Thursday, February 14, 2019



Several months ago my wife had a close call.  Traveling home from work on the interstate, she was in the left lane preparing to pass a vehicle ahead on her right.   Suddenly she found an eighteen-wheeler who had pulled up on her right attempting to pass her.  She was not traveling slowly and the truck was at an even higher rate of speed.  When she did not slow down to let him in, he accelerated and proceeded to push his way into the space in front her that was barely enough to squeeze in a passenger car.  If she had not been alert there could have been a very bad accident caused by a truck driver who was in too much of a hurry.

My wife arrived home shaken and frankly, I was angry.  I have seen too much of that kind of driving on the highway where drivers who are breaking the speed limit already aggressively weave in and out of traffic with utter disregard for the safety of the others sharing the roadway with them.

The dangers of such high speed driving are well documented. In this case the aggressive driving at high speed by this trucker created an even greater danger. From my perspective, however, the deeper problem was the self-centeredness of the driver was and is the deeper problem.  He was going to do what he wanted to do and everyone else had to live with it.

Jesus had some pointed words about self-centeredness. "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it." (Luke 17.33)  When we try to control our lives and circumstances so that we always win, so that someone else pays the price for our convenience and desires; we will ultimately lose.

Why, because this is neither the desire nor the plan of our Creator.  Self-centeredness in the Bible is equated replacing God's will with our egos.  There is no room for self-centeredness in our lives.  God has designed us to serve others, to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Paul's words reinforce that: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” -Philippians 2.3-4

God created us and redeemed us to reflect Christ in the world.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Jesus as a "man for others."

It's time to slow down, abandon our mad pursuit of our own desires--and be the person God desires us to be.

Sunday, February 10, 2019


This has become a very popular recurring feature - Steve

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Part 1 of Series: Journey to Kenya

January 15th of this year, my wife Dianne and I joined seven others on a journey to Kenya. We went as tourists and also as teachers to provide some training for pastors.  It was a trip of a lifetime and a life-changing one at all.  Both Dianne and I had traveled to Haiti but neither of us had ever been to any place in Africa. You can only imagine Kenya and your imagination will be inadequate.  You have to be on the ground to even begin to grasp life in Kenya.

The reason is that only on the ground will you meet the people.  The Kenyan people share many similarities to those of in the States but the culture in which they live, their closeness Islamic terrorist hot spots like Somalia, their history, and their economic state are nothing like we encounter in the US.  Kenya is a place of great poverty, some of underneath the gleaming towers of cities like Nairobi.

The city we were located in had no gleaming skyscrapers.  It had many poor people and some you would classify as middle class.  We found no beggars, just hardworking people.  The staff at the hotel where we stayed was just such people.  They worked long hours--at least 12 hours a day-often not finishing until nine in the evening.  And then there were the overnight people, who we sometimes found were daytime people.  They worked diligently, accommodating our requests, and also with a smile. As Christians, we tried to treat them with respect.

One morning, I arrived for breakfast quite early.  My body never managed to get used to living in  
a time zone eight hours ahead of mine back in Pennsylvania.

Breakfast was a buffet, something unusual for up country Kenya.  Normally they served us every single dish but the necessities of our conference and the number of participants arriving for a meal at the same time, required some adjustments.  I had let a waiter serve me coffee, but after ordering my eggs, I headed to the buffet to pick up my breakfast fruit plate.  Matthew, one of the waiters stopped me after I had barely taken a step.

"Please sit down, I want to serve you."

My journey to the buffet would have taken barely ten steps but I sat down and said, "Thank you." Quickly, a smiling Matthew placed a plate of that wondrous Kenyan fresh fruit in front me.  Of course, I like being waited on but I have no trouble serving myself.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the rest of my breakfast with Matthew serving me every step of the way.

Later, one of my traveling companions when hearing my story, said.  "Given the context of what happened, that was a significant act of service.  You see, he works from 9 to 9 but he arrived more than three hours early to serve you and the rest of us."

Sacrificial servanthood is a disappearing value in our culture and even in the church.  We have become a nation of takers, not givers,  We think too highly of ourselves to inconvenience ourselves in serving.  Sadly, Jesus clear words to us are sliding from our spiritual DNA.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10.45

Paul reinforced this core value in his letter to the Galatians:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. - Galatians 5.13

It's a lesson we need to learn again.  Thankful that Matthew has.

Monday, February 4, 2019


Two weeks ago Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a New York statute making abortion legal—not at the standard up to 24 weeks, but until the baby emerges from the womb.  One of friends on Facebook who tries to be sensitive to women’s rights, felt compelled to comment on New York’s action to be “a bridge too far.”

In the last two weeks Rhode Island and Vermont are moving toward towards similar legislation.  Rhode Island’s bill opens to door to post-birth abortion.  Now Virginia is engaged in a similar legislative debate. (It should be noted that these are states that are controlled by the Democrats, who have long made abortion rights on their agendas.)

Today I learned that the Girl Scouts are now participating in a pro-abortion event sponsored by Planned Parenthood.  It is not too hard to imagine that the outbreak of such actions, coming on the heels of the  Democratic Party’s taking control of the House, are an orchestrated effort.

I am a person who believes in the Sanctity of Life which unfortunately has become one side of a political argument with the other side being called “Pro-Choice.”

I make no apologies that my views on abortion are rooted in my faith.  I believe that God is Life.  There life, as a gift from God, is sacred.  And we have laws limiting the taking of life because life is sacred.

I whole-heartedly agree with these two statements.

David wrote centuries ago: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13
Jeremiah reminded us that we had a purpose even in the womb, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

 Mother Theresa has said, “A nation that kills its babies in the womb has lost its soul.”  I could not agree  more.  Life Matters.  Let’s defend life passionately.