Friday, May 13, 2016

Right Between the Eyes!

Ever have one of those moments? You know, the kind where you are hit right between the eyes with something you just can’t ignore.

One of my first memories of church took place outside with a pile of dirt. I was in 1st grade and the service had finished. A group of us met out at a dirt pile by the construction site of the pastor’s house. When you put k-3rd graders by a dirt pile after sitting through church, there is a 99.9% chance dirt will take flight. Yep, within minutes a dirt clod fight broke out.

“Buddy Smith,” not his real name to protect the guilty, was a year older and destined to be a major league baseball pitcher, picked up a dirt clod and let it me.

After I came too, I had a golf ball sized lump right between my eyes. The last thing I remembered was a meteor coming my way. Needless to say, the war ended with wails of pain coming from yours truly.

The lump finally disappeared but 50 some years later, I still remember it.

I’ve had other “right between the eyes” hit.  The last one happened just Wednesday as I took some time to read and pray.  

“Marty, who are you discipling?”  SMACK…ouch, what?

So now, I’m on a quest I can’t ignore!  This quest is to get clarity on this for myself and a whole church? 

What is a disciple

What does it mean to make disciples

Why do followers of Jesus struggle with this? 

Any ideas?  

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get some ice for my head!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I don’t know if you saw it or not but last Sunday night on the Fox television network Tyler Perry hosted a live event of the Passion of Christ.  From historic Woldenberg park in New Orleans, LA the story of the last few days of Jesus’ life was artistically portrayed by using todays biggest hits.  I sat in awe as the story unfolded with song after song I had heard on the radio.  Within the context of the story line of Jesus’ journey to the cross and finally the resurrection I was captivated.  The events took on fresh perspective as I listened to the lyrics and watched the emotion of the people in the crowd.  

Watching this production gave me a new resolve to bring the arts into the church and ministry.  The creativity, thought, and artistry brought the age old story of God’s redemption into the 21st Century with amazing clarity.  Now some would be critical and say: “That’s just entertainment!  Entertainment shouldn’t be in the church!”  I beg to differ.  The definition for entertainment is to capture attention.  From what I read in Scripture Jesus captured attention. And since we have the greatest news known to humanity, shouldn’t we seek to present it in ways that captivate attentions? Besides, where did the gifts of creativity, musicality, drama, etc come from?  Enough said.

When I think of heaven I don’t think so much about harps, robes, clouds, and everything that has been depicted.  I think of creativity that captivates, a depth of thought expressed with an artistry that leaves one speechless.  Well, maybe not speechless because we know the words HOLY, HOLY, HOLY will flow effortlessly! As you continue through this holy week.  I hope you will take some time to be captivated by the beauty of Jesus and his amazing love for you!



Monday, January 11, 2016

Lessons from Toby

Toby, our Schnoodle has been in our family for over a year now.  The other day I noticed something that made me stop and think.  

I was getting ready to go run. Since Toby first came to our house he has been my running partner.  Toby is part Schnauzer, part Poodle.  Schnauzer's love to run, Poodle's, not so much!

Lately, Toby has been exhibiting more of a Poodle attitude toward running than the Schnauzer side of him. 

It's funny to watch him as he comes to the realization I'm going running and how he tries to get out of going with me: hiding in his kennel, lying down acting as though he's sleeping, dragging his feet, and refusing to go to the door.  

Once he's outside, the Schnauzer in him kicks in and he starts tugging on the leash, ready to go.  As we run, you can tell he is enjoying it.

I can relate. Everyday there are things I have to do that on the outset I don't want to do but once I get started, something happens and I take off like Toby going for a run.  

Now, if I wanted to go spiritual in this post I could draw the comparison that I am a lot like Toby.  While I'm here on this earth I'm pulled between living by the Spirit or the flesh.  But, I'm not going too. That would be just silly, drawing a spiritual lesson from a dog!