My Head is in the Clouds



I like running, but that has nothing to do with my post…it’s just a good way to start, I guess. Anyway, while I was running this morning I noticed that there was a single cloud in the sky, next to the sun. I couldn’t help but to stare at the cloud while I was rounding the first turn on the track (I can stare as long as I want as long as I don’t run into anything) and the more I looked, the clearer an image started to form…


It’s funny how when we look at something, people see different things. Take for the instance the cloud that I saw this morning. The first time I saw it, I thought it looked like an elephant preaching behind a pulpit (yep, that’s right… an elephant preaching behind a pulpit). The second time I saw it, though, the elephant was gone and the cloud turned into a hand trying to grab a fish. The final time I saw it, it was a hand holding a fish up in the air, as if it gained the greatest prize in the world (see pic above). 

What do you see? 


Now, I am not a man who usually attaches spiritual meanings to things like this…

Who am I kidding? Yes, I do! 

While I do believe that God speaks to us in many different ways and shows us things that are beyond our comprehension, I don’t think He fashioned that cloud just for me…but what He did do was help me to see something that I may not have normally seen in an inanimate object. 

I saw the elephant preaching behind the pulpit because I have a desire to preach the Word of God with power…and what better way to illustrate that, or confirm that in my life, than an elephant preaching behind a pulpit. 

The hand trying to grab the fish is the goal of every Christian, to be fishers of people. To go out into the world and help people see what I see, to know what I know, to experience Christ in the same way that I experience Him. 

The hand holding the fish in victory is what I hope happens in my ministry! I want people to know Christ because of my work. I want people to love Christ because of how God is using me! I want to be a fisher of people, but I also want to hold a soul up to God and say, “This one’s for you, Lord!”


But then again, maybe that cloud was only a cloud and nothing more…

Thank you, God, for the clouds and the messages that come with them.


Peace, Love, and Soul

The Bittersweet taste of Ministry

Sometimes we are called to things that we did not expect to be called to.
I have found this statement to be true many of times in my ministry and today is one of those moments.
Two years ago I was visiting Richland Christian Church trying to become their minister… I had just finished my trial sermon and had an opportunity to talk with the staff to discuss the possibility of coming on, it was there that I was hot with the following question:
“If you come how long do you plan on staying?”
That question hit me hard… I wanted stability and a place where my family and I could grow for awhile… but I knew the timeline was only known to one person, “That’s up to God,” I replied.
It is now two years later (to the Sunday) and I now know the answer to that question.
Today, I resigned from Richland Christian Church, here is what I read to them at the end of service:
To the Elders of Richland Christian Church and to the family of Christ at Richland Christian Church,
      When Isaiah saw God in chapter 6 of his book, he thought he was a dead man, but through God’s grace and provision, an angel came forth and purified the lips of Isaiah so  he could be declared clean and thus stand in the presence of God. Then, in a test of Isaiah’s faithfulness to Him, God asked,”Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
      To Isaiah, the response was a no-brainer, “Here am I. Send me!” At that moment Isaiah realized how much God had given him and he knew the only response he could ever give God was to go wherever He wanted.
       I have formed my own life around this philosophy. I go when God calls me, I go where God calls me, and I stay for as long as God calls me. Two years ago, God called me and my family to Richland Christian Church, we grew here, we gained fantastic relationships here, and we saw God’s hand move miraculously here. Yet, it is in the midst of a fruitful ministry that we hear God asking us to go where He wants us to go.
        Last Sunday my family and I accepted a call for me to be the Senior Minister at Paoli Christian Church and thus will be resigning from Richland Christian Church. As it stands, my last Sunday will be September 9th.
       On a personal note, I wanted all of you to know that our decision to move on is only due to God’s calling on our lives and nothing else. I pray for only great things for the future of this church and that God would use this opportunity to make Richland Christian Church a stronger and healthier church that makes a huge impact on the community in Spencer County.
        Pray for us as we pray for you. We love you and will miss seeing your wonderful faces every Sunday. We know this isn’t goodbye, but only a temporary separation until we see each other again, either on this side of eternity or the other.
Heather and I are a mixed bag of emotions… On one hand we are sad to leave a community that has been so close to our hearts over the years, but on the other hand, we are excited to see what the Lord as for us at Paoli Christian Church.
To those of you who have been by our side here at Richland, thank you… You have helped make these last two years the most successful ministry I have ever had.
To those of you anxiously awaiting my first Sunday at Paoli, I can’t wait to see how God moves through our community as we team together to bring the Kingdom to the who need it most.
Peace, Love, and Soul

We Just Became “One of THOSE Families…”


Yep, that’s right…we just became a “Homeschooling” Family!

And it’s not because we hate the public school system either.

For those of you who know me, you know that I have nothing but love and respect for the people who devote their lives to the public education of our children. My son, Noah, is about to finish Kindergarten at the best Public Elementary School I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. So, in case I haven’t spelled it out clearly enough:


Sorry, didn’t mean to yell…I just wanted to make sure you heard that.

“Alright, Larry…if it’s not because of the school system, then why in God’s name are you pulling them out?”

Exactly. Let me explain…

It is because of God’s name that we are doing this.

Two years ago Heather approached me about homeschooling our children. My response? “I don’t have faith in your ability to teach our kids.”

I know, I know…all the wives out there can feel free to pick up stones to throw at me for that comment, but it was honest, and if I am nothing else, I am honest.

Once I said those horrifying words to my wife, I thought the conversation was over. I had won! Noah was attending public school and I was volunteering there everyday. The girls, meanwhile, were going to a private Christian preschool and we were making plans for Felicity to be enrolled into public school as well. There was no talk of homeschool, no divisive arguments…there was nothing.

And then, while watching tv on the couch, Heather dropped the bombshell…”I think God is calling us to homeschool our kids.”

I sighed, not wanting to talk about it….Heather knew I was trying to avoid it so she said it again, “I think God is calling us to homeschool, Larry.”

“Let’s pray about it.” That was my response I gave when I didn’t really want to talk about something, even though I really was going to pray about it, I still used it to get out of discussing it.

“My mom bought us tickets to the Homeschool convention…I thought we could go and check out some of the curriculum.”

At first, when I heard those words I felt angry….I felt Heather had gone behind my back and done something without discussing it first, but as soon as I turned around and looked my wife in the eyes, I saw something that I had only seen a couple of times in our relationship…

I saw a fiery passion.

I knew we had to go…it was the right thing.

Fast forward to a couple of months later, when we finally arrived in Cincinnati for the convention. Heather and I were excited…well, Heather was excited, I was there…

Our first session was entitled, “100% Mommy, 100% Teacher” by Susan Kemmerer. I liked what I heard, but it was during that session that I heard God say something that I wasn’t expecting:

“You should do this.”

“Do what?”

“You know what.”

“I’m not listening to this…”

I think we’ve all said that to God at one point in our lives, haven’t we? Anyway, we left there with this stirring in my heart for homeschooling. I was confused, but eager to go to my next class on Fathering called, “Father Power” taught by Todd Wilson. Even if I didn’t homeschool, I could always learn to be a better dad.

As soon as we started, I knew I was in for a ride. Todd was an amazing speaker who spoke right to my heart. The first thing Todd said as he started our class was this:

“Your wife will fail as a homeschooling mom if you are not involved. She can’t do this without you.”

And then it hit me…

Heather can’t do this on her own, I was right all along (maybe I was a little wrong, but I’ll take my victories whenever I can)! Heather can’t do this by herself, but she can if I put the same type of passion and investment in her that she puts into our family.

As soon as I “got it” I said to God, “You really want me to do this?”

“Yep…but with My help.”


Realize that this is nothing more than a paraphrase of how God changed my heart for homeschooling in the course of one weekend. God spoke to me so powerfully that I really felt that I had no choice but to be faithful to my Father. That’s the reason we are homeschooling…

Not because it is better than public school.

Not because Heather and I are perfect teachers, or parents for that matter.

It’s not because we want to seclude our kids from every walk of life, keep them in social bubbles away from negative influences, or any other crazy objection that comes from people who don’t understand why normal Christian parents choose this route. There is only one simple reason as to why we are embarking on this journey…

God told us to.

I can’t explain the transformation that has happened in our family since making the decision God wanted us to make over two years ago. It is wonderful, it is loving, and incredibly freeing. I feel more like a godly dad then I ever have…

I now have faith, not only in my God, but in my wife too.

Peace, Love, and Soul

A Homeschool Dad

A Note of Thanks


I’ve been hearing a lot of negativity about my alma mater lately…

And while I cannot confirm or deny any of what has been said to me, I wanted to do something that I haven’t heard any current or former student do since I attended Cincinnati Christian University. 


Thank you CCU for taking a kid that came from a broken home and loving him like he was one of your own. 

Thank you CCU for taking a kid who had a passion for Christ and leading him to a preaching major. 

Thank you CCU for sitting with me while I struggled with life issues and giving me biblical advice to overcome them. 

Thank you CCU for teaching me about Christ and strengthening my faith. 

Thank you CCU for giving me an environment where I could foster Christ-centered relationships. 

Thank you CCU for being in the midst of a broken city and being a light in that darkness…for being a light in my darkness. 

Thank you CCU for being Christ to me and to thousands of others students that have been on, and are currently on, your campus. 



They say that you can tell a lot about a person by the legacy that they leave behind…an organization is no different. If you want to see the impact CCU has on its students take a look at the people who have graduated from there…Not all of us are in professional ministry but I guarantee you, whatever it is that we are doing, it is making a huge impact for the Kingdom of God.

Here’s a challenge to all the current and former students of Cincinnati Christian University…Join me by posting on your wall a simple thank you to CCU…just one thing that you are thankful for…and let’s turn this negativity into something positive…



It was the week after Christmas in 1988…I was 5 years old. I had a great Christmas that year, I can’t remember what gits I had gotten, but I do remember I was happy (so all in all, great Christmas). My dad had decided it was time to take down our Christmas tree, pack it up, and put it in the storage until next Thanksgiving, where we would go through the whole Christmas process all over again. I always enjoyed helping Dad out with this task, I don’t know exactly why, maybe because it got me around the biggest role model at that time in my life.

This year was a tad bit different though, it was even better than years before…because it was that year Dad and I made a great discovery:

“What is that,” Dad asked as we took the top part of the tree down. Something was stuck in the branches of the fake tree. Dad may not have known what it was, but I sure did..

“It’s a present!”  I yelled with excitement, hoping that it was for me (I was 5, what did you expect?)

I ran over to my Dad and as I tore that present opened I could a small smile on his face. It was a red robot toy…evidently it was buried in the back of the tree and had gotten stuck in the fake, plastic branches before Christmas, and in the rush and excitement of the morning it had never gotten noticed and was not opened until I found it a week later.

I don’t remember a lot about that robot toy…I don’t know how long I played with it, nor the fate of that Late-Christmas present…but I do remember finding it, opening it, and the inexpressible  joy that I felt that I had a received a gift. I also remember the lesson I learned from that experience:

A gift is not a gift if you don’t open it up.

That gift was picked out by my parents, wrapped with delicate care by their own hands, and placed under the tree with thoughts of how much I would enjoy the present. However, I wonder what would have happened if that gift was never found? I wonder what would have happened if I wouldn’t have opened that gift and received the joy that comes with playing with a new toy?

Does that rip away the title of that red robot being a gift? I don’t think so…at least not entirely…at some level that red robot was intended to be a gift for a little (and cute…ahem) 5 year old boy. Yet, at the same time, if that gift was never opened, even though it was offered as one, it wouldn’t be a fulfilled gift.

The gift of salvation is the same way, isn’t it? I mean, think about it for a second…God, our Heavenly Parent, thought of us while He devised the plan for us to be saved, He wrapped that present up in the act of Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave, and placed that gift for the whole world to see with thoughts of how much we would enjoy our present (a relationship with Him).

But if we don’t open that gift we cannot be receive the benefits of salvation.

You see, God has presented that gift to EVERYONE…no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. God thought of you when He died on that cross and resurrected from that grave. Yet not everyone is saved…why? Because they didn’t open the gift, they left it stuck in the tree and all God hopes for is that you find it there.

So how do we open that gift? How do we receive the free gift of God’s salvation?

Psalm 103:17-18, “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

In other words, anyone who pursues a relationship with God and is faithful to Him shall open that gift and enjoy the benefits of being a child of God.

God has a present for you…it’s time to open it.

Peace, Love, and Soul…

Changing more than diapers when it comes to our children…

Now granted, that title only works for the first (hopefully) 3 years of their lives…but it does speak volumes.

Mondays are the days that I spend really digging into the text for my sermon on the upcoming Sunday and this Sunday we are dealing with Psalm 78, a great Psalm about teaching children the importance of God’s faithfulness, to have confidence in Him, and to keep His commands the best that they can (while teaching grace at the same time, mind you…)

So how does this fit with diapers? Easy, for the first 3 years (again, hopefully) of our children’s lives we change diapers in order to keep them healthy, but for their entire lives we change and mold their hearts in order to keep them spiritually healthy (everyone together now, “Oh! Now I get it!”). I truly believe that the most important job that a parent has, or will ever have, is the job of turning their children into followers of Christ!

But we aren’t going to do that by shoving facts down their throats…

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for reading the Bible to my kids, praying with them, bringing them to Church, and answering whatever question they might have about God (like Noah asking me how God can live in our hearts while living everywhere all at the same time). However, there are times that well-intentioned parents can throw fact after fact, Bible verse after Bible verse, rule after rule, at their kids and forget to demonstrate the love of Christ that children need to internalize in order to truly follow Christ.

Alright Mr. Smart Guy…(That’s my impression of what you are thinking, how did I do?) how do we change the hearts of our kids?

Glad you asked…

The more I think about it, the more I have to believe that if we are going to change the hearts of our kids it comes down to one word…


Passion…such a small word with a huge meaning. If we are going to change the hearts of our children, mold them into the image of Christ, then we must allow our passion for Jesus to shine brighter than anything else in our lives. They have to SEE our relationship with Christ in action…when we serve, they should be there next to us, handing out clothes and food to the homeless. If we worship, they better be right there next to us singing their hearts out for God. When we pray, they need to see us struggling to come up with the words that express how thankful we are to a God that loves us so much!

You know better than anybody that your relationship with Jesus Christ is more experiential than anything else, so our kids need to experience Christ in order for their relationship to flourish…that can only happen if we lead them to those experiences. So teach those Bible Verses, Pray with your kids on a regular basis, and bring them to Church…but do it passionately and watch to see what happens!

Peace, Love, and Soul

I Loves Me Some Humus…


No I’m not talking about the delicious spread you put on crackers….

“Humus” is the latin word for “Humility” or “Humble” (I can tell you’re really interested in knowing that, right?). When we think of Humility we think of someone who is confident yet meek, a person who is quiet yet strong…a person we could all look up to because of his/her “inner strength”.

What if I were to tell you that is not an accurate definition of the word “humility”?

Humus does not mean those things…not even close. Humus is the latin word for…wait for it…DIRT. Yep, that’s right, humility means to be dirt. Or as I put it, humility is allowing yourself to be treated like dirt (and that is where I will get the arguments)…

Let me explain…even though the definition says it good enough….if you want to be humble you have to okay with people treating you like dirt. That means you are okay with people walking over you (as dirt is accustomed to), or people dumping their trash on you (again, a major job of dirt). As a person who strives for humility, you must be okay when people treat you as less than human…because that is what being dirt is all about.

That’s how Jesus demonstrated Humility.

Think about it. When Jesus was on trial and He was being accused of blasphemy, what did He do? He allowed it…

When Jesus was beaten, spat upon, whipped within an inch of his life, and nailed to a piece of wood, what did He do…He didn’t defend Himself, He prayed for the Father to forgive them.

Jesus was God and He allowed Himself to be treated like dirt.

It’s just like Paul said in Philippians 2:5-8, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

You see…Jesus emptied Himself…I mean it’s bad enough that Jesus had to become like us, but to be treated as lower than human is far worse. Yet that is how Jesus wanted it and that is how we should want it as well.

Look, I’m just now realizing this stuff myself and I am still up in the air about how this should be done in my life and in the life of the church, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. I wonder how Christianity would look if we stopped defending ourselves and started being the dirt that God has asked us to be.

By the Way, Dirt isn’t just for walking or dumping trash on, it’s also the main source for beautiful life. I have to believe that if I humble myself the way that God is asking me to then beautiful things will definitely spring up in my life.

It’s time to get dirty.

Peace, Love, and Soul