Same Light, New Residence

“Here comes the sunrise,” I declared.
“Where Daddy?” Hannah asked.

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” -John 8:12

Our family recently moved from sunny Florida to beautiful Louisiana where I assumed a pastorate in a rural community north of Baton Rogue. One of the things I’ve come to enjoy about our new location is that the back of the parsonage has a deck that faces east. I’ve spent several mornings enjoying a cup of coffee out there while watching the sunrise. So I’ve become familiar with how the affects of the sunrise appear in our new surroundings.

A few days ago my daughter and I stood peering through the kitchen window while the light from the sunrise began to emerge through the trees in our backyard. As the glow from the sun began to fill the horizon and dispel the darkness between the trees she struggled to identify the same beautiful sunrise I was anticipating because she hadn’t seen a sunrise as it looks from our new residence. People encountering Jesus in the Gospels frequently missed who Jesus was because they didn’t recognize the source of his light as it dispelled the darkness around them.

John says about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

John witnessed man’s attempt to extinguish that light from the world. He was there when Jesus was nailed to the cross and his life seemed to be extinguished from the world. Then three days later the “light of all mankind” broke through the darkness of man’s sin and Jesus walked out of his tomb victorious over the darkness of this world.

As Christ followers we reflect his light within our lives and we should look for the light of Jesus breaking through the darkness of other people’s lives rejoicing as life is emerging where death once reigned. Like John we too can help people see Jesus as the light of the world as we walk with them, revealing his light and helping people to recognize that same light at work within their lives.

My daughter now recognizes what the sunrise in our backyard looks like because I took the time to help her see the affects of the sun rising in her new surroundings. Take time today to help others see where the light of Christ is breaking through in their lives by sharing the light Christ has brought into yours.



A Warning from the Past for Churches Today


A friend of mine shared this quote with me, and I think it is most poignant for churches today.


J.H. Thornwell, the great Southern Presbyterian theologian of the nineteenth century, noticed the churches in his day moving in a dangerous direction, a direction that he feared might compromise the very message of the church. In a letter written in July 1846, Thornwell warned:

Our whole system of operations gives an undue influence to money. Where money is the great want, numbers must be sought; and where an ambition for numbers prevails, doctrinal purity must be sacrificed. The root of evil is in the secular spirit of all our ecclesiastical institutions. What we want is a spiritual body; a Church whose power lies in the truth, and in the presence of the Holy Ghost. To unsecularize the church should be the unceasing aim of all who are anxious that the ways of Zion should flourish.


(This quote is from a book about  Jonathan EdwardsA God Entranced Vision of all Things.)

Plastic Baby Jesus, Real Donkeys


Over Christmas we visited a live nativity where baby Jesus was plastic (I just find that funny). Please don’t email me about why they used a plastic baby doll. I get it, really.

Anyways, we had a fun time. The sponsoring church sent us this free photo. Our picture was taken after we had walked through the petting zoo where one very greedy donkey kept kicking the other animals in the head. I guess he was upset that he hadn’t been chosen to be in the manger scene above.

Maybe next year the donkeys could be plastic and Jesus could be a real baby….Hee Haw!…Hee Haw!