“Gifted & Grateful” – Part 1

I believe I first took a spiritual gift inventory nearly thirty years ago.  I discovered then, and have had it reconfirmed since, that my primary spiritual gifts are administration, leadership and teaching.  What are yours? Do you know?

Psalm 24:1a says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it”.   I take this to mean all that we have in this life is a “gift” from God.  This includes not only our material possessions, but also the abilities we have been given.  The Apostle Paul writes about these abilities in the New Testament, calling them gifts from the Holy Spirit (See Romans 12:3-8, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:11-16 and I Peter 4:10-11).  These spiritual gifts, found in each follower of Jesus, are given for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ (the church), so that through the church we can be engaged in God’s mission. Continue reading

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For All the Saints

All Saints Day (November 1st) is a celebration of all Christian saints, particularly those who have no special feast days of their own, in many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches.  Here at First Baptist – Columbus we celebrate All Saints Sunday on the Sunday closest to All Saints Day (November 4th this year).

Our celebration is a remembrance of those who have died over the prior twelve months – both church and family members – to join that great cloud of witnesses described in Hebrews 12:1.

The Apostle Paul used the word “saint” to refer to anyone who is in Christ.  This usage removes the expectation of one having done miraculous acts in order to be canonized as a saint, as is the case in some religious traditions.  In Paul’s understanding, we are all saints when we come to follow Jesus.

On All Saints Sunday we have the opportunity to give thanks for those saints in Christ who have gone before us.  It’s a reminder that death is not the end of life, but the continuation of life eternal because of the redemption we know through Christ.

For All The Saints (Hymn Lyrics)
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed;
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

You are invited to join us for worship, in person, or via Live Stream, this Sunday at First Baptist Church, 3300 Fairlawn Drive, Columbus, IN  at 9:30 a.m. (EST).

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A Century Ride and Other Goals

Five years ago I was given a bicycle by my family for Father’s Day.  I began to explore our city’s public trail system and found that I enjoyed this form of exercise.  Five years, two bike upgrades and a lot of miles later, my mental health is better and I’m in much better physical shape.  I gradually began to push myself to take longer rides, leave the People Trail for county roads, and learn more about road cycling.  In time the challenge of attempting a century ride began to creep into my thinking.

A century ride is a cycling ride of 100 miles or more completed within 12 hours, and is considered something of a rite of passage in the world of recreational cycling.  Think marathon for a runner.  While not at all impossible, attempting such a feat does require some preparation and training – which, in turn, takes time. So, blessed with a Sabbatical this summer, and the time to train, I set a bucket list goal of completing my first (and quite possibly only) century ride. Continue reading

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Winding Down . . . Ramping Up

It has been my great privilege to be on a Sabbatical leave for three months during the summer of 2018.  I want to thank the First Baptist Church of Columbus, and the Lilly endowed Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations for making this time possible.

The theme of my time away has been “Framing a New Picture for Ministry” with one area of focus being photography.  So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures from the travels and discoveries of the summer.  If you click on the picture you will often find a caption.

The first collage are photos taken in Scotland. 

Photos from Ireland

London Days

Canadian Rockies & Family Time

On My Own

It’s been a great summer with a couple of adventures yet to go.  Thanks for taking some time to look at my photography.

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Making Memories while Making Friends

Today while riding the park shuttle at Glacier my family and I experienced two Sabbatical encounters that reminded me of the fellowship inherent in the body of Christ.  The first came on our early morning trip up “Going to the Sun Road” as we chatted with our driver, Bruce.  We were part of a quiet and sleepy group of fifteen passengers that dwindled to nine (seven of them in our party) as persons departed the shuttle along the way.  Since we were going all the way to East Glacier to start our day, and since you never wake a sleeping baby (grandson Oliver having succumbed to the movement of the trip), we stayed in Bruce’s shuttle for the duration.  He was interested in our family and easy to talk with, so soon the facts came out: a pastor, on Sabbatical, with his family (yes, all of them), planning to do a short hike and enjoy the majesty of the scenery.  “Welcome to my office,” Bruce said as we rounded the corner to an especially awesome view.  “This never gets old” (the view that is  – and would I agree!).   Continue reading

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