A Little Bit of This and That

1. We’re praising God that Samuel’s nephrology appointment yesterday resulted in an “all clear” report. He presently has no discernible stones or calcium deposits in his kidneys! The only thing that remains is for him to be tested to see if he has a genetic predisposition toward kidney issues. As a closed-adoption adoptee myself, I have no knowledge of any family medical history that I can add to the conversation, so I’m hoping the genetic test is conclusive. I’m going to miss him over the next 10 days as he took his parents to the Outer Banks for vacation. He promises to FaceTime me once in a while. 🙂

2. My summer camp speaking tour was exhilarating, even if tiring. All told, I had the privilege of sharing 20 messages at 3 different camps over 19 days. These messages included:

  • Three Hearts on Calvary (Luke 23:32-34, 39-43)
  • As Secure as You Can Make It (Matthew 27:62-28:16)
  • Our Father, Who Art Incredible (Isaiah 55:6-9)
  • Bride Life & the Church (Gen 2:18-24; Eph 5:25-33; Rev 21:1-5)
  • Negaholics & Complainiacs (Philippians 2:14-18)
  • The Leading Edge of Love (1 Corinthians 13:4a)
  • David’s Prayer for Mercy (Psalm 51)
  • Abandon Ship (Luke 5:1-11)
  • Yom Kippur, Part 1 (Leviticus 16:21-23)
  • Yom Kippur, Part 2 (Leviticus 16:21-23)
  • A Life That Counts (John 12:26b; 1 Cor 15:58b; Heb 6:10)

As I noted a few days ago, all three camps went well, and I appreciated those who prayed for me, as well as for those to whom I was blessed to speak. God was at work all over the place! As a mostly left-brain kind of guy, I don’t typically emote during messages, but I lost it several times during a 2-part sermon on Yom Kippur at the one camp. All seven feasts powerfully point to Christ and what he has done for us. I may eventually turn that study into a book. I also deeply appreciate the wonderful staff and volunteers I have who kept things running while I was away. What a blessing to serve on this team!

3. I haven’t gotten to spend too much time landscaping this summer, or posting pictures of our efforts, but the yard still looks decent. My new Japanese maple is doing well. So are the geraniums and the marigolds. A little bit of (post-dissertation) shaping and pruning next year will likely make things look even nicer. The older I get, the more I enjoy this kind of cultivation. Alas, the baskets are subpar, and my cherry tree is not healthy for some reason. Win some, lose some.

4. Speaking of dissertation, I had the privilege of chairing a ThD dissertation committee for a student who successfully gave his oral defense on Thursday afternoon. His accomplishment was remarkable in that English is his third language! The title of his dissertation was: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF A LONG-LASTING EVANGELISM PRACTICE IN A MULTICULTUAL COMMUNITY. His ministry context is Toronto, Canada, and his research produced some helpful insights for the church at large. He is going to take a well-deserved break and then consider turning his academic work into a popular-level book.

5. My mother-in-law’s geriatrician informed us last week that Lorena is steadily heading toward Stage 7 of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the final stage. She still knows who we are most of the time, but other than that, she’s in a perpetual haze and doesn’t remember that she lives with us. Her cognition and motor skills are declining fast. The only thing she does well anymore is eat. Extra grace will be needed over the next couple years.

6. The winding down of summer always used to be a sad time for me when I was in school—largely because it meant the end of the outdoor pool season, which I loved. Times change, though, and I now look forward to the unfolding of each new season, especially as we start moving into fall, which is just around the corner. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are divine.

7. There are many other joys and tidbits to share, but duty calls, and the pile is high. I’m several weeks behind on sermon summaries, so I’ll be trying to catch up next week. Some of the new friends I met at camp this year have said they would like to stop by from time to time and see where we are in the Word. The more the merrier! 😊 

May God richly bless you with an enjoyable weekend!

And the real voice of Jenny Lind in the show…

Eight Months and Counting

My camp speaking schedule has prevented me from posting regularly this week—sorry! And I’m a few days late on Samuel’s 8-month birth anniversary, so I need to get cracking! Happy belated birthday, dear one! You are deeply loved! 💙 💙 💙 Here are a few shots of the SamJam, who now loves to army-crawl, giggle, drool, and “sing.” (He did not want to sit still for this photo shoot!) Oh, and he still loves to play “Samuel Sandwich.” 🙂

Both camps have gone very well, so thanks to all those who have been praying. As a left-brainer, I don’t typically emote during messages, but I lost it three times last week during a 2-part sermon on Yom Kippur. All seven feasts powerfully point to Christ and what he has done for us. 

I’m commuting daily for this third camp gig, so I get lots of time in the car to think, pray, and worship. My playlist is so uplifting! Last night I was worn out after the evening session, so I vegged out to Enya’s Dark Sky Island on the way home. I forgot how much I like this album.

Enjoy the rest of your week…and for those in this neck of the woods…I hope you can endure the sweltering heat!