Second Coming

sun-through-clouds1During the American Civil War, General William T. Sherman was driving his troops through Georgia on his decisive march to the sea.  He had left a small contingent of men behind in a fort on Kennesaw Mountain to guard the rations.  General John Bell Hood of Texas attacked the fort, and a fierce battle followed.  One-third of the men were killed or wounded, and J. M. Corse, the general in command, was severely injured in the fighting.

Just as he was about to hoist up the white flag and surrender, a message came through the signal corps set up on a chain of mountains.  General Sherman was within 15 miles of the fort and had sent the message:  “Hold fast.  We are coming.” Those few words so encouraged the defenders that they held on and kept the fort from falling into the hands of their attackers.

You and I are a little like that contingent of Union soldiers.  We’re part of a victorious army that has been left for a season to be stewards of the resources of our Commander-in-Chief.

And we’re under attack. [click to continue…]



It took more than 25 years, but I finally met Jesus at a wedding.  And when I did, I made peace with weddings in general.  I’d like to tell you how.

For years I have made the statement that I’d rather do a funeral any day than a wedding.  Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds twisted, vile, and patently un-American.  But from a ministry perspective, there’s no comparison.  Unlike weddings, at the funeral:

  • The family will actually listen to what I have to say.
  • Nobody has spent years fantasizing and obsessing about how this will be the perfect day.
  • The cost, even with caskets and cemetery plots, is usually less.
  • Long-term success is assured – deceased persons don’t have a 50/50 chance of changing their minds at a later date.
  • Prospective candidates aren’t inundated with supermarket magazines modeling the latest casket fashions.
  • There are no attendants who are required to buy swishy dresses or rent tuxedos.
  • People don’t “experiment” by cohabitating with the casket for a year or two to see if there’s a fit.
  • Photographers don’t roam freely about the service, or dominate the entire reception.
  • Expenses can be offset by life insurance.  (Try telling your insurance agent you need wedding coverage.)
  • People actually give some thought to life after the ceremony.

Simply put, marriage is made in heaven, but weddings (aka American Idolatry) are made in hell.

An Idea Born of Necessity

All that changed a couple of years ago, however, when I was doing premarital counseling with two couples who had a similar problem.  [click to continue…]


“You wanna see what the room looks like?” Geoffrey asked.  “The room” was the hotel room where my son was staying.  Geoffrey was his best man and is his best friend.

I was a bit out of the loop.  I thought I was going to be looking at a brochure of the Houston Marriott or something.  What Geoffrey brought instead was a camera.

Off and on during this wedding day I had wondered what the heck Joel was up to.  Why was he running behind?  Why wasn’t he at the church when I thought he was supposed to be?  Why were people calling, looking for him?  What was so important?

I had showed up at the church about 4:45 – 15 minutes late myself.  He was nowhere to be found.  Getting the car washed, Geoffrey said. 

Car washed!  Photographer was waiting, people were wondering, and he?  He was washing.

Now, some five hours later, that clean car has just left the building with the newlyweds on board.  And Geoffrey is scrolling through the pictures on his camera.  These weren’t publicity pics.  They were the results of a groom’s labor to prepare a place – a special place – for his bride.  I’ll spare you the details, but there were candles, rose petals, a picnic basket, and much more, I’m sure.

[click to continue…]