School of Fish


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I can’t take credit for anything in this story. These are friends of mine who are now missionaries in Uganda. This is the latest from their blog site. Please take the time to read about what they are doing and how God is using them in Africa.

Click the link below

School of Fish

Grace and peace,

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Storefront Facade

Raising The Mug


When I was a new Christian, I was consumed with “Jesus paraphernalia.” Not that they’re necessarily bad to own, but religious icons don’t add anything to your spirituality. One of my favorite symbols was a finger pointing up with the phrase, “One Way” below it. I had lots of “One Way” stuff: stickers on my school books, pencils, t-shirts, metal buttons, etc.

There were at least two problems with me proclaiming my faith by carrying all that stuff around: I was too immature and I was self-righteous. I hadn’t developed any real “fruits of the spirit;” no self-control, no gentleness, no goodness, etc. While I said I believed in Jesus, I hadn’t learned to follow him faithfully. Inside the walls of my church I could be “good.” But once I stepped across the threshold back into the world, I quickly digressed into a life of compromise.One Way

One day I showed up for band practice wearing one…

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Sometimes I think it would be nice to clone myself. I’d be able to be in more than one place at a time, accomplishing more work. I could spend time at home with my wife while not feeling guilty about running around town doing other “important” things.

Then again ………….

If there were 4 of me, there would be 4 times as many demands on my life. Multiplicity would only increase the stress level, not decrease it.

Such is not the case with God – He is 3 persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet there is no struggle for power or any inability to meet the demands that millions of people place on him each day.

We call these multiple persons of God the Trinity. Based on a survey published by Ligonier in October of 2014, Americans don’t have a very clear understanding of exactly what the Trinity is or does:

“Americans believe in the Trinity. But the details don’t reflect traditional views of orthodoxy.
About 7 in 10 (71 percent) Americans believe in the Trinity. That’s the idea that one God exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But few—even those in evangelical denominations—seem to grasp the details of how Christians have historically taught the Trinity. More than half of evangelicals (59 percent), for example, say the Holy Spirit is a force – not a personal being. Ten percent are not sure, while 31 percent agree the Spirit is a person. Overall, two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) say the Holy Spirit is a force.

More than 1 in 7 Americans (15 percent) say the Holy Spirit is less divine than God the Father and Jesus. A third (33 percent) believe God the Father is more divine than Jesus. One in 5 (19 percent) say Jesus was the first creature made by God. All of those run counter to Christian doctrine as found in historic creeds of the Church.”
The State of Theology – Ligonier Ministries

“You and I live in a three-dimensional world. All physical objects have a certain height, width, and depth. One person can look like someone else, or behave like someone else, or even sound like someone else. But a person cannot actually be the same as another person. They are distinct individuals.

God, however, lives without the limitations of a three-dimensional universe. He is spirit. And he is infinitely more complex than we are.

That is why Jesus the Son can be different from the Father. And, yet the same.

The Bible clearly speaks of: God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. But emphasizes that there is only ONE God.

If we were to use math, it would not be, 1+1+1=3. It would be 1x1x1=1. God is a triune God.”

Understandably, the Trinity is an infinitely difficult concept for finite minds to grasp. Check out the website above and also the link below for more information about this.

John 14:16-17

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

It’s important to know God and to know what the Bible teaches about him. If this is an area you have struggled with, take a few moments and read the content of these two sites.

Have a great day and don’t forget that a good hot mug of coffee gets the day started right!

All verse quotes courtesy of bible




How Bad Could It Hurt?


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Rubber Mallet

So I slammed my thumb with a rubber mallet one day. I wasn’t being particularly careful because in my mind I was thinking, “It’s a rubber hammer, not steel. If I hit my finger, how bad could it hurt?”

It hurt ………….. a lot.

Sin has a way of using the same argument to entice us into doing something we know we shouldn’t. “How bad could it hurt?”

Isaiah 59:1-2 (NIV)

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.

Most of the time when we fail, we look at the earthly consequences: I ran a red light and got a ticket; I didn’t study for my test so I received a bad grade; I was late for work three days in a row and I got fired. We pay attention to those consequences because they are right in front of us.

The full consequences of sin are not always so obvious; we may not discover until much later the depth of its destruction. One of the most difficult things to understand is how it affects our relationship with God. It’s not as though God doesn’t expect us to sin. He knows how weak we are. But when we sin, what do we do? Run and hide; pretend like nothing happened?

Unconfessed sin separates us from God. It creates a barrier between us and Him until we have been reconciled. However, Paul wrote in Romans 5 that “where sin increased, grace increased even more.” We have a very forgiving Father whose arms are always open and ready to receive us when we repent. But that’s the key isn’t it? We need to repent.

A rubber mallet may not appear dangerous, but try whacking your finger with one. Sin needs to be confessed and repented. Don’t assume it is safe to ignore.

Mugs up!




Exit Stage Left


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A very uneducated football coach once said the following:

“Football is a game of stagedy: me tryin’ to out stagedize you, and you tryin’ to out stagedize me. The winner of dis yeer competishun will be de team dat iz de best at implicating der stragedy while executing der players.”

Yeah ………..

Unfortunately, that is about equal to many people’s plan for exiting life. They have none ………… or what they do have is so poorly planned that they leave a pile of wreckage behind.

Everyone needs an exit strategy. I’m not talking about financial responsibilities here – life insurance, etc. I’m talking about life after death. We all have a one way ticket to somewhere when we leave this planet. The question is to where?

You need to know where you’re going, and it would be good for everyone else to know where you’re going as well.


Picasso I Am Not


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The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

I have been told that I am an illustrator, not an artist. An illustrator draws what he sees with his eyes; an artist draws what he sees in his mind. Well ………..  that is quite possibly true.

This is no judgment against modern art or specifically Picasso. I just don’t get it.

I’ve begun a digital art class and one of the assignments was to pick out colors in different pieces of artwork that demonstrated “color plasticity.” Huh?

Supposedly, there are certain color combinations where colors “push and pull” at each other. Huh?

Opposing colors can cause the eye to move across the canvas while others are more “static” and cause the eye to get stuck in one location. Huh?

I’ll have to take your word for it ………. I don’t get it.

I, eh hem, didn’t score very high on that test.

Exodus 31:1-6 (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:”

God is an artist and he loves beauty. He has placed in the hearts and minds of many people the ability to create works of art.

“It is important to define beauty. Art that is created to shock or horrify, or to glorify or elicit sin (violence, lust, greed) cannot be called “beautiful.” It is still “art” but not art that glorifies God. Art that glorifies God must have the same two properties as the designs created in Exodus 31. First, it must be “artistic”; that is, it must be creative, well executed (a good representation of the object) and well crafted (well made). It must have worth as an object of value. Second, it should be something of which the artist can say, “God put it in my heart to make this.”

I agree with the above statement.

What do you think?

Mugs up!

All verse quotes courtesy of

Too Dull To Hear Two Hoots


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species-Strix-varia-4As I was jogging early this morning, before the dawn of time, there were a pair of owls hooting to each other. As you know, this animal does most of its hunting at night. How in the world do they find anything in the dark? Curious, I did a little research on owls:

“An owl uses unique, sensitive ears to locate prey by listening for prey movements through ground cover such as leaves, foliage, or even snow. When a noise is heard, the owl is able to tell its direction because of the minute time difference in which the sound is perceived in the left and right ear – for example, if the sound was to the left of the owl, the left ear would hear it before the right ear. The owl then turns its head so the sound arrives at both ears simultaneously – then it knows the prey is right in front of it. Owls can detect a left/right time difference of about 0.00003 seconds (30 millionths of a second!)”

Jump back! Are you kidding me?! A 30 millionth of a second! That is some very keen hearing. Some of you may know that I suffer from acute tinnitus, ringing in the ears. Hearing does not come easy for me. So when I read about an animal that can hear with such accuracy, I can’t help but be amazed.

I can live with dull hearing; it may be inconvenient, but it doesn’t really affect my quality of life. What I cannot live with is dullness of the heart. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament warn us that we can become so dull in our “seeing and hearing” that we miss the grace of God. According to Ezekiel, it is the result of rebelling against God which hardens our hearts.

Ezekiel 12:2 (NIV)

“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.

Mark 8:17-18 (NIV)

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?

Jesus ends this section with a very pertinent question, “Don’t you remember?” That is to say, the reason you fail to see and hear is because you have failed to remember something. You have forgotten the power of God that you experienced first hand. What power was that? In this case, when Jesus fed the multitudes with just a few loaves of bread. But all through scripture we see God’s mighty hand at work proving time and again that he is the Lord of all things.

To ignore the power of God is, in a sense, a form of rebellion, refusing to hear even though we have the ability. How do we ignore God? What are some things we do that show God that we don’t value what he has to say? Do we listen when he speaks?

As you work through this day, pay careful attention to what God may be saying to you.

My mug is up, how about yours?

All verse quotes courtesy of

One Massive Soup Pot


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Some things are worth arguing about ……… others are not.

Like, for example, what color we should paint the walls or what color the carpet will be. Granted, I would just as soon not have hot pink for either. But the truth is that whether the wall is pink or blue has no bearing on my spiritual growth or my relationship with God. It doesn’t bring me any closer or drive me any further away from my Father.

In the Christian church, there are what some would call disputable matters and those that we could say are indisputable. There are some things that are non-negotiable if you claim to be a Christian. For example that Jesus is the Son of God. But there are many, many things that ultimately don’t matter.

Paul brings this discussion up in Romans 14. In this chapter, he is not addressing matters of sin; he already dealt with that in the first 13 chapters. We have been set free from the bondage of sin by the righteousness of Christ, which has been graciously imparted to us. Rather he is confronting issues over matters of opinion that could potentially lead to sin.

Let me explain. If you look around your congregation on any given Sunday morning, you will see old people, young people, and middle-aged people. If you were to take a survey on the number of years they had been Christians, you would have some say 40 years while others may say 40 days. You have individuals who grew up 10 miles away while others came from somewhere on the other side of the world. You have some who only drive pickup trucks while others insist on having a sports sedan. You have some who prefer classical music while others only listen to pop rock. You should begin to see my point.

The church is a soup pot of many people. Soup is not made up of just one element; it is a mixture of different vegetables, meat stock, and spices. Each ingredient adds to the overall flavor and enjoyment of the meal. The same applies to the church; each member, no matter how mature or experienced, adds something to the flavor. The potential problems arise when so many different people get thrown in together and begin to find fault with other believers who don’t agree with their way of thinking. Even though these issues may not start out as sin, differences in opinions that are not dealt with properly can become sin.

The purpose of Paul’s discussion is to encourage his readers, and us, that they should not judge people in the church who have a difference of opinion. If someone prefers Pepsi over Coke, so be it. Or if they prefer carrots in their soup, and you prefer potatoes, then don’t be discouraged ……… perhaps their vision will be improved.

Romans 14:4

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Strive for unity and peace. Don’t let insignificant differences of opinion cause division among you.

Mugs up!

All verse quotes courtesy of

Oh, Where Have You Been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?


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fishing bw

photo courtesy of Diane Groves

Gosh, I used to hate that rhyme……..

Well, let’s see ……..

I sold my house and had to move out in June. We had to put everything in storage. It was hot.

There was a month spent in limbo waiting until we could move into the rental house. Finally we moved in July. Had to move everything out of storage. It was hot.

A week was spent in Mexico with a mission team. That was hot.

My nephew got married in late July. Lot’s of dancing …….. and it was hot.

My son bought a house ……. had to help him move his stuff. And, yeah, it was hot.

Then the same son had his first baby …………grandchild number five. Now that was cool!

I enrolled in a 36 week graphics class ……… the jury is still out on whether it is hot or cool.

So while I make no promises to be here every day, life has begun to calm down a bit. God is gracious in all things and helps me through the busy and the slow times of life.

Philippians 4:13 (NASB)

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

It’s a good thing I don’t depend on my own strength …….. I would have crashed a long time ago.

Mugs up!!

All verse quotes courtesy of



To Know Your Father’s Voice


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So how long has the darkness lasted?

In 1993, our family began supporting our first child through World Vision, a young boy in Kenya. We continued to sponsor him until he was too old for the program. For a while we lost contact until he managed to find me on Facebook; since then we have communicated regularly through social media and messaging.

Yesterday morning as I was about to walk out the door to go to church, I received a phone call. I looked at the caller ID and realized it was my once small child from Kenya, now 25, calling me by WIFI. Oh the marvels of modern technology! I was surprised because he had never attempted to call me. I answered and we talked for a while. During the conversation, I discovered something he hadn’t told me before; he had never known his father. His father had either disappeared or died when he was very young. Because of this, in a very touching way, he considers me his father, the only father he has ever known. When I asked why specifically he had called, he told me had never heard my voice and he wanted to know the sound of his father’s voice.

John 10:27-30 (ESV)

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

There’s something comforting about a recognizable a voice. Children know the sound of their parents’ voices, parents know the sound of their children’s. Nothing soothes a child from a bad dream like the sound of his mother or father’s voice.

We long to know the voice of our Father. We long to hear him speak to us so that we can be reassured about who we are and where we are going. We long to know that we are loved and cared for, no matter what happens. We long to feel his arms around us and hear him say we are so important to him, that he would do anything, even die for us.

And he has ………….

All verse quotes courtesy of