Joy in the Valley of the Shadow

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I prepared this sermon on Philippians 4:4-7 on Thursday, and I put the finishing touches on it early Friday morning. I then went out to work in my yard, only to return to my computer and see the news of the Connecticut elementary school shooting. I had been planning on addressing the problem of blue Christmases and the loneliness that modern man can feel, then offering up a happy message. The sermon was to be joyful and positive throughout, a nice message for the Holiday season. Now I look like a fool. Continue reading

Fatherhood and Prayer

Everyone used to say, “Your life is going to change when you have a kid.”  To be honest, I slightly resented this at the time.  It wasn’t that I didn’t believe it, it’s just that I felt that folks without children were marginalized in the conservative Evangelical world.  Basically, I took the statement to mean, “You’re going to become so much better of a person when you have a kid.”  I would be complete.  Well-rounded.  Mature.

And while I do think there’s something to complain about there, especially in the Evangelical ministry (let’s face it, single pastors are simply not trusted), it is also truer than I realized that having a child does change you, and it does so all the way down.

But it didn’t do this in the way that some portray it.

Continue reading