Showing posts from July, 2015

Look Past the Troubled Waters

I wrote this poem several years ago in a hospital waiting room in Duluth, Minnesota, while anxiously awaiting the report from my loved one's surgery.

It was a windy day, and in the distance, Lake Superior's waves crashed violently on the shore.   The troubled waters matched my spirit.  But then, I took a longer look.  I lifted my eyes up to the horizon and saw the situation from a different perspective.  I hope my little verse can lift the spirit of someone facing the wind and waves:
Troubled waters swirl and crash
in restless waves
upon the Great Lake's southern side.

And somehow, I identify
with heavy sighings.

But still, looking up and long
I see a large horizon
deep waters fading blue,
reaching up to touch the morning sky.

And in my sighings,
hope's arising. . .

Just in time to whisper,
"All is well. Peace be still."

God's Servants Need This First

"Unless the life of a missionary (pastor) is hid with Christ in God before he (she) begins the work, that life will become exclusive and narrow.  It will never become the servant of all.  It will never wash the feet of others."
 -- Oswald Chambers

Why Should the Bible Be My Boss?

As a Christian, I believe the Bible has authority over what I believe and how I behave.  Someone may ask, "Why would an ancient book, written thousands of years ago, in completely different languages and cultures have any bearing whatsoever on my life?"

The answer is that we believe that the Bible is God's Word for us.  According to 2 Tim. 3:16, it is "God breathed" (Inspired) and "Useful" (Inspiring.)
I cannot prove that the Bible is true to someone who doesn't want to believe it.  "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."  However, let me give you three reasons why I believe the Bible is trustworthy.  There are many more reasons I could give, but for the sake of time, I'll just bring three from the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119: 89-93.

I Believe the Bible is Trustworthy Because. . .
1.  IT CARRIES ITS OWN WEIGHT Psalm 119:89  "Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens."
The …

The Anvil

Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door, and heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; then looking in, I saw upon the floor, old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had,"  said I, "to wear and batter all these hammers so?’
"Just one," said he, and then with twinkling eye, "The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."

And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word for ages skeptic blows have beat upon; Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, the Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.”

—Attributed to John Clifford

How to Make the Wise Choice

The quality of life is not a matter of luck - but of choice!

Some choices don't make much difference - like "What should I wear today?" (Although some people take an extraordinarily long time deciding this!)

Other choices can change the entire course of life - like "Who should I marry?" or "How does God fit into my life?"

Sometimes small choices can turn into disastrous outcomes:

"Should I cheat?"
"Should I take this drug?"
“Should I visit this website?”
"Should I protect myself and tell a lie?"
"Should I go out with this person?"

Think it through!

Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick invented the following six-point test for making excellent decisions:

1. Does the course of action you plan to follow seem logical and reasonable? Never mind what anyone else has to say. Does it make sense to you? If it does, it is probably right.

2. Does it pass the test of sportsmanship? In other words, if everyone followed this same cours…

The Laws of Sowing and Reaping

Here are a few basic principles concerning sowing and reaping:

1. We reap what we sow.

You can’t sow hatred and reap love.
You can’t sow unbelief and reap faith.
You can’t sow bitterness and reap forgiveness.
You can’t sow selfishness and reap friendship.

2. Sometimes, we reap what others have sown.
Somebody paid the price for the things we enjoy and often take for granted.
We have electric lights because Thomas Edison worked through the night.  
Our family values and traditions were passed along from our parents and grandparents. Every building was constructed at a price. Somebody was willing to pay it.

3. Occasionally, we reap the painful consequences from what others have sown.

A choice to drive drunk can shatter a stranger’s family.
A dishonest employee can bring great dishonor to the business owner.
An abusive parent can damage and harm the child for life.
A thief can leave the victim penniless.

4. We reap more than we sow.
The mighty oak is just a little nut that held his ground.
Small, daily inv…

A Challenge to Parents

Parenting is a tremendous challenge. No job in the entire world is more important that the molding of young lives. Your greatest legacy will be the investment you have made in your family.

Mom and Dad, please make sure you are taking time to treasure your children.

The following appeared in a church bulletin many years ago. The author is unknown.

If I Had My Child to Raise Again

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd finger paint more,
And point the finger less.
I would do less correcting,
And more connecting.
I'd take my eye off the watch,
And watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and
Know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious,
And seriously play.
I would run through more fields and
Gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I'd build self-esteem first,
And the house later.
I would be firm less often,
And affirm much more.
I'd teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.

Eric Buehrer s…

My Journey to Missional Benedictions

An excerpt from my first book, Filled Up, Poured Out: How God's Spirit Can Revive Your Passion and Purpose:
Thanks for Coming to Church
In my early years of ministry, I always ended church with, “You’re dismissed.” That’s the way my dad did it. During my upbringing, I heard over 3,500 “You’re dismissed”s at the end of worship services, so naturally, it was ingrained in me to do the same thing.

One day, George called and asked if he could take me to lunch. I thought he was just being nice, but he had a burr in his britches.

“As a diehard Presbyterian, it drives me up the wall when you say ‘You’re dismissed’ at the conclusion of the services. I’m standing there waiting for a blessing, something inspiring to take home with me, and you say, ‘You’re dismissed.’ There are only two places where I’ve heard those words: in the classroom and when I got fired from my job. Neither memory is pleasant. I wish you would give us a good, rich benediction—but if you can’t do that, would you at least s…

Let's Learn from our History

The following observation of the Wesleyan Church by historians, McLeister and Nicholson, is fascinating:  "It is significant that our greatest losses occurred in those periods when our church was debating questions of reform; and our greatest gains occurred in those periods when our church was most zealous in promoting holiness evangelism."   Perhaps we should learn something from our history.

(Ira F. McLeister & Roy S. Nicholson, Conscience and Commitment: History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America, 1976, p. 643.)

Fishing for Opportunities

The other day, while casting a line, I began to think about how fishing and discovering opportunities are alike.

If you want to "land" a few golden opportunities -- you have to go fishing! Whether at home, work, church, or civic organization -- you can catch a few golden opportunities, if you apply certain laws of fishing.

1. Go where they are.
Nobody has ever caught a fish in the bathtub or the backyard wading pool -- and you won't catch opportunities by waiting around for them to come to you. The chances of catching a fish increase greatly when you go fishing. How much energy and time are you investing in future possibilities? How often do you look for the opportunities around you? Where do you want to go in life? Does the path you are currently following lead to that destination?

2. Keep your eyes open. Good fishermen are always watching for signs of a hungry fish. Often, a causual observer will not even notice -- but an angler will see the slightest indication. When f…

Fires Bring Blueberries

Strong winds blew down a swath of trees -- leaving jagged trunks jutting from the earth.
Driving by a few days later, we shook our heads and sadly recalled how beautiful the land used to be.
I grumbled against the wind.
Good hearted loggers tried to clean it up a bit -- by clearing some of the windfall. Their honest efforts, however, seemed more an invasion of nature than a healing. Their cuttings left deep scars, cold and stark.
I drove by, shook my head, and grumbled against the loggers.
The burning followed. How the fire started is still a puzzle -- perhaps a lightening strike, an engine spark, or a careless cigarette. Regardless of the start, it took the firefighting volunteers a full effort for the finish. Acres of charred stubble marred the landscape.
I grumbled against the fire.
But passing time has a way of healing scarred soil and human hearts. From blackened ground, new life emerges.
Twelve seasons later, quite by accident, we happened upon the barren place and were amazed to find b…