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The Last Word

Thriving in Babylon

This weekend, we’ll begin a study of the book of Daniel called “Thriving in Babylon.” In this amazing book, we see how Daniel and his three friends (whose Hebrew names were changed to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) learned to live faithfully and victoriously in a hostile culture. Daniel and his friends watched as their nation…

To Do

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring the theme of “Building Community.” But it’s one thing to think about community and quite another to practice it. So, here is your community “to do” list: 1. Understand how important it is for YOU to be connected to other people of faith, despite the problems that…

LIGHT Work

This past Sunday afternoon, nearly 40 people helped move 166 beds from the former Midwest Academy to the church gymnasium. Prior to that, a smaller crew had spent 3 days dismantling the beds. Moving the beds to church to be cleaned and repaired (most are in excellent condition) was the first step in a program…

Growing is Giving

Last weekend in church, I reflected on our current stewardship campaign, “Building Community Through Sharing our Gifts.” What I didn’t share was my own journey of giving. In 2004, about the time I met Tammy, I was in the worst financial shape of my life. I was divorced, bankrupt, and basically unable to pay my…

Getting Better

My wife, Tammy, has recently claimed her eyesight is somehow improving. I told her I’d believe it when I see the test results from the ophthalmologist. Generally speaking, time is not kind to human beings. As an old friend of mine used to say, “Getting old is not for sissies.” But there is good news!…

Showing Up for God

When I was growing up, there was never a question about whether or not my family was going to church on Sunday morning – just like there was never a question about taking a bath on Saturday night. Saturday night baths were mandatory. Of course, I didn’t always want to get out of bed on…

One Church!

Occasionally, I hear someone lament the fact that we have four services every weekend at FCC. “It’s a shame that we can’t all be together at the same time…” My response to that is always twofold: First, having multiple services creates multiple opportunities for people to gather every weekend for worship. The reality is that…

Picking Your Friends

As some great philosopher once said, “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose – but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.” I suppose that depends on the friend… But the truth remains, we do get to choose our companions in life. Something I often find myself saying to folks who are…

Old Friends

I’m writing my Last Word this week from a little lake cottage in Ohio that Tammy and I found on Airbnb. A Brethren seminary professor and her husband use the cottage for vacations and rent it out to travelers like us the rest of the time. It’s beautiful and actually cheaper than a budget motel.…

Following Jesus

Last night, at the First Christian vs. First Christian softball extravaganza, our team t-shirts caught my attention. They say, “First Christian Followers.” In almost any other setting, being a follower is not considered a good thing. We hope our children grow up to be leaders, not followers. We like to think of ourselves as being…