Showing posts from 2011

Where’s my Daddy?

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15).
    Braving the mall at Christmas is a necessary task if you’re to find just the right gift for a certain someone.  Close parking spots are at a premium. Long lines and lingering customers await your arrival.  Have you noticed how people tend to linger in the place that you want to linger? 

A fundamental axiom of physics is that no two masses can occupy the same space at the same time!
Meaning that the certain gizmo you’re thinking about buying for your Uncle Sylvester can’t be observed, if someone won’t move out of your way! 

The Mall at Christmas time is…an obstacle course, only to be braved, by courageous souls, who are compelled by love, to endure… to purchase!
Just today (Tuesday) I ventured into the Rock Springs mall. I was on a mission, to find several things that would make my wife of 30+ year’s smile. I believe …

Are there Angels in the Denver Bronco’s Backfield?

The recent success of the Denver Broncos has become a national sensation.Come back victories last second heroics, heartstopping finishes and a humble Christ honoring quarterback, Tim Tebow.... have made these winter months, warmer for me, and for millions who are enjoying the ride!

 Last night the game against the Chicago Bears for all stated purposes was over…it wasn’t! 
A veteran Chicago running back ran out of bounds, (That kind of mistake almost never happens at this level) giving the Broncos precious time to mount a comeback.  That same running back, in overtime inexplicably fumbled, on the way for perhaps a touchdown, or for sure, incredible field position and an easy field goal for the Chicago Bear win. 

That error gave the Broncos the ball back in overtime for a chance to win which they did with a Matt Prater 51 yard field goal!
It was one of the most thrilling exciting games I have ever seen. The before mentioned quarterback, had me off the couch and on my knees watching the impr…

Bonanza, Gun smoke and a lady named Laverne!

I am blessed to live in a relatively small town of around 12,000.  We have six traffic lights; one however is so long (our minister of youth calls it the light of eternity) that it makes up for others we don’t have. We are limited in restaurant choices, and other options found in larger towns. We have one post office and this time of year it’s a busy place. 

A few days ago I was standing in a slow moving line at the post office. My phone rang out loud clear and disruptive, breaking the relative silence of people waiting to take care of their postal needs.  

Being an ardent Bonanza fan (Television Western that ran from 1959-1972) my ring tone is the musical theme (Provided for your listening pleasure at the end of this blog) from that show. Before answering my phone, I decided to poll everyone in the post office…and asked (In a loud kind of preacher voice) name that tune!

It was a good question because almost everyone in that post office at that moment I surmised, based on my sudden obser…

A book on Spiritual Warfare, a Peach Snapple and a man named Wade!

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.

    I have it! I believe I have it because I have become far too familiar with Baptist Potlucks over the last 25 years!  You may be surprised to know that 25% of those who have it are not overweight at all! I am, and I do:) 

I wear a mask attached to a Cpap machine (Continuous pulmonary air pressure) that forces air down my gullet to ward off apnea. It took awhile to get used to it, and now the thought of not having it, and not being able to breathe is, as you can imagine spooky!  This brings me to the subject of this week’s article. 

Arriving in Colorado Springs last week, for a family Thanksgiving feast, I discovered late the first night that while I had my Cpap machine I did not have the power cord! No cord no forced air, no air…

Life on the Edge!

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ( Matthew 25: 37-40). 

        Imagine for a moment you are riding a bicycle with a cushion less seat and a bald front tire.  You’re riding through Wyoming in November.  Your heading for Phoenix, Phoenix is…13 hours 46 minutes, or 804.6 miles, from Green River, Wyoming. 

That’s 13 hours 46 minutes by car, not bicycle!

I know what you’re thinking, the song “By the time I get to Phoenix”, has new meaning  now…no your thinking, where did you get this scenario from Pastor Mark?   Your wondering has the Pastor recently subscribed to
 “Foolish Bike, Outings of the West”? Or maybe,  …

Attitude and Choices!

15You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1: 15-18). ESV
Attitude someone said determines altitude! I like that, and I believe it. There is just something about people who have an optimistic outlook.  We all have choices in how we will treat the people, God puts into our lives! And ultimately we decide the kind of people we will be…the level of our service to the Lord Jesus Christ and to those who follow Him, and those who don’t.

Paul reminds us, that in our lives as Christians,  we will meet two kinds of people.

People who will turn away from you:
15You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from …

Our Refuge!

When you hear the word refuge, what immediately comes to mind? I think of a place of safety. Some isolated reinforced bunker like structure that one hopes to be near when say, an F-5 tornado is heading your way.  Refuge is a secure word; it offers a harbor when the seas are just too rough.  
Life is often rough. Goals we set, seem at first attainable, then setbacks cause us to reassess just how reachable they really are.  We get weary.  Dreams I have often said,  are goals with deadlines. What do you do when the dream and the deadline can’t be found in the same calendar, or even year?
Pray! Pray? Yes…Pray! To who? To the only one who can synchronize dreams and deadlines!  Let me explain.  
I happen to Pastor a wonderful Church in Southwest Wyoming.   HillTop Baptist Church is a growing Church.   I will tell you why…loving Churches grow, and growing Churches love!  And HillTop is growing, so much that we have been in a very lengthy building campaign.    
A brand new 450 seat auditorium has…

How do we live, how do we love?

Love, is something that is sometimes hard to express, but we know when we have been loved, when someone is genuine and their love toward us is so needed and welcomed!

   As a Christian and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I should love. It’s really not an option for one who says he belongs to the very one who demonstrated what real love should look like. 

The Apostle John who was the only Apostle not to be killed for his faith, the one who wrote 1, 2, 3, John and the book of Revelation reminds us:

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John3: 9-10).
 God has a twofold expectation of those who are believers. We are  not to be habitual sinners

We are to love others.

The longer we know and serv…

Why Denver Quarterback Tim Tebow will do well!

I am so thankful that at last Tim Tebow will get a chance to show what he can do. I fully expect that He will do very well, and here is why.
1. He already has! In the games he has played in, he energizes the crowd, he has a wonderful way of making people take notice, as in, it's not an option! He can score on the ground, or in the air, he is in a word electrifying!
2. He will continue serve up "hope" on a big platter! Just before he came in against the chargers I was about to fall asleep on the couch! Once he trotted onto the field I postponed the nap, and watched him do, what he always does, play his heart out, and serve a large portion of "Hope" to one starving stadium, filled with deprived Denver hopefuls! On the last play, I was off the couch, on my knees saying come on Tim, Come On Tim...And I am fifty!
3. He is fun to watch! I know it’s a business, and the goal is to win, yet with this young man, there is joy in knowing that in a world of inflated salaries …

Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Heaven is for Real is a book about a four year old boy named Colton who died due to a burst appendix and was brought back to life. The parents were surprised to hear of his stories of angels and Jesus. 
Over the course of the next few years Colton’s parents would glean more and more detail from his extraordinary trip. 

Since Colton had said he had met Jesus, whenever Colton’s Dad would come across a painting of Jesus he would show it to Colton and ask him if this is what Jesus really looked like. He dismissed all of them until he saw a painting called The Prince of Peace, painted by a child prodigy. That painting is the one you see above.
When he saw that painting, Colton just stopped and stared, then said “Yeah, that’s him.” He was especially drawn to Jesus’ eyes in the painting, which Colton said did a great job of expressing the love he saw when he met him.*Source Sonlight Pictures Blog
There is nothing that compares to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!  He has been the central and most …

Why does the movie Courageous work?

I saw courageous last night with my wife Laura and several friends.  After an endless stream of previews it started. I knew it would be over two hours long, and though I had heard it was an excellent movie, I had some misgivings. As a Christian and as a Pastor, I was concerned that somehow despite all the good things I had heard, the movie would come across as low budget; with poor acting…in a word I was thinking, will this be cheesy?  

Why the concern for the cheese factor?   

Because those who oppose the message of hope found in Jesus Christ, often mock and deride solid morals; they assume that believers are hopelessly lost in a time warp, and deep down want the world to resemble the 50’s instead of the times we now live in.  If then, a cinematic offering appears to lack depth, or reality or whatever critics feel a movie needs to be relevant, they attack! And to be sure many critics have attacked Courageous, on everything from its length, to the message, to the multiple sub plots. 


Just an Ordinary week?

"Offer hospitality to one another without      
(1 Peter 4:9 (NIV). 

    They arrived this past Saturday afternoon. Seven men from Arizona, drywall experts, who we had contracted to come and tape and mud our new sanctuary. 

Our Church has provided a camper and a fifth wheel on site and enough food to make them want to become Baptists!

They didn’t get started until Sunday afternoon. As of this writing they have done an incredible job, and most likely will have it finished by this Saturday! 

What a difference a few days make!

  Most of them have a difficult time with English, and I have an incredibly difficult time with Spanish. Yet a language they, we…. all understand is kindness and hospitality. 

Our Church members had brought so much food that the Arizona Seven…had to say No mas…. (No More)!

On Monday night our mens group cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for our guests. After we prayed, I told them this story that one man translated:   

“A man came across three masons wh…

The day I thought I would die from thirst!

If it wasn’t 115 degrees it was close! I wasn’t in Texas or Death valley. I wasn’t alone either, if misery loves company…I was with good company and we were all miserable!
It happened in the summer of either 74 or 75. I probably use to remember the year, but that memory has melted from my cranium!
I know where I was, I was in South Carolina. I remember who I was with…My dad, my brother Mike and our sister Michelle. My mom escaped this adventure she was at work!  Blessed woman!

I know what I wish I wasn’t doing at the time…picking peaches!
South Carolina has incredible produce, and the peaches are delicious. We went to an orchard, to pick if I remember right (And remember my melted memory condition) "just" a few bushels of peaches.
I know what you’re thinking how difficult can that be? That depends! Are you with someone who wants to get in, get it done and go home? Or are you being supervised (Think watched like a hawk) by the pickiest peach picker  in them there parts…

Gummy sharks, string cheese and a boy named Q!

But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16). He likes morning hellos and a squeeze now and then. He likes to play piano, with me (The blues) and enjoys snacks; we have that in common for sure!  He is partial to pajamas and string cheese. He is also apt to eat a shark or two (gummy) if offered. In fact if I don’t offer, He takes me by the hand and forcibly leads me to a small refrigerator in my office, and asks me along the way, “What you got”…what you got”?
He is all of two years old, and he makes HillTop Baptist Church a place of laughter and fun! He is also my friend, and when I said something to him this week, that he felt reached the level of humor (wherever that bar is set for, a toddler) he told me in a clear voice, “You’re funny Pastor”!
Just yesterday when I came to work, he was waiting…and rushed to me and squeezed my leg, a fine how do you do, from a boy named Q. 

His name i…

Where were you?

Certain events are forever etched in our minds.We most likely can recall the first special someone who took interest in us, that first kiss…stays with you! We can remember first cars, first real dates, first apartments, or houses...Etc. First things simply refuse to step away from our memories. And first memories are often a wonderful gift. However, there are also lingering memories that are unpleasant. We wish our memories were not so clear, some times. 
     Life requires good and bad experiences!     One of my favorite Preachers the late Ron Dunn once said: “Good and bad travel on parallel tracks (In our lives) and usually arrive at the same time”
  Ten years ago on a September morning, all of us old enough to remember do. We know where we were, when maniacal and misguided terrorists hijacked fully fueled airplanes and steered them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon…and if not for the courage of those on board, another plane…would have slammed into the White House!
Osama Ben Laden, by d…

Dave and Mary’s Early Morning Influence!

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32).
    We may (wrongly) believe, and conclude that our lives are not making any significant difference in the World.  Sometimes however, something happens, in such a unique unmistakable way that we know, that we have touched a life, and we smile.  Events happen all around us, and I am sure, that we are more effective than we might realize.

Heaven alone will reveal the smile, handshake, gift, hug, card, call or other expression of concern that on a day, lifted someone’s heart. 

Just yesterday (Sunday) after the first service, I was talking with a man who had never been to HillTop Baptist Church before.  He lives in Rock Springs, travels a lot and we may not see him again, yesterday we did, I did…and I talked to him after the service.  

He was having shoulder problems and he specifically,  directly requested prayer. That is not unusual, as a Pastor I often am asked (And honored) to…


Life is often predictable. The sun rises, the sun sets, the seasons come they go…unless you happen to live in Wyoming where winter is reluctant to leave, and overstays his welcome!   

We go to work, we come home from work, we check email, we check checking account balances, we eat a burrito, we check email, we look at face book, and we have a taco!

My point is that life is sometimes so continual, so normal, that we can sometimes get weary with it all!

Were you aware that America has the highest per-capita of boredom of any country in the world?  How do you know that? Because of all the amusements we have! Disney land and World, Lego land, Universal studios Hollywood and Orlando, twitter, face book, TV, video games, movies, travel, etc. 

I have found in the midst of all this business, I often find myself longing for something more…Pizza land!  

Not really, actually I often feel a tug in my heart, for a place I have never been before.  No, it’s not Hawaii, or any other earthly place.  I long…