“25 Days of Christmas” Now Available on Amazon

25 Days of Christmas Cover

Merry Christmas!!

I am pleased to announce the publishing of “25 Days of Christmas” – A 100 word daily devotional, counting down the days until the birth of the Newborn King!

Below is the brief description found on the Amazon website…

Christmas is the most special time of the year!
Anticipation, thoughtful preparation and joyful expectation all play a role in having a better understanding of the Christmas story.

“25 Days of Christmas” offers a unique look at unpacking the Christmas story. Author and Pastor David Dendy took on the challenge of using only one hundred words per day in this twenty-five day devotional adventure in diving into the depths of the biblical Christmas story.

Get ready to be challenged and inspired in this thought provoking daily devotional discipline that will offer the reader an opportunity to prepare fully for the arrival of the newborn King!

It is available in Kindle ($2.99) or Paperback $5.50).
Thank you for your continued support and may you see God in magnificent and meaningful ways in the New Year of our Lord 2016!

Grace and peace,
Laugh often and Fear not!



On March 8, 2012 I packed up my office at First Presbyterian Church in Klamath Falls, Oregon into about 158 boxes (slight exaggeration).
Yesterday, three years, four months and five days later, in my office at the Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, those 158 boxes began to get unpacked.


Unpacking the ten boxes or so yesterday took me on an unexpected roller coaster ride filled with emotional, spiritual and mental twists, curves, corkscrews, banks and turns.

The boxes were filled with books… some unread, some read, some – I should have read. Classic novels (think Old Man and the Sea, Grapes of Wrath), Systematic Theology books that were once pored over in days gone by. Authors that I soaked up every word. Authors that I have never even looked past the cover. Some hardback, some paperback and some had lost their backs altogether.

The boxes were filled with photographs… weddings I have performed, beautiful portraits of family members who no longer grace this earth with their physical presence, young pristine daughters who haven’t uttered a word to me in seventeen years and three months, faithful friends that I am still fabulously connected to, friends that have fallen by the wayside due to the natural attrition of life and distance, stunning geographical landmarks that I have had the good fortune to visit, to climb, to ride and conquer. Most of all the photographs elicited a memory where a very strong emotional and visceral connection was attached. The flood of emotional attachments was so overwhelming it was like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant.

The boxes were filled with gadgets, for lack of a better term. Yo-Yo’s, Old 35 millimeter camera that my dad had bought back in the 1950’s, Davidson College letter opener, Bronze American Legion Award from high school, a very old laptop computer, paper weights. My favorite paper weight that I hadn’t seen in three years, four months and five days with one of my favorite quotes – “Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill. I realized after holding this paper weight that I had indeed done exactly that over the last three years – Never given up!

The boxes were filled with bulletins and programs. Weddings and Funerals tend to need the services of a pastor. The names and dates of birth and death dotted several bulletins. Each funeral notice struck deep into my heart the privilege of knowing the person whose funeral I had presided over. Names and faces filled my mind over the couples I have married. Some now divorced. Some still happily married to this day.

The boxes were filled with letters and cards. Over the years I have collected and kept encouraging cards, letters, emails and handwritten notes from friends, family members, parishioners and people I don’t hardly remember that have bolstered my sense of call and purpose in this world. There are times in my life where my insecurities take hold of me and my heart and I have to draw on those cards, letters and notes to buoy me during particular storms and rough seas that attempt to assault my well sense of being.

The boxes were filled with Bibles. There it was! My first hardback Harper Study Bible. Flipping through the pages and hovering over underlined passages that still hold meaning and value to this day in yellow highlighter from my high school days. Certain tags on specific passages indicated that I had preached on the underlined passage. Memories flooded my heart of my first youth pastor in high school sitting down with me on the dock of the Sacramento River Delta sharing with me the love of Jesus, the laughter of life and the abundant life that could be found in Jesus. His hands held this very bible. He helped show me the way. Depression got a hold of him like nobody’s business a few years ago and he committed suicide. At his funeral I sat next to a group of friends that were sitting on that same dock thirty five years ago.

The boxes were filled…

I wonder if life isn’t a lot like those boxes.
Our lives are filled with memories, experiences, photographs etched in our minds and hearts, people who have served us well and some people who have almost done us in, gadgets that hold special feelings and thoughts, cards, letters and notes that lift us up in ways like no other, scriptures that serve as the foundation of our very being and life.

How often are those boxes of life “unpacked?”

I’ll be honest with you…
Unpacking those boxes of our lives is not for the faint of heart.
It’s serious business.
I wonder if that’s why we don’t unpack those boxes more often.
The seriousness of it can oftentimes be too much for us to handle.

The major thread that ran through my heart, mind and soul yesterday as I unpacked the boxes was that with each memory, each emotion, each laugh and each tear there was one person who had been present on every step of the journey…God!

The thrill of the unpacking was found in the joy that I experienced God with each box unpacked…
I hope you’ll excuse me.
I have got to go now.
I have some more boxes that need to be unpacked!

I bet you do too…

Laugh often and Fear not!


And behold,I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Jesus (Matthew 28. 20)

You’re Almost There…


This past Saturday I decided to take a hike. (People have been telling me to do this for years!!)
The 11,916 foot peak of Mt. Charleston looms large, looking over Las Vegas, Nevada.
Within a spectacular forty-five minute drive I was at the Mary Jane Falls Trailhead – Elevation 7,800 feet.

I wasn’t properly dressed. With blue jeans, hiking boots and a long sleeve shirt I had underestimated how warm it would be on the trail as I began the one and a half mile hike that would ascend another 1,500 feet.

The trail is well marked, well maintained and well worn.
I marveled at the fact that hundreds of thousands of hikers had helped pave the path before me.

The trail was full of hikers ascending and descending.
The warm “humid-free” air was breathtaking.
The view of the tall evergreen pines lining the trail was an eye-full.
The climb literally took my breath away.

An interesting phenomena started happening about half-way up the trail.
As I was ascending, there were those on the trail descending.
With each passing hiker and with a friendly nod of the head and a brief, “Hey!”, every hiker said exactly the same thing…

“You’re almost there!”


Sure enough, this mantra of “You’re almost there!” encouraged me and motivated me to keep going.
The fascinating thing about this particular hike is that I was never able to see Mary Jane Falls until I actually arrived.

I just had to trust the trail and adhere to the advice of my fellow hikers that I was almost there.
The moment finally arrived where I arrived at the summit of Mary Jane Falls.
The trail opened up and there were a number of fellow travelers taking in the view. As I came over the horizon, the mantra of “You’re almost there!” became “YOU MADE IT!”

I raised my bottle of water in the air to cheer the accomplishment as I breathlessly uttered, “Woohoo!”

This got me thinking…(Stick with me here… My imagination might get a little far fetched…)

My hike was very analogous to the Christian journey…
I am hiking through life and as I ascend the Mountain of God I run across all sorts of hikers ascending and descending.

Those ascending are fellow hikers trying to make their way up the arduous trail.(The living…)
Those descending are fellow hikers who have already made it to the top. (Those saints who have passed on)

A thought that popped into my head on the way up the mountain was, “How high is the mountain that each of us gets to climb?”

My Superman friend Tim’s mountain was only sixty-four years high. He passed by on his way down and encouraged me with his slow deep drawl, “David, you’re almost there!”

How much further would I be able to travel up “my” mountain before I would hit the summit thus ending my hike?

I had just taken a few steps onto the trail when I ran across my friend Hannah Noel. Her mountaintop was only nine weeks high.

About ten more minutes along the way Jacob was running down the mountain with the biggest smile on his face, his peak only being seventeen years high.

And so this is how it went for a full hour.
My cousin Gary…
My youth pastor Gary Lenhart…
My F-15 fighter pilot friend Skip “Hoss” Robertson… (We laughed together as I said, “Fly Skip Fly!”)
My tennis partner Howard…
Members of Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church…
Members of First Presbyterian Church in Klamath Falls…
My grandparents…Nana and Dendy, Momma Jerry and Paw Paw..
My dad…He was still smoking his pipe!

And the list went on and on…
Each of them encouraged me, “You’re almost there! I have hiked the path you are on. Keep going! They are waiting for you at the summit!”

How high is the mountain that you are ascending?
I have no idea and neither do you…
For some of us the peak will be ninety years high.
For others, not so much.
Whatever the elevation our peaks might be…we just keep hiking!

And then the moment arrived…
I arrived at Mary Jane Falls…
I never saw it coming…
I knew I was close but I couldn’t see it until I came around a bend in the trail!
The chorus echoed in my heart and soul…

Hear the good news!
We will hear that victory chant as we walk or run or crawl on to the Summit of God’s heavenly kingdom, exhausted and exhilarated and literally out of breath!

As I sat there for about thirty minutes I had the complete joy of joining in the chorus of “You made it!” to my fellow hikers, many of whom I had passed along the trail.

Then the time came for me to start my descent.
Guess what I had the privilege of saying to each hiker I passed as they were ascending the trail?

“You’re almost there!”

Laugh often and Fear not!



He is Risen!!!

Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin was one of the most powerful men on earth. He was a Russian Communist leader during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and afterwards.

There is a story told about a journey he took. He went from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge crowd. The subject was, or course, atheism. He attacked Christianity! He said some insulting words about Christianity. And he argued against it as well. It took him a long time to convince the crowd. At the end of his talk, he was confident that he had convinced the crowd that they should reject Christ and embrace atheism.

At the end of the meeting Nikolai turned it over to the local parish priest to dismiss the crowd. The priest humbly ascended the stage and complimented Nikolai on his eloquence.

The priest turned to the crowd and uttered, “CHRIST IS RISEN.”

And the people passionately exclaimed as with one thundering voice, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”


Don’t you just love that!

I have heard this story for years. I have no idea if it is true or not. I guess it really doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that the three most powerful words ever declared in the course of human history are as true today as they were the very first time they were uttered…

If we didn’t utter these words the Easter Lilies would trumpet the praise of this good news around the world!

I love the fact that when those three words are proclaimed, “HE IS RISEN”, my mind, my heart and my voice proclaim with an almost Pavlovian response, “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”

He is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!!

It’s indisputable!
It’s undeniable!
It’s incredible!

It’s life changeable!
It’s eternally livable!
It’s magnificently miraculous!
It’s totally true!

May the promise, the presence and the power of these three words bring you much joy today as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

As Jesus found new life, may all of us find, discover and embrace the new life He has in store for us this day!

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28. 5-6)

Laugh often and Fear not!


On Saying Goodbye…


David Dendy and his 90 year old “girlfriend” Bettie Lively!

The anticipation was great. At 10:04 am yesterday morning with bated breath I knocked on the door of her apartment. I heard her approach. The door knob turned and the door swung open with my girlfriend’s fifty-seven inch tall frame standing there with her bright eyes looking up to mine. Her sweet upbeat voice sounded exasperated as she said, “Where have you been?! I’ve been waiting all morning for you.” (I was four minutes late.)

Her arms shot up in the air as I bent my seventy-four inch tall frame down to meet her diminutive stature. We embraced and as we parted, her ninety-year old hands clasped the sides of my face as she planted a “smooch” right on my lips. We laughed in spite of ourselves.

We sat down in our usual spots and the hour long conversation began.
I gave her a signed copy of my book (Seeing God at Work Every Day – The Forty-Day Challenge… available at Amazon.com). She was thrilled to know that I had undertaken the task of writing a book. It fit perfectly on her little lap and she held on to it the whole time we talked as if it were some treasured family heirloom.

I told stories that I have told her hundreds of times before. Because of her memory loss issues, each retelling of the same ol story is met with glee, wonder and awe as Bettie many times replies, “You don’t mean it! Did that really happen? Oh my…”

Yes, Bettie, they really did happen. And that is what is so wonderful about our relationship. It is built on 20 plus years of laughter, tears, unbelievable and ridiculous stories of frivolity and much, much more.

One of my favorite stories of Bettie that I will take to my grave is about eighteen years ago she said to me, “David, I am old enough to be your grandmother. Twenty years earlier I would have been old enough to be your mother. And twenty years before that I would have run off with you!” I have no doubt we would have!!

The conversation came around to “what else is going on in your life David.”
And then I broke the news…
I am moving to Las Vegas to be the pastor of the Mountain View Presbyterian Church.
Bettie’s arms went up in the air as she proclaimed, “Oh that’s wonderful!”
She followed that up with, “When do you leave?”
“This Sunday” was my reply as I watched the wheels in her ninety year old brain churn away, processing the timeline of what I had just stated.

Her eyes moistened, her face became a little scrunched and she looked right at me through her spectacles and said, “So…this is the last time I am going to see you…”

I hesitated in my response and then finally said the word that was on the tip of my quivering lip, “Yes…”

We both cried in the reality of our impending circumstance. She waved her hands in front of her face as some women are wont to do, as if the waving of the hands in front of our teared up eyes will somehow make the flowing tears dry up.

The conversation continued for another twenty minutes or so..
She told me about how great her life has been and how she is ready for the Lord to take her.
She said, “David, every now and then someone really special comes along in your life and you never want to say goodbye. You are one of those people for me David.”
I nodded in agreement.
Bettie lives in a retirement home and she lamented about the population of the home by saying, “It is so hard here in some respects. Every day someone is dying and it is so hard to say goodbye over and over, day after day.”
I nodded in agreement. (What else was I going to do…)

I knelt before her and I took her little hands into my big hands. Feeling the softness of her aged hands against mine, humbled me to the core as I contemplated the number of years those hands had lived and clasped in prayer and reached out in love and held others in sweet care.

How blessed am I to have been held by those hands.
I offered a prayer through choked up tears.
We walked to the door and kissed each other and with me standing on one side of the threshold and with Bettie on the other side holding the door exactly the same way she held it one hour before, I looked down at her and she looked up at me and with great love in our voices we said, “Goodbye…”


What is it about saying, “Goodbye” that is so difficult?
If I spent a good thirty minutes on this I have no doubt that I could articulate an answer in a way that would strike at the heart of the matter. But in another sense, if I did that I just might be limiting my experience and your experience by the confounds of some written down English words.

So… how about if you let your own mind and heart ponder that thought…
What is it about saying, “Goodbye” that is so difficult?

I have had to say “goodbye” to a number of people recently. It is difficult, heartbreaking and challenging.
Even when Jesus went to the tomb of his friend Lazarus, Jesus wept. (John 11:35).

And so in my ever increasing desire to be like Jesus, I will do the same…
on saying goodbye to Bettie…
and to many others…

Laugh often and Fear not! (Cry often too!)


PS – I have included a video by one of my favorite artists, Michael W. Smith singing, “How to Say Goodbye”

One Single Keystroke…

My wife Julie is perhaps the most organized person I have ever met. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Her computer files are no different.
She has multiple files in her email account for a host of various things, from cleaning products to devotionals to popular authors (I am waiting for my name to be added to the list!!).
Last night I was watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) while Julie was organizing and cleaning up some files.
All of a sudden her face became all scrunched up and the words “oh no” escaped her lips like they were in slow motion. Everything sort of became “slow motion” as if watching some sort of train wreck. “Oh no” once again rushed out signaling what was thought to be an impending train wreck was indeed a massive pile up of train cars spilling every which way all over the track.
All of her email files had been deleted with “One Single Keystroke…”


I made my way over to the other couch to look over her shoulder…
The cursor on the screen hovered over the “Personal” file folder…Zero messages!
The cursor quickly made its way down to the “Business” file folder… Zero messages!
The cursor quickly made its way down to the “Devotional” file folder… Zero messages!

And so this frantic moving of the cursor continued over and over with the same result in EVERY file folder!
Every email message… GONE!
I mean… gone, bye-bye, see ya, adios, and don’t let the door hit ya on the behind on the way out!

Did you know God has a “Delete” button when it comes to our shortcomings, our mistakes, our mess ups, our hang ups, our sins?

It’s called Forgiveness…

Check this out…
We all have tons of file folders for our sins…
Judging others
And the list goes on and on…

And here’s the remarkable, literally mind blowing fact…
When we ask God for forgiveness, He erases every file folder of sin with:


For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8: 12 ESV)

“I, I am he
    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
    and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43: 25 ESV)

Find that hard to believe?
Yeah, me too…
But, it’s true!
The file folders are empty, the weight of the burden has been relieved!
We are forgiven!
We are free!
We have a God who remembers our sins no more…all because of one single keystroke called the cross..

Laugh often and Fear not!

ps – Now, if we could only find Julie’s files…


Hold On!!!

The Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show is the world’s largest such event. For three weeks each year the city of Houston is inundated with “Cowboy” lingo and rodeo happenings. The Rodeo is a charitable event that raises millions of dollars every year for educational scholarships. Everything from art, to pigs, goats, steers, bulls, cows, rabbits and sheep are offered on the auction block with dedicated philanthropists offering thousands upon thousands of dollars for the cause.

Each night there is a concert held at the NRG Stadium (where the NFL Houston Texans football team plays), The other night our whole family went to the rodeo and enjoyed a rousing performance by famous country singer Alan Jackson.

Each day in the late afternoon before the concert, a full blown rodeo takes place…
Calf scramble, barrel racing, calf roping, bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, mutton busting and team roping all get the crowd of 70,000 people worked up in enthusiastic applause.

Nothing gets the crowd worked up into a frenzy like the last event of the night…
Bull Riding!

Here’s the goal of the event.
Jump on the back of a writhing, wiggling, animated, angry, two thousand pound bull while holding on to a rope with one hand and remain on this bull’s back for 8 seconds.

Count ’em… eight seconds…
Not very long.
However, in bull riding eight seconds is an eternity!

Eight of the strongest, toughest and experienced cowboys that you would ever meet lined up to test their strength, willpower and ability against eight bulls.

Over the eight cowboys that participated I noticed a pattern with the crowd of 70,000 strong..
With the bull rider right out of the gate there was modest applause.
Two seconds later people were leaning on the edge of their seats.
At four seconds the applause and screaming was borderline frenzy. The fact that the rider was only halfway through the ride was beside the point.
At six seconds everyone was on their feet, pounding the ground with their feet, yelling at the top of their lungs.
At seven seconds the deafening applause and sound was overwhelming as the crowd was becoming apoplectic!
At seven and half seconds you could not hear yourself think. The crowd is collectively thinking, praying, screaming, yelling, “Hold On for a half a second more!!!”
At eight seconds, the horn blares signaling that the rider has “won”. No one in the crowd hears the horn. A bright red light goes off letting everyone know that eight seconds is up. At this point it is as if this cowboy has hit the winning shot in a NBA championship game. People are going crazy with high-fives, laughter and simple, pure amazement.

Of the eight bull riders we cheered on only two were able to hold on for eight seconds…
The rest were thrown off like rag dolls.
Some didn’t last two seconds.
One lasted seven and half seconds.
The end result was simple, blunt and to the point – They couldn’t HOLD ON…


As a pastor I have the distinct privilege and honor of watching bull riding every day.
Let me be clear, I am not watching real live bulls doing their best to buck their respective riders off.
Then again, let me be clear, I am watching real live cowboys and cowgirls riding their proverbial bulls of life and doing their very best with all their strength to do one thing and one thing alone… Hold On!!!

I see cowboys and cowgirls struggle through marriages that are devoid of life, joy and love.
I see cowboys and cowgirls getting jacked all over the place in dysfunctional families, work places and relationships.
I am watching a cowgirl right now ride the bull of widowhood. She’s only a second or two into the ride.
I am watching a cowboy deal with the bull of betrayal and mistrust as a valuable employee ended up embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This list could go on and on…
With each rider my prayer and cheer is always the same – “HOLD ON!!!”

Sixteen years ago I was on a mission trip to the Pacific Northwest. One one particular day we broke into teams of ten and went through a ropes/obstacle course. The idea behind the exercise was to build team work.

Our particular team had a great time going through the obstacle course. The last obstacle was the 12 foot high wall. The objective was to get everyone on team to the other side. At the top of the wall on the “other” side was a landing a few feet down, so as to ensure that no one went flying over the other top of the wall and then had to drop down twelve feet.

The leader of the exercise informed us that no team had ever gotten all 10 members to the other side of the wall.

We strategized and dealt with the smaller members of the team first – We basically just grabbed them by the arms and tossed them up to the top of the wall!! After eight of us had made it over there were just two left. Joe Bill Whittenburg (How’s that for a good ol’ Texas name!) and me.

Joe Bill climbed his way to a standing position on my shoulders. It took several attempts. And then he was able to jump off my shoulders and grab hold to the top of the wall. Soon he was over the top and standing on the landing on the other side.

Now the question remained. How do I get over? I cannot jump twelve feet in the air and grab the top of the wall.
I ran toward the wall, jumped up and placed my foot on the wall and tried to push off. Joe Bill leaned over the wall and tried to grab my hand. We were about six inches shy. The second attempt yielded the same result.

The leader of the exercise stood on the side with a smirk on his face that simply stated, “I told you so…”

On the third attempt I jumped just high enough for Joe Bill to grab my wrist and I was able to grab Joe Bill’s wrist.
I hung there in mid-air with my body swaying and bumping into the wall over and over again.

Joe Bill shouted, “Pull yourself up!”
I laughed out loud. In my exhaustion, all I could utter was, “I can’t. I’m too tired.”

And then something happened that I never thought was possible.
Joe Bill began to pull.
Joe Bill’s biceps bulged and his face turned bright red as he literally single handedly started pulling me up the wall.
The other campers started to cheer! My team was yelling, “Hold On! You can do it!”
Joe Bill pulled me up high enough for me to swing my foot up to the top of the wall. Except my foot fell short. I tried again and another person caught my shoe lace.

I was hanging eleven feet in the air by a strong grip and a shoelace.
Another member leaned over the wall and grabbed my leg and within seconds I was over the wall.
We all jumped up and down in complete joy and exhaustion. Joe Bill and I embraced. Forever in my memory bank he will remain as the true cowboy who pulled me up and over the wall.

Joe Bill and I looked down from the wall at our “leader.” All we could do is shout and whoop and holler in the simple joy of an amazing accomplishment and feat!

Here’s my question for you:

Who was holding on to who as I scaled that twelve foot wall?
Was I holding on to Joe Bill or was Joe Bill holding on to me?

Since I was there and experienced it firsthand the answer is obvious to me…
Joe Bill was holding on to me!

Now listen here…
Earlier in my writing today, I said that when I watch these cowboys and cowgirls ride the proverbial bulls of life my prayer is, “HOLD ON!!!”

To whom do you think I am directing my plea?
I am not praying that my cowboy and cowgirl friends will HOLD ON.
Left to their own strength and devices they can’t hold on. They won’t hold on.
They’re tough and strong, but not tough and strong enough. They will let go. They will get bucked off and land on their butt in the dirt.

My prayer is to the One who will never let go!
Oh dear Lord, you see my friends riding the bulls of their life… Oh dear Lord one plea I pray…

“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:29 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!


Seeing God at Work Every Day – The Forty Day Challenge

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I am very pleased to announce the publication of my first book!!!

“Seeing God at Work Every Day – The Forty-Day Challenge.”

This book/devotional is an interactive journal that stops you from being a spectator in the bleachers of life and places you right in the middle of the field, where God is at work every day.

Combining observations from everyday interactions and encounters we face on a daily basis with scripture lessons and spiritual insights, this book will take you on a forty-day challenge that will change the way you see life and how God is at work every day!

Is God really at work every day through parking meters, dimmer switches, name tags, oxygen masks on airplanes, Gorilla Glue, Wite-Out, state patrol officerss, and Superman?

Open the book, open your eyes, open your heart, and discover the everlasting joy and fun of Seeing God at Work Every Day!

Available now at

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-God-Work-Every-Day/dp/1490868836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426012946&sr=8-1&keywords=David+Dendy

Thank you for your support.
I thank God for this honor to write about  witnessing His handiwork on a daily basis!

Grace and peace,
Laugh often and Fear not!



You will not believe…

Her eyes were fixed.
Her gaze intense.
She had me in the crosshairs of her focus.
She had found me at the reception standing up against a wall actively engaged in conversation with a friend.
Her steps were deliberate.
Her approach was straight and direct.
Our eyes met, we smiled knowingly toward one another.
With a smooth, matter of fact motion she stuffed a square envelope into my side pocket on my suit jacket.
Four syllables escaped from her smiling face… “Read it later.”
And then we hugged and caught up as friends do that haven’t seen each other in several years.


Hours later…
after the eating,
after the greetings,
after the meetings
I reached into my pocket and read the card…
On the outside – 13 pre-printed words in black ink…
On the inside – 76 handwritten words in blue ink…

The outside of the card read like this:

You will not believe
how glad I am
that I have met you

My heart skipped a beat. My lungs took a deeper breath. My pulse quickened. My eyesight blurred as tears filed my eyes.
I read the words over again in stunned and moving silence – You will not believe how glad I am that I have met you

Inside the card the flowing penmanship of blue ink offered seventy-six words of gratitude, expressions of thankfulness, thoughts of care and grace.

How long do you think this act of grace and care and love will last with me?
The answer is: FOREVER!

I wonder how often God slips in a note of appreciation in our pockets…(some of which might go unnoticed for days, months and sometimes years…)

David, you will not believe…
How glad I am that I know you and that you know Me.
How thrilled I am to hear your voice.
How fun it is to plan your life and watch your dreams come true.
How rewarding it is to have you invite me to be a part of your day.
How comforting it is to know that you rest in Me.

David, you will not believe…
The loving sacrifice My Son made on your behalf.
The place I am preparing for you.
The joy that awaits you each day.
The love that enfolds you every moment.
The grace that flows like a never ending stream.

David, you will not believe…
The mercy that is more abundant than the stars in the sky
The power of love that is more majestic than the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.
The vastness of My goodness that stretches farther than the deserts, the prairies and the plains west of the mighty Mississippi river.
The lengths, the heights, and the depths that I will traverse to show you how much I love you!

David, you will not believe…

How about you?

Will you believe?

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8. 38-39 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!


ps – Thank you to my dear friend who took the time to write 76 uplifting words that truly lifted up my spirits and my soul! May we be inspired to offer the same gift to someone today…

“Stay weird. Stay different…”

Last night at the 87th annual Academy Awards show in California, young writer Graham Moore took home the “Oscar” for Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie “The Imitation Game.”

In his acceptance speech Graham gave a stirring and moving account of some of his earlier struggles in life. Listen in…

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I am standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do! Stay weird. Stay different, and when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”


Here’s some good news for the day!
You are weird! You are different!
I am weird! I am different!

Whew… glad we got that out of the way.
The simple truth is really not all that simplistic.
Who told us we were supposed to be “normal?”
Who was in charge of defining the parameters, the limitations and the constrictions of “normal?”
Why did we listen to them?
Why on God’s green earth did we bend over backward, stress out over a few pimples, compromise our ethics, eviscerate our personhood, dumb down our value system and so as to “fit in”, all the while denying the very attributes that collide together to make us the beautiful, fascinating, intriguing, interesting, gorgeous, “weird and different” people that we are?

On Facebook today one of my friends wrote…”I was a really weird little kid…”
I find that funny in the sense that I never thought of her in any other way than just a fun girl friend who was very enjoyable to hang out with.

I have a feeling we all felt like “really weird little kids” at some point in our lives. Perhaps we still do.

When I was in Junior High everyone had to give an oral book report. Everyone got up there and did a marvelous job. I got up in front of the class and just started crying. Seventh grade boys “don’t cry.” Well, I did and I was ridiculed and humiliated. In eighth grade when it came time to do the oral book reports, I just went ahead and took an “F.” In ninth grade in Mr. Leigh’s English class I delayed my oral book report for four days until I finally got up there on a Monday morning after spending twelve hours over the weekend memorizing twelve pages of my book report.

I preach for a living now!! How crazy is that?
I could spend the next few pages writing to you about how weird and different I am.
And guess what?
You could too!

Here’s the joy of the matter.
I told my future wife on our second date, “People are whacked! People are weird. They are different. We all have bizarre idiosyncrasies. And if you will simply accept the fact that I am whacked and then I will accept the fact that you are whacked, then we will get along just fine.”

Ever since that second date… We have gotten along just fine!

God has fearfully and wonderfully made you from scratch. There is no one like you! You are weird. You are different! You are unique! You are “one of a kind!” You are special! You are one in seven billion! You are a masterpiece!!

So… Let me echo Graham Moore’s sentiments to you today…

Stay weird!
Stay different!

Who knows?
You just might get an “Oscar” for being “Best Original!”

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139. 13-16)

Laugh often and Fear not!