn’t made me stop wanting them. I feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs every time I pass by a McDonald’s. Come to think of it, I’m salivating right now.
I have learned something, though. If I can become this enamored by a fried underground vegetable, how much more should I desire to glorify Christ? If my doctor stops hounding me, don’t stand between me and the nearest deep fryer. Why can’t I have that same longing for serving the Lord? I should. That’s my Thanksgiving prayer. As we give thanks this year for God’s blessing, with every pecan pie I pass, I’m going to remind myself of what the Savior gave up for me. Suddenly that piece of pie seems really insignificant.

2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Festival

I want to send out an invitation to one and all to attend our annual Fall Festival.

On Sunday, October 25 from 5-7pm, we open the doors for a fun-filled, family friendly event. Come join us for laser tag (grades 1-6 only), balloon art, football toss, ring-a-pop, cake walk and many, many more games for all ages. Did I mention the candy? Lots and lots of candy too. Don't forget to visit the Prize Table when you get your game card filled out and take a minute to check out the display tables in the gym that are highlighting our Children's Activities.

We can't wait to see you!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Fall is such an extraordinary season. I think National Avenue is one of the most extraordinary drives in Springfield, with beautiful old growth trees displayed in all their seasonal splendor. According to my vast horticultural knowledge (in other words, I looked it up), the fall leaves are actually showing their true color, which is normally hidden by the green pigmentation of chlorophyll during the spring and summer. In the fall, we get to enjoy the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, the actual color of the leaves.

I think maybe that is a glimpse of what heaven will be like. In this world, who we are is so often hidden by the sin and shame brought on by our own rebellion against God. When we stand in the presence of God, perfected by His glorious mercy and grace, we will be able to see each other as we were created to be - beautiful handwork of the Master Craftsman.

Even more exciting, we will see God in all His glory. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 13:12
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. (NIV)

In the words of the gospel hymn, “what a day that will be.” Let the beauty of this season be a reminder of the glorious hope we have in Jesus.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A VBS Legacy

My son and I had such a good time together when we attended a concert given by another local Baptist church in town. The man who writes the music for Lifeway's VBS curriculum, Jeff Slaughter, came and performed a family-friendly concert.

We laughed & sang as we relived some of the past VBS songs like the "Wiki Wiki" song from Outrigger Island ("it isn't tricky"). Jeff involved the kids by asking them to come up on stage with him and demonstrate the motions to the songs. As the kids performed with him I realized that it didn't matter what church they had attended for VBS, they all knew the songs and the motions and were performing them in unison.

I thought back during the concert with Jeff to our own church's VBS Family Night where the children perform their songs in concert for their friends and family. This year it was awesome to have all those children up on stage together singing a song titled Because. This particular song has a very compelling message that sends tears to my eyes every time I hear it! When I recall the children standing on stage and singing with their arms outstretched, it makes me very thankful that God has gifted Jeff Slaughter with the ability to sing and create music!

This is even more incredible when I learned that night from Jeff that his great-grandfather was an atheist. Jeff's mother was the first one in her family to become a Christian. God has inspired Jeff to create music that is used in VBS, which continues to be a vital evangelistic ministry that reaches children with the love of God.
God is so amazing!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Family

I answered the phone the other day and it was my cousin. I have several dozen cousins in my family, but if you’ve heard me preach about adventures with my cousin - this is the guy. It’s amazing we both survived childhood.

We now live in different states, so it was the first time I had spoken to him in several years, but it was almost like we were kids again. We caught up on each other’s families, on life in general, and a few stories from “the good ‘ol days.” It’s nice to have those folks that, even when separated by miles and years, you’re still “family.” Lasting relationships are vital in life.

That’s the idea behind small groups. This week, we are starting several new small groups throughout the week meeting in various locations around the community. They will meet in homes, in meeting rooms, in apartments; they will include men, women, and students; they will all have the same purpose - to connect with God and with people. For information, see the September newsletter, or call the church office at 833-4111. We will also continue to have our exciting small groups on Sunday; you probably know them as Sunday School classes! Find a small group this week and get connected to a “family of faith.” The relationships will be vital for you, too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I love football. I always wanted to play, but never had quite the size required to be on an organized team. Still, whenever I could get a neighborhood game together, I played. I even tried to play when I couldn’t find anyone else. I went out in the backyard and attempted to be the quarterback, fullback, wide receiver, field goal kicker, and coach. Basically, I threw the ball in the air, caught it, and ran. I made lots of touchdowns, but somehow the game just wasn’t the same. It’s much better when you have an actual team.
Paul said the same thing about the church. Every member of the team is important. Using the imagery of the body, he describes the importance of every member working together in Christ:

Ephesians 4:16
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Your part is important in the kingdom of God. Without you, the team just isn’t the same. Get off the bench and into the game!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All Access Pass

We (the youth group and I) recently went on a mission trip. We helped a family and visited veterans in St. James, we worked on a house of a family who was unchurched but because of our labor went to a local church that week in Moberly MO, we then helped clean up a church and a community center in Pittsburg Mo. The last day of the trip we went to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City where they were hosting a Christian music festival with a variety of great preaching and musical acts including Third Day.

I got to thinking about how great it would be if I were able to acquire all access passes for our youth group so we could go back stage and talk with those in the bands and the preachers. These are famous people and our students would enjoy the opportunity to meet with them and get to know them.

We all have an all access pass to go back stage in the greatest story ever. You see, your Bible allows you a great deal of access into the thoughts and motives of God. Want to get to know the Creator of the Universe? Want to gain wisdom? Want to become the person God created you to be? It all starts with reading your Bible.

How do you study your Bible?
When do you study your Bible?
Any insights that may help others dig into the Word?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids On a Mission

We are having a great time with our Kids On a Mission group this summer. We have been meeting every other Sunday evening from 6-7pm with the 1st-5th graders and have been doing various mission activities.

Most recently, we weeded a garden for an elderly lady. All the kids jumped right in and pulled weeds, raked, and then bagged the weeds. The kids really surprised me at how hard they worked. We only had about 40 minutes to work on our task but they attacked those weeds with a vengeance and we were pleased with the finished product.

Normally I despise pulling weeds as my own flower beds are testimony to, but the time flew by and the task which I often avoided was completed. It was actually quite enjoyable and we found ourselves visiting, joking and encouraging each other during the process. When our time was up, we all were dirty, bug bit and sweaty but each of us had a smile on our faces.

I'm so glad for those of you that have been joining us and for those of you that haven't yet, there is plenty more activities to come!

Monday, August 10, 2009

School Days

I remember Mrs. Edler. She was my first grade teacher, for my first experience in public school. I was a kindergarten dropout - but that’s a completely different story. I remember the fear and anxiety of that first day of school. Actually, as I recall, my mother literally dragged me screaming down the sidewalk to the classroom. The screaming worked for kindergarten, but apparently wasn’t going to work in the first grade. My mother was going to make sure I attended school even if she had to attend it with me.

My anxiety was totally unfounded. Mrs. Edler opened my eyes to a whole new world of words and arithmetic. Who knew Jane and Dick could run so gracefully across the page, or that one plus one always equals two - every time. That first grade experience opened the doors of learning and opportunity - and we had recess!

Join me in praying for our teachers and administrators in school systems across America. They deserve our thanks and need our prayer support in this important endeavor. Remember, that screaming kid in the third row may be your pastor twenty years from now.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Party NHBC

It sure was fun celebrating our church's birthday with you yesterday. I loved hearing about our history and the legacy of faith that has been a common thread in the life of our church. I was tickled pink to hear church members reminisce about the influence of members and leaders from our church's past and look forward together to a bright and fruitful future. To top it off, it was great to share a meal with the people I have learned to love so much at NHBC (what a spread!).

I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the years to come. I trust that we will continue to look for ways to love God, love people and grow together. I look forward to celebrating the next birthday with you (and digging in to another feast!).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Help Wanted

Okay-I have a confession...I don't really like using the computer. My daughter calls me a computer "nay-sayer". I realize that this kind of admission can open me up to all kinds of criticism , but using the computer is just not my thing.

Because of my aversion to the computer, I am not one to want to search out information for myself , so I am asking for your help. The Preschool & Children's Department at our church has been issuing a Parent's Newsletter for a couple of years and we recently changed our format on our E-Newsletter. I would like to know if you have discovered any websites that would provide great information & resources for parents that I can share in our church newsletter? Topics could be anything, so make it happen!

And "thanks" from one computer "nay-sayer"!

Monday, June 29, 2009


My dog doesn’t like fireworks, making the Fourth of July a bit of a problem. Actually, it’s not the fireworks that are the problem, it’s the noise that fireworks make. Thunder does the same thing. She is normally a fairly sedentary dog, spending the majority of her day asleep, or laying on the porch watching the world go by. The noise of a firecracker (or thunder, or a car backfiring) unleashes her inner Hulk. She runs around the yard barking, jumping on the fence, and generally doing her impersonation of Old Yeller at the end of the movie. I have to assure our neighbors that Billy doesn’t need to get his rifle; my dog has all her shots; it’s not rabies, she just has a noise phobia.

I’m afraid she will never quite understand the celebration of the Fourth of July. That’s because I, unfortunately, do not speak "dog." If I could, I could explain to her that the neighbors are only celebrating our nation’s independence, and it will all be over by midnight.

I have a feeling some folks are like that when it comes to Christ. They don’t understand what all the celebration is about, in fact, they don’t see the celebration at all. The good news is, we do speak "people." I pray daily to find more effective ways to let the world know why we celebrate, and what we celebrate in Christ. This week, celebrate Jesus, and tell someone why you did!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Is there anybody out there?

I have a feeling, the answer is yes. If you're like me, when it comes to blogs, you're a lurker. You're happy to read the latest update but you don't want to be the first to leave a comment.

I get it.

For some of you, this whole blog thing may be very new. Others of you may veterans of the blogosphere, but you're just not sure anyone else is really plugged in to this particular site. You're afraid you'll leave a comment and then...nothing...nada...crickets...

I know. I know.

But, this is a great place to expand the community of National Heights Baptist Church. And it was never intended to be a one-way conversation. We want to hear from you.

But, someone has got to go first.

That's why, I'm wiling to offer you a bribe. I'm giving away three of the books from my summer reading list and three $5 gift cards for Big Momma's Coffeehouse to the first three folks willing to comment on this post. My theory is that once a few people dip their toe in the blog water and leave a comment, others will be emboldened to take the plunge.

Here's what you can win.

The first person to comment gets a copy of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It's a great little book about God's crazy love for us. I'm about halfway through it and am really digging it. I am sure you'll love it too. You'll also get a $5 gift card for Big Mommas.

The second person to leave a comment gets a copy of "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. I've been meaning to read this one for months. I hear it's a real kick ya in the pants, get you off the couch, motivate you to do something with your life kind of read. Just what I need in these lazy summer days. You can read it at Big Mommas while sipping on free coffee!

And just for fun, the third person to comment gets a copy of my book: "Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves." I bet I can even get the author to sign it. I may even join you at Big Mommas for a free cup of joe (my favorite is the sweet momma sip).

So, leave us a comment and reap the rewards. You can tell us what's on your summer reading list, let others know about a ministry opportunity at NHBC, or just say hello to your church staff or fellow church members (they're lurking here too!). Others are waiting to follow your lead.

Ready. Set. Go!

Monday, June 8, 2009

G'day Mate!

On an ordinary day, NHBC is located at 3050 N. National in Springfield. Just an hour ago, I left my office and stepped into the Australian Outback. I walked into the Worship Station, a train depot complete with locomotive and giant kangaroo, and watched as the first day of Vacation Bible School began. We climbed aboard the Boomerang Express and learned how Jesus is Lord over All Things. VBS provides one of the most exciting weeks in the year. In the midst of exciting decorations, fun music and recreation, and great snacks, wonderful teachers and workers present the timeless story of Jesus. Join me in praying this week for every child, teacher, worker and family who is a part of our Vacation Bible School as we learn how It All Comes Back to Jesus!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pay It Forward

As I was getting ready for work, I noticed the rubber "Pay It Forward" bracelet that was sitting in my ring holder. It's been there since my son gave it to me several weeks ago. He rushed in one evening when he heard me putting up the dishes from the dishwasher and helped me put them away. He took off the bracelet from his wrist and gave it to me and told me that I needed to do one kind act that I wouldn't normally do or get a reward for, and then I would need to pass on the bracelet to the person that I did the kind act for and encourage them to do the same. He said that he had been challenged at school to participate and now it was up to me.

While I think it's good that my son's school is promoting doing kind acts, the message really isn't a new one. Jesus shared a message of caring for others and today we are still called to give of ourselves. So why has it been so difficult for me to complete my turn...I would like for it to be a natural response rather than something I plan. Matthew 25:34-40 reminds me to show kindness-"pay it forward" so to speak, but not just because someone has done a kind act for me or because of what a bracelet says. I'm called to kindness & love because I love my Lord and my God.

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

This situation has challenged me to pray that this become a natural response in my life and that I'm willing to show kindness to everyone (even when it might inconvenience me).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts on seeds...

As I work in the garden I've been thinking about seeds. The cool thing about seeds is that just one little seed can be responsible for a plant and eventually a whole bunch of seeds and fruit. Planting one seed will produce untold amounts of good food for many people. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like this, one seed produces a lot of fruit. He also said that the Kingdom of Heaven was like seed that was sown on different types of soil. My prayer is that you are a seed that landed on fertile soil and that you are producing a lot of fruit for the Lord.


This week, thousands of students across the country will shake the hands of thousands of school administrators across the nation, receiving the "ol’ sheepskin." Moms and Dads will shed a tear, graduates will throw strange cardboard caps in the air, and everyone will cheer. Graduation marks a milestone in life. A thousand commencement speakers in a thousand auditoriums will remind these former students "this is not the end, it’s the beginning." How true.

I’m glad that when we follow Christ, we never graduate from serving the Lord. We make transitions to different areas of service. We find new opportunities and avenues of ministry. We see new and exciting victories. The scripture describes it this way:

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

Even when we are called home to heaven, we don’t stop serving the Lord. We begin an eternity in His presence. Think of the possibilities! I’ll bet that’s really a great graduation celebration!

So to all those finishing your education, earning a degree, or simply waking up this morning - this is not the end, it’s the beginning. Make it a good one!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy to have dirty fingernails

I have a confession.

There's dirt under my fingernails.

And under my toenails. And in my ears....

Yes, I've had a shower today. But I can't seem to scrub enough to get rid of all of the dirt. That's because I spent most of the day hoeing, and raking, and planting at the church garden. It was hard work. It was also one of the best Saturdays I've had in a long time.

There is something invigorating about digging in the soil. There is something wonderful and exciting about planting tiny seeds knowing that they will soon be big, green plants laden with yummy crops (fingers crossed). And there is something sweet about working alongside members of our church family.

In fact, that's my favorite part of the church garden. I love getting to know folks that I don't normally run into in service or Sunday school. We talk about vegetables. We talk about the weather. We talk about ministry. And we look forward to a shared harvest. It's what community gardens are all about.

If you're looking for a way to get plugged in at NHBC, we'd love to have you work alongside us. You'll get all the fresh veggies you can pick and we'll get the pleasure of getting to know you better. That is, if you don't mind a little dirt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Time of Year

I absolutely love this time of year!

Probably not for the reasons that you're thinking about-like the beauty of Springtime; warmer weather; baseball games; cook-out's; bike rides, etc.


The time has finally arrived to prepare for my most favorite ministry of the year! Our VBS Kick-off volunteer meeting was April 19 (yesterday) and we are looking forward to the week long event that is scheduled for June 8-12 from 9am-12pm.

Please make plans for your children (ages 4 years old-6th grade) to join us for this awesome week! We have a blast: games; Bible-learning centers; high-energy Worship Rally; craft work; music class and a time to be with friends while learning Bible truths!

The National Heights web page has all the information and a way for you to register your children on-line for our VBS.

Don't miss the VBS train ride-Boomerang Express where It All Comes Back to Jesus!!
God loved us and sent His only Son, Jesus. 1John 4:9.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Church-Wide Community Garden

The church-wide community garden is coming along. After weeks of preparing the soil and picking up oodles of rocks, we have planted a couple of rows of onions and four rows of cabbage. I wanted to plant carrots and radishes last week but the weather didn't cooperate. Perhaps this week will go better.

We have had two tillers donated. One still needs a little work but the other should be running with no problem as soon as I am able to pick it up.

We have scheduled another work day and I hope we have good weather for it. It will be on April 26th from 10 am to 12 noon. We will meet up by the garden behind the bus barn and talk a little and work a little. Perhaps we will be able to get everything in the ground that needs to be planted right now.

If you haven't been a part of the community garden and would like to, we would love to have you. Come by the meeting or talk with me to get more information.

This is a great opportunity to do ministry by working to take care of each other and meet the needs of those around us.

If it is raining on the 26th we will still meet but in the youth room.

See you there.

Permanent Holiday

I always look forward to holidays. I suppose it goes back to my days in elementary school when we saw those golden words on the board - school holiday next week. I, along with every other student (and, I suspect, most of the teachers and administration), looked forward to time away from the work of school. The end of the holiday, however, brought a sense of resignation - back to the old grind. I always wished we could find a way to have a permanent holiday.

Easter makes for an exciting holiday. Families gather, attending worship services around the world, celebrating the Resurrection. Churches overflow with young and old hearing the exiting news "He Is Risen." (Mark 16:6). Every year, I think to myself, "Why can’t we have Easter every week?"

Then I remember - we do! Every Sunday when believers gather to worship, it is a celebration of the Risen Savior. That is the nature of the eternal life Jesus provides - it never ends! Join me in making every day a holiday. Celebrate the fact that "He Is Risen, Indeed!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday has always been something of a mystery to me. The day commemorates what is often called the "Triumphal Entry" where Jesus entered Jerusalem to the welcoming accolades of the crowd - the same crowd that, just a few days later, would be calling for his crucifixion. What happened? What caused this extraordinary reversal in their opinion of Jesus?

I only wonder long enough to look at my own life and realize I’ve done exactly the same thing every time I know what Jesus wants me to do and then I do the exact opposite. When I take time to think about it, I am reminded of the truth of Romans 3:23 - All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I sure have and I sure do.

That is the extraordinary message of the Passion Week of Christ. Jesus came into Jerusalem that day in full knowledge that the crowd laying palm branches at his feet would soon be hammering nails in his hand. He came knowing that I would call him Lord and still repeatedly fail him. He came anyway. He came to die for them, and for me, and for you, to meet an unpayable debt for all of us (Romans 6:23).

Then he rose again! That is why we worship him. Join us at NHBC for unforgettable celebrations of Jesus’ Resurrection Sunday evening, April 5, at 6:00 p.m. for the musical presentation of Look to the Lamb and Sunday morning, April 12, in all our morning worship services for special Easter celebrations.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will You Take Our 30 Day Challenge?

Have you read your Bible today?

I am sorry to jump out at you with such a personal question. I guess I could have started with something lighter like the weather or your plans for the weekend, but I only have a moment of your attention, and honestly, I can't think if anything more important to discuss than the amount of time you are spending reading God's Word.

The Bible is so much more than just a good book.

Hebrews 4:12 says, " For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any doubled-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

This is no ordinary book! It a living book. It is the very word of our great God. What's more, it is our lifeline to Him.

Even so, I have to be honest and tell you that I don't read the Bible as faithfully as I'd like to. In fact, there are days, and weeks when I don't open my Bible at all.

But, I'm working on that.

In fact, I've recently made the commitment to read my Bible every day for at least 30 days. And I'm not the only one. Many of the students and adults involved in the Volume student youth group are smack dab in the middle of a commitment to read our Bible's every day for 30 days. Together we are learning to love and serve God better simply by reading His Word faithfully. You can read the testimonies of many of the challenge participants on our youth group blog

I want you to join us. I want you to know God better simply by reading His Word more often. I want you to connect to this living and active book in ways you never have before.Will you? Will you take our 30 day challenge? Will you commit to read your Bible, even if it's just a passage or two, every day for the next 30 days?

I hope so.

I can't wait to hear how God uses your commitment to draw you closer to Him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One of my favorite places to visit growing up was my grandma’s house. We happened to live right next door and so I was a frequent visitor. I never doubted at any time that I would not be welcome in that home. It didn’t matter what she was doing when I came to visit, she would stop and spend time with me. We had many a lengthy visit on her back porch as we both sat in the swing and sipped on a drink. On more than one occasion I would pour out my woes and confessions to her. She always made me feel important and safe and would never condemn me. It was a blessing and comfort during my growing up years to know that not only did my home provide a safe place to land, but so did my grandparent’s house. Even though she passed away in Sept. 2007 and the visits with her have ceased, it’s so vivid in my memories that I can still smell the aroma from her kitchen and hear her voice inviting me in when I knock on her back door. I’m very thankful for the time she spent with me and have been fortunate to see my own parents spend time with my children and pass on the special bond that only a grandparent can give to a grandchild. As an adult while attending a parenting class at church I heard the speaker say that “parents are the law-givers in a child’s life and grandparents are the grace-givers.” This kind of grace is a rare & precious thing among people and yet we have always had it offered to us by a loving God. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.”

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where's My Hour?

Daylight-saving time started Sunday. Ugh! I’ve heard that Benjamin Franklin had a hand in establishing that event. He must have gotten a little more jolt from that kite-key-lightning experience than was realized. Why else would any sane person pass a law to lose an hour of sleep? The truth is, we don’t lose an hour. The earth rotated in the same twenty-four hours Sunday that it did every day last week. Actually, according to the helpful people at, the earth completes one rotation every 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.091 seconds, which means every year we lose roughly a day, rotation-wise. If that’s right, I’m short 1152 hours (quick - grab the calculator to find out how old this geezer is).

The truth is, measuring how much time we have is not nearly as important as how we use the time we have. That’s why the scripture encourages us: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV). I don’t know how many days God will give me, but I do know I will only have this day once. I better make it count. The best way I can spend my time is to give glory to the One who created the days (and evenings, and mornings). So let’s get to it, or, as John Wayne told the Cowboys, "we’re burnin’ daylight."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Started...

Getting Started...
The hardest step of any journey is the first one. This new National Heights blog is no different. The most important part of a first step is the direction it is pointed in. So my first National Heights blog will start with this question. Where do you want to go? Help get us pointed in the right direction. What would you like to talk about here? Post some topics, opinions, questions or whatever.

I look forward to hearing where you would like this blog to go.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Welcome to the NHBC Blog!

Thanks for stopping by our new blog. We will have regular postings, along with semi-periodic musings and information from some of our staff and members. We're excited about communicating the Good News of Christ with you and with our world. Stop by and see what God is doing at NHBC. Don't forget to visit us at our web site: