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Monday; May 25

Today is Memorial Day.  Memorial Day in the United States is the day set aside to remember and honor those who have made a significant difference in our nation’s history – specifically, those men and women who have died protecting our nation.  As we honor their lives, it is not (necessarily) how they died that is what sets them apart, rather it is how they lived.  They were willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of their friends, families and neighbors “back home”.           As I think about Memorial Day, not only is my heart drawn to our service personnel who gave their lives to promote our national cause, I also think about others who have voluntarily sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the quality live we have.  Our parents who gave of their time, talents and funds to make sure we had a safe and secure upbringing.  The church leaders – both those who died as martyrs and those who sacrificed their time and money to make sure our congregations had a solid founda…

Friday; May 22

As governments are beginning to ease the restrictions on movement and freedoms around the nation, one of the issues is staying healthy.  Do we need to keep our faces covered?  Should we go or not go to public events?  Is it safe to eat together or shop together?  Throughout this whole ordeal one of the underlying themes has been a return to protecting our health.           While I think it is important to stay healthy, we must not overlook another vital aspect of our lives – we must protect our spiritual health.  What would our society look like if we spent as much time talking about our spiritual well-being as have our physical health over the last couple of months?  How different would our lives and our communities be if we had been as interested in protecting ourselves from satan has we have been protecting ourselves from the virus?  Again, I think we need to be doing everything we can be doing to maintain our health, but we must not neglect our spiritual well-being as well.        …

Thursday; May 21

When you think back on your childhood, what stands out to you?I am sure that each person will have their own remembrances; but two things immediately come to mind for me.The first one is security.I grew up in a family with two loving parents who dealt with day-to-day life with as little drama as possible.Sure, we had problems – some of them were extremely painful – but, our family was a safe haven for us.Religion, values and mutual support were the reliable foundations upon which we built our growth and development.The other thing that comes to mind were the carefree days when children could be children.We were allowed to explore, get dirty, take (limited) chances and enjoy the innocence of childhood.Were there expectations for our behavior – yes!Was there discipline when we stepped outside those expectations – oh yes!Yet, the pressures placed on us were reasonable and allowed for the failure that provided positive growth and development.Oh, by the way, while my parents were the centr…

Wednesday; May 20

What would you do if you were walking along a path and came upon a spider web partially blocking the walking area?  I guess I can’t speak for you, but knowing the icky feeling of being covered in spider web, I think I would walk around it.  What would you choose to do if you were walking up to your house and saw a rattlesnake curled up on your door mat?  Again, I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I probably would do my best to avoid the snake and try to find another way into the house.  Now, you might be wondering way I am bringing up these “no-dah” moments; but the reason is pretty simple.  How often do we face spiritually dangerous situations in our lives and just keep walking into them?  Sure, we recognize they are there and that they are potentially dangerous, but we plow ahead and hope that we don’t get caught up in their web or get bit.  Maybe it is a party filled with debauchery, a job with lax financial security measures, an office relationship that is way too temp…

Tuesday; May 18

It was a year ago today that I made a trip to the Express Clinic to get some relief from what I figured were the persistent effects of the flu.  When I walked in, I expected to come out a couple of hours later with some medications to treat the symptoms, but when I left Washington Hospital almost a week later I had all new cardiac plumbing.  As I reflect on the past year there are several things that come to mind.  First, I am glad that my unfortunate incident occurred in 2019 rather than in 2020.  I am not sure how I would have reacted to being in the hospital with all the activity going on these days!  I am also thankful for the quality of care I received.  The medical staff that treated me were top-notch.  I also continue to be impressed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and encouragement I have received by those around me.  Finally, at least for this article, I am thankful that I recovered as quickly as I did.            Last year’s medical experience, my turning 60 this …

Monday; May 18

If you would have told me when I started being a church leader that one of the most stressful decisions I would be involved in making was whether people should be required to wear face masks at church I would have laughed.  Could I imagine having to navigate through the world’s immoral influence on the church?  Yes!  Could I have envisioned having to deal with social apathy influencing our ability to reach out to the lost?  Absolutely!  But face masks in church – no way!  Well, it is 2020 and church leaders all over the nation are having to make solid and balanced decisions about the physical health and welfare of their congregations on top of trying to shepherd them toward spiritual well-being.  As we continue our journey into these uncharted waters, I have noticed some things that have been beneficial to us and I am sure would be useful to other leaders: 1.  Pray for wisdom.  We cannot manage this on our own or lead people to where they need to be without divine guidance.  Please kee…

Friday; May 15

A few days ago I shared with you a milestone in my life – my 35th Anniversary in ministry.Well, it just so happens that May 15 is also a special day for me.Not only is it Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, it is also the anniversary of my first day in Law Enforcement.On May 15, 1995 I made my first appearance in an all-department meeting at the Pierre, South Dakota Police Department as a Police Chaplain.As I think back on that day twenty-five years ago I can only imagine what those folks were thinking – from “who is this guy” to “what is this guy”!Thankfully, several people present at that meeting accepted me, took me under their wing and gave me the foundation for a career and a passion that continues today.I have been fortunate to get to do a lot of incredible things in the past twenty five years and hope that, as a volunteer these days, I have even more to contribute to the profession that has blessed me so richly. As I look back on the past quarter century there are a lot of moments th…