Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


fFrom time to time I just want to share how others explain how life matters to God and you matter to God. The SKIT GUYS are among the best-STEVE


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Good response to the first post, so here's some more - STEVE


Monday, December 19, 2016



The news was ugly today.  A little three year old boy shot in a road rage incident.  He died.  In what is suspected to be an Isis terrorist attack, a large truck plows into an open air Christmas market in Berlin killing nine and injuring many others.  The Russian ambassador to Turkey gunned down as he gave a speech by a militant proclaiming retaliation for his country's participation in Syria's crushing of rebels in Aleppo, and the utter destruction city at the same time.  Putin's dark response about retaliation of its own as the Middle East increasingly is feeling the presence of Russia siding with a decidedly antidemocratic Syrian regime.  Double-digit deaths on American highways as a winter storm slams our nation.  Bitter and angry protests as the Electoral College confirms the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.  Parents going into school to stop their son from launching an atack on his fellow students.

The list goes on and I haven't even gotten to the local scene of poverty, violence, abuse, financial scams targeting the aged and unsuspecting, racism and more.

On this Monday before Christmas our world desperately needs peace.

But not the peace that comes from Christmas truces, or politics and diplomacy; but a peace which will last.  A peace only God can give.

" Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. - John 14.27

A peace that comes when people finally acknowledge the One who is the only true Prince Peace- Jesus Christ.  And we need Him now.

Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


I'm back on the job blogging and thought LIFE MATTERS needed to do some thought provocation> Enjoy and COMMENT - Steve

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Black Friday is about to begin, instead of the typical diatribe against consumer insanity I thought I'd repost  a life lesson I learned while navigating a Walmart parking lot on a typical day without the added intensity of Black Friday. This originally appeared in my THRIVING IN CHRIST devotional blog on July 24, 2010-Steve


Came close the other day to going home to be with Jesus - as in heavenly home - for eternity. I don't know if it was the appointed time in God's will but the opportunity was definitely there for me to be yanked home to meet my Maker. That intersection of grace and free will (someone else's) was coming together to make this a real possibility. If it had happened, the launch point would have been the Walmart parking lot on Fruitville Pike in Lancaster PA.

I had just finished making my purchases and had returned to my Saturn. I was backing up slowly and cautiously because, of course, I was surrounded on either side by two monster trucks designed to obscure any view for at least a mile.  As I attempted to back, I had not yet reached the stage of cautiously inching my rear end into traffic when a vehicle raced by at a speed that would have earned a ticket on the interstate.  Then I took almost another full minute to back up stopping with great frequency, i.e., I lost count, as more vehicles backed out into the space I was trying to occupy.

When I finally made it "out", my vehicle was accosted by the rear ends of at least three other vehicles who seemed to have simply kicked it into reverse and pushed the gas pedal before even beginning to think that there might be someone else out there.  Once this exercise in "dodgem" was over, I still had to navigate a parking lot where people were making wide turns or occupying the center of the lane because they were talking on their doggone cell phones. (Actually, I had another expletive/adjective in mind but this is a religious blog site. Forgive me, Lord, for allowing that to even be in my vocabulary's secret vault.)

After about six minutes of near-death experiences (it seemed like sixty), I made it into the safety of actual traffic where God spared my life so I could be home to be with my lovely wife instead of my Maker.

Did you ever notice how dangerous life can be? Even for those people who try to insulate their lives by taking no risks, eating bland foods, staying out of traffic, avoiding their neighbors, keeping their heads down and mouths shut, life comes at you fast and you really have a lot less control than you'd like.  And at times it can scare the socks off of us.

That's why wise people like David teach us that we need to put our lives into the hands of the Lord.  "Even though I must walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me."  To do business as a human being requires us to venture into the Walmart parking lots and human intersections where another person's freedom can rob us of our peace and attack our joy. Where damage can be done that then we will have to deal with.

But we can live with confidence because "nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35)  It's that confidence that removes my fear and allows me to live with confidence even in the Walmart parking lots of the planet.  I may suffer a fender-bender, or I may actually meet with a fatal "accident", but I cannot be separated from God.

Friday, October 14, 2016



A friend of mine, who I first met when we took a trip to Haiti, and a pastor from my stream of Christianity, is leading an awesome work New Life in Haiti.  Hurricane Matthew has left them with a great challenge as this article from the Napierville Sun Time circulated by the Chicago Tribune reveals.  This IS A PLACE WHERE I HAVE SEEN JESUS LATELY.



Someone sent me a message about an old post of this blog and I found myself back Blogger Dashboard.  I was surprised.  My last post on Life Matters had been August 24th--nearly seven weeks ago.  For a lot of reasons I had been doing most of my writing on Facebook--offering my thoughts and sharing the posts of others in this frenetic and frustrating political season; but I had gotten out of my intentional rhythm with me key blogs: Life Matters, Dr. Steve Dunn.Com, Being the Best Church for the Community, and Dr. Steve's Digital Desk.

 Look for them to start ramping up again next week.  That blogging hiatus did coincide with three significant events in my professional arena.  The fall trimester was about to begin at Winebrenner Theological Seminary's Scotland PA location where I serve as an administrator and an adjunct faculty member (New Testament Foundations this time).  Also my role for a Korean Christian School here in Chambersburg--Global Vision Christian School (where I teach three bloc classes in history). And a new assignment as the Intentional Interim Pastor at the Penbrook Church of God in Harrisburg. A lot of travel time for reflection but little leftover energy to write.

When your plate is full life can, in the words of Tim Hansel, get "so daily."

The danger of daily is that it can squelch creativity.  In my world, an unacceptable reality.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


fFrom time to time I just want to share how others explain how life matters to God and you matter to God. The SKIT GUYS are among the best-STEVE

Tuesday, August 23, 2016



Here is this week's collection.  Enjoy or squirm or both.

Thursday, August 18, 2016



On July 4, 2016 I passed a milestone with this blog.  I published my 1000th post.  (In case you missed it 1000)  I was so busy at the time that I missed the significance of that post myself. 1000 blog posts - a whole lot of words.  Some more eloquent than others.  Some more useful than others.  Some more memorable and some quite forgettable.

My first post was March 3, 2009. Here is what I wrote more than seven years ago:

 Many people think Christians have closed minds, more concerned with being the moral police than good neighbors. I believe that Christians are called to reflect the character of Christ--which means that loving God and loving my neighbor are two sides of the same coin. Rather than exhibiting a closed mind, it is important for me to possess the mind of Christ. The Christ portrayed in the Gospels possessed clarity and a deep commitment to the truth. That meant that he was open to people's questions and even taught the truth by asking questions, not merely making pronouncements. A mind committed to knowing and living by the truth is essential to being a genuine Christ follower. Having a mind assumes that you are required to think, ask questions, reflect, and respond. It also implies that your actions and values are the result of well-examined, open-minded (to the truth) conviction. As a sign I once saw on a campus minister's door proclaimed: JESUS CAME TO TAKE AWAY YOUR SINS, NOT YOUR MIND. 

I doubt if I have changed the minds of everyone who has read this blog; but then my purpose is really more in line with Ravi Zacharias "to simply get people to open their minds and let the Holy Spirit do the persuading."  I hope in some small measure that LIFE MATTERS has accomplished that purpose.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016



I have been in the ministry for 45 years--starting as a youth pastor back in 1971.  Since 2008, I have added teaching graduate students in a seminary to my resume.  Since last January I have added teaching history to high school students from Korea to my professional mix. I am about to do both again. Monday Morning Reflections this week is late because I am busy completing syllabi, lesson plans and initial lessons for high schools kids (9th, 10th and 11th graders) and seminarians (only God knows some of their ages and it would be ecclesiastically/politically incorrect to ask).  High school starts next Monday, seminary two weeks later.

At this moment I am firmly reminded of the words of Solomon, an ancient wise man of centuries ago:

As they say in my profession: "That'll preach."  And so far that is true just for the instructor.  It will soon be the lament of my students and their compatriots.

Yet as I wade through all the paperwork and other preparations, it is a labor of love.  It is also a critical endeavor.  Knowledge is the beginning of power and ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous.
Education provides knowledge, but more than that--the discipline of learning and the accountability needed not only to get a good grade but to live life with competence, confidence, and significance.
Knowing the details of early American politics may not come into daily usefulness for all of my high schoolers, any more than the nuances of biblical interpretation for my seminarians.  But the process of learning with its requirement to live by standards of excellence and to use that learning with integrity are survival values for society and the Church.

I love my students too much to let them be wallow in ignorance, shackled by laziness, and handicapped by an uninformed life.  And I love our nation, our world, and the Kingdom of God not to do my part in educating.

So now--back to the preparations.  May they bear much fruit which will last.

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to For all other uses, contact Steve at 


Getting ready for classes to begin and I am swamped but here's Facebook Prophets - STEVE

Tuesday, August 9, 2016



This week we emphasize some straight talk to people who believe our lives matter to God,plus a little nonsensical levity.

Monday, August 8, 2016



This September I will have been in the ministry for 45 years (not bad for a 39 year-old. right?)  I had a part-time job as the Youth Pastor for the Newville PA Church of God. Twenty-five kids from grades five through 12.  An impossible assignment, yet I survived and continued to serve God in a variety of ways.  There have only been two, maybe three times in those years that I gave serious thought to quitting the ministry but each time God caught my falling soul, set my feet on solid ground, and provided me with a vision that moved me forward.  Moving forward even though I knew times of testing would again intersect my life trajectory.

Such stick-to-itiveness is regarded by some as stubbornness and others as stupidity.  But those of following this path know it to be something deeper, more profound. It's called "The Call."

Frederick Buechner defines The Call this way:   “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” If you can discern what your greatest joy is and what you believe is a pressing need in our world, and then find where the two intersect, chances are you will begin to understand God’s calling in your life.' 

This weekend I participated in the commencement exercises for Winebrenner Theological Seminary.  I am on their adjunct faculty and have taught for them since 2008.  Along the way I have had the chance to teach many men and women who experienced that Call.  At the Commencement I was celebrating the graduation of four of my students in particular.   With all due respect to my other students and all the grads, I celebrated two in particular: Bob Collins and Jeff Musser. 

 Both Bob and Jeff found deep joy in serving Jesus and their hearts were moved powerfully, perhaps compelled by the reality that God loved His World and the people He had created.  They deeply desired to share that truth with all people.

Dr. Brent Sleasman presents a diploma to Bob Collins who has been wheeled to the that spot by fellow student Jeff Musser

Bob and Jeff are what we call second career pastors.  They entered seminary not via the conventional route of a liberal arts education followed by seminary.  They came from industry and entered a program that will allow them to pastor local churches. Jeff worked throughout his seminary time and even planted a church.  Bob followed a different trajectory in part because of physical infirmity.

During his four years of seminary Bob endured eleven surgeries, two of which were amputations and several vascular.  As he entered his last class, Jeff was struck down by a heart attack and had to recover from open heart surgery while finishing his studies.

Yet both believed they had a call from God and knew that by God's help NOTHING would keep them from completing their preparation for ministry over the long haul.  So as Bob rolled across the stage being guided by Jeff, my heart leaped with joy and I saw one more witness to the power of The Call.

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to For all other uses, contact Steve at