Posts Categorized: Thinking Out Loud

Dad Still Buys Me Coffee

DSN9158-2-LIt’s been almost two years since my dad passed away. The time has passed too quickly; just like the final hours we had together.

After his death we were cleaning out his house and in several drawers we found little container with change in them. Just small coin purses, medicine bottles, watch boxes, etc. that were filled with coins. All totaled it probably wasn’t much, but perhaps a dollar or two in each.

Since then there have been times when I have been leaving the house for a meeting and decide to drive through and pick up a cup of coffee. I reach for one of those containers that I’ve never separated and pull out some change, enough for a cup.

Earlier this week as I drove through I thought about the coins. I smiled as I thought that dad was buying me this cup of coffee. He’s been buying my coffee for the past two years, even in his absence. As I drove away I spent some time thinking of him; appreciating him. I smiled almost as if the aroma of coffee somehow reminded me of his after shave; his presence.

His change has changed me. It’s made me mindful to be thankful. To appreciate him as well as the Father who gave me the wonderful and perfect gift (James 1:17) of a dad who still buys me coffee. I hope I never run out of change.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

A Conversation with Satan

DSN9158-2-LIn my daily readings I was just beginning the book of Job. Along with it I was reading Luke 4. I found an interesting comparison of Satan and dealing with him in the chapters I was reading.

Pretty simple really…

Job and his buddies looked at the huge problems and circumstances and came to certain conclusions about God. Jesus faced his circumstances and told Satan the truth.

I am afraid I have been more like Job than Jesus. I can easily tell God about the size of my problems. I whine and complain; try to bargain and look for reasons.

Jesus’ example is not to complain to God about the size of the problems, but rather to tell Satan about the size of His God.

I think it’s time for a conversation with Satan.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge



0814150953aI love the zoo. I don’t go as often as I would like, but when I do I am always amazed. And it isn’t just the animals, but the creative displays in which the animals live.

In St. Louis we have a fantastic zoo. The habitats of Big Cat Country, River’s Edge, Jungle of the Apes, Sea Lion Cove and many others give a great view of the beautiful animals. But I also marvel at the ingenuity and creativity of the designers and the talent of the builders to come up with such amazing venues. And the landscaping matches the creativity of the architects’ design.

It can be tragic to race from one animal habitat to another and not recognize the inanimate objects that add to the awesome experience of the zoo.

Even a simulated hollowed out log provides near the elephants provides refuge for other wild animals that might come to visit.

Exodus 35 tells of God filling people with skill, intelligence, knowledge, and craftsmanship so that they could build the tabernacle according to God’s design and desire. God still uses people to provide insight and wonder into the one who originated all creativity.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

The Good News of Next To

DSN9158-2-LReading through the book of Nehemiah I came across one of those chapters easily skimmed through. It’s chapter 3 that has a list of names of people who are rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It lists the names and their responsibilities in the reconstruction effort.

It’s not really a fascinating chapter until you notice a few words that become repetitious; “next to them” and “after him.” Here is a list of people recognized by name, or family, or hometown, or tribe. After each identifier is named the section of the wall, or work, for which each is responsible.

The fascinating part is that each group is connected to the next group by either the phrase “next to them,” or after him.”

This is a great picture of the people of God. Each given different and specific ministries; with various gifts, talents and abilities to accomplish the tasks. But the picture is never about individuals, it is about the body. We are standing next to each other. We are side by side. We are connected. We form an unbroken chain of love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Church is where we find community; being ‘next to’ and ‘after’. The unbroken chain is not arm in arm, but rather hearts welded together in the love and unity of the Father who planned it and the Son who purchased it. I love being next to you.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge

Finding Proverbial Treasure

DSN9164-2-MOn Sunday, July 12, 2015 Shirley and I visited the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City. This museum tells a fascinating story of a steamboat on the Missouri river that sank in 1856. The story of the family and a couple friends that went treasure hunting to find the buried ship and its 200 tons of cargo is truly amazing.

When Shirley and I left the museum and headed back to St. Louis we talked about the experience and how much we enjoyed and were in wonder of the story. We also talked how fortunate we were that one of the family members that did the excavation was present and we were able to talk at length, enjoying a personal visit with him. Thank you, David Hawley, for taking the time.

As Shirley began her short cut home (short cut is what we call taking a nap and letting the miles pass while you drift away) I continued to think about the phrases that were used throughout the tour; “treasure hunters” and “hidden treasure” and “buried treasure.”

I never considered myself a treasure hunter. Like most men it sounds fascinating and who wouldn’t want to undertake an exciting adventure with the prospect of finding treasure. Certainly I’ve taken risks in my life, but nothing like what we witnessed in the museum.

I glanced over at Shirley.

I was, I am a treasure hunter. 40 years to that day I undertook a life-long treasure hunt. I married the most fascinating person I had ever met. Since that day it has been the continual revelation of the hidden treasures that lie within this wonderful woman. Every experience reveals more value. The deeper we dig the more there is to find.

You might think that after 40 years the adventure would be growing old, but it always seems to be just beginning.

Proverbs 31 says that a woman like Shirley’s value exceeds precious jewels. She is a treasure beyond assessment.

Proverbs 18 says that when a man finds a good wife he finds a good thing and also gains God’s favor.

I am a treasure hunter and I’m excited to continue finding more treasure in Shirley. The adventure continues.

Copyright 2015 LeadersBridge