Thursday, November 29, 2018


by Steve Dunn

"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world."

I learned that little song while a small boy in Sunday School.  It spoke to a truth that God's love knew no boundaries of race, granted no "favored-nation status" to one country over another.  God held a passionate and sacrificial love for children living in democracies, political dictatorships, hostile religious movements.  Where man would build walls, He had sent His son, Jesus Christ, to break down those walls.  He grieved the death of the unborn and watched over the first steps of the newborn.  Crack babies, refugee children, children of privilege, and children with handicaps--crippled, ADHD, autistic, or illiterate.  They are precious in His sight.

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." - Matthew 7.12

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." - Mark 12.30-31

It is so tragic for the children of the world that they share the planet with adults who have forgotten these two non-negotiables from God. (And sad that so many of those adults would still claim to be Christians."

For the sake of all the children of the world - and all those "grown up" children God loves as well -- LET'S GET THIS RIGHT !!!!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


This post originally appeared in 2011in a blog of mine called EASTER PEOPLE. - Steve


God has always blessed me with a sense of peace in the presence of death.  As a pastor I have stood by many a person and their family as the neared that threshold into eternity that is known as death.  I have even had the boldness and the God-granted confidence that God will take someone home to be with Him.  Funeral homes are not intimidating places.  ICUs are simply another place to be the reminder of God's presence.  Even accident scenes, as gruesome as they may be, are not a place I fear to tread.
More than once I have been asked to accompany someone to a funeral home.  In hospital rooms where siblings are fighting and grieving while Mom breathes, God has allowed me to be His presence and to anchor them once again to the Rock of our Salvation.
Once I was with a family at the hospital after their father had been taken in following a serious heart attack accompanied by other complications. He had made his living will several years before and had given me a copy. He had explained very carefully to his family that once he reached a semi-vegetative state with his organs only surviving on life support, there were to be no extraordinary measures taken.  This was the third trip within a few months and each one had become progressively worse. He was in a coma, non-responsive with only a 10% survival chance and no chance that his organs would operate again without serious and costly assistance.  The family had made their peace and said "good bye" and indicated that they were prepared to adhere to the living will.  Then the doctor balked saying he'd like another day before withdrawing life support,  which then itself sent the family into a crisis mode.  And I had to duty to talk the doctor into adhering to the patient's wishes, the family's consent and to surrender his feeling that he could not be at peace with allowing a dying man to die.  And this I did without hesitation and inner strength.
"I do death."
No, that does not mean I advocate assisted suicide or callously consent to agreeing to let a patient die because his survival could bankrupt his family.
It's because I know that one someone has placed their trust into God's hands of salvation, when I myself have become one of His Easter People - that nothing will separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  I affirm with the apostle Paul that we who have passed from death to life need no longer fear death.  It is not an unwelcome intruder.  Death has been defanged by our Living Hope.
"Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: "Death is swallowed up in victory." - 1 Corinthians 15:54 New Living Translation
So when someone must walk in the deep valley of  the shadow of death, they can count on me as a willing travel companion.


A popular feature, some of the interesting posts I have found lately on Facebook - Steve

Friday, November 23, 2018


I admit it. I did some shopping early on Black Friday. I was at the Verizon Store at eight AM to try purchasing a new smart phone at a discounted price. I also dropped in at a LIFEWAY store to pick up something available only on Black Friday that I wanted to give us a Christmas present. Before this, the only time I had entered a store on Black Friday was at Walmart several years ago at 6 PM.
The mea culpa goes a little deeper. I stopped at Kohl’s at 5 pm on Thanksgiving itself to pick up a package for Dianne that she had purchased on-line in the “pre Black Friday” sales and ended looking for some inexpensive Christmas presents. (To be clear, our Thanksgiving celebration had been over for several hours and the only thing the trip conflicted with was the Cowboys-Redskins game. Dianne was down for a late afternoon nap, so relational time was not lost and I had spent time earlier in the day reflecting on and expressing my thanks to God for his blessings.
Sorry if this changes your opinion of me for the worse.
Black Friday has become a cultural tradition in the US, which lately has faced some backlash pushing some of  "Friday" starting on Thanksgiving evening back a little later and causing some retailers to return to a Friday start itself. (A.C. Moore, Christopher and Banks, Costco, Home Depot, IKEA, Lowe's, Sam's Club, Staples were among the 70 retailers who chose to wait for Friday.)  Part of the temptation are the deep discounts and as early as we can get to them, we want to do it. (Ironically now, a lot of retailers like Walmart, Kohls and Amazon have had "Black Friday" on-line for several days now.
Hopes for an inexpensive Christmas shopping season are not in themselves a bad thing (unless you overdo it and max out your credit cards). The irony is that we place so many hopes on a commercial holiday and go to great lengths to realize them and often ignore or downplay a more important Black Friday.  It's one that occurred long before the birth of our consumer culture.  It was the Friday that Jesus went to cross and a dark day on a hill called Calvary, poured out his life so that we might have eternal life.  Today we will call it Good Friday but I guarantee on that day in Israel before the Resurrection, it was the blackest day of all for thousands who had put their hope in Jesus.
The hopes we will realize by a successful shopping season WILL FADE when the wrapping paper is scattered on the floor beneath the tree, or when what we paid so much for is broken or obsolete, or something equally finite is created to long for something new.
But there is only one Black Friday that offers eternal savings.
© 2018 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

Thursday, November 22, 2018



Which of the scenes to my right resemble the main activity of the way your family will celebrate
Thanksgiving? Will your celebration be shortened because you have an appointment with Black Friday--which is still arriving despite recent campaigns--on Thanksgiving Thursday afternoon? Will the meal be scheduled around the big football game or consumed on TV chairs instead around a family table?  Will you have an elaborate family meal marked with some words of gratitude and a prayer, savored in its fullness until you are forced to push back from the table?

I know that every year someone will launch into a critique or diatribe against the erosion of the
sacredness of the Thanksgiving swept up in the madness of sports and even great madness of battling the frenzied crowds in shopping centers.  That's not my intent today as I and my family observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

My desire is to reflect with you on a truth that has shaped my life for much of the past 67 years and recently become an even more precious value.  Let me lead into this with some quotes:

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; 

but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." - E.P. Powell

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation. - ~ John Ortberg

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. - Psalm 103.1-5

Do you hear the thread that works way through these thoughts?  True thanksgiving comes from grateful hearts-hearts that recognize that all that we have is a gift from God.  Not the least of which is our lives, but also our families, our gifts, our opportunities, and yes--even our challenges .  Long ago Paul wrote these words to the Ephesians: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and I will say it again--rejoice!"

Too many of us focus on what we don't have or worse, we believe that we are self-made men and women who author our own blessings.  Too many of us look at what God has given us and measure against what He has given others and feel cheated.  Or we elevate what God has given us to a place He never intended.  Like the Pharisee in the parable, "Oh God, I thank you that I am not like other men … like this sinner over there."

"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 8.9-14

True thanksgiving is recognizing the indescribable gift that God has given us--which outweighs anything else we possess--and living lives that express our gratitude in the way in obedience to Him.

Monday, November 19, 2018


These are a little off the wall, but VERY funny. Have a good laugh before tackling travel on the busiest two days of travel of the year. - Steve

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Freedom is a dream for so much of humanity, but the freedom they pursue is often fleeting or easily lost or stolen away by despots and political systems. This song reminds us of what real freedom is and the source of it. - Steve