Just sayin’

R. L. Dabney said, “It is a noble thing to make the truth beautiful.” I like things well said. Wordsmithing, picture painting, a little do-si-do with a nice phrase. I hope you like these.

When someone who is not a book lover comes into my library for the first time, they often say, “Have you read all these books?” Of course I haven’t. A true book lover wouldn’t ask such a question. I think there’s a law somewhere that you’re supposed to have more books than you have read—sort of like Joseph storing up grain for seven lean years.

The Wanderlust of Series Preaching, PreachingToday.com


Pastoral work is slow going most of the time. There are moments of high drama, to be sure, but mostly we watch sheep grow.

Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls


In Philippians 3:10 Paul wrote, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.” The secret starts there. That’s where you set your GPS. When we run panicked into Jesus’ presence with our needs, haven’t you found that in some way or another he seems to say, “Let’s sit down and talk about this”? Our fingers are drumming, our eyes darting here and there, our hearts pounding. But we learn to pick up our Bibles. We sing the songs of comfort and hope. And it seems as if Jesus just sits there quietly. “Take a deep breath,” he seems to say. “Be silent and know that I am God.” He says, “I am with you always.” He says to us, as he did to the storm, “Peace! Be still.” It’s as if he says, “Let’s you and me sit here together, in this room of trouble, on this hard bench of sorrow. I’m at home here. 

Sermon, 1/9/11, “Credited To Your Account” on Phil. 4:10-19


Scripture bids us speak of the Gospel as a many-splendored thing. Show the saints the blood-stained altar as well as the feast celebrating death’s passing. Show them God’s grace as a precious pearl and a just-found coin, wine from water and water from a rock. There is grace, too, in the dry bones stirring before Ezekiel, in Jacob’s limp and Mary’s song. The gospel is in the twelve leftover bread baskets and in the King washing his servants’ feet. No pastor with a Bible has any excuse for gray-scale grace. It is, quite literally, a dis-grace.

Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls