Day 8: Listen, Trust, and Obey

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. (Matthew 1:24) Every Christmas season, Joseph gets the short end of the stick. I understand it to some extent. Joseph never speaks in Scripture. He’s not the one carrying the second Person of the Trinity in his womb. Besides all that, he’s not a mother. Everyone knows that without mothers, our homes (and the world) would fall apart! Yet when we encounter Joseph in Scripture, we don’t find a distant, lazy man who rejects responsibility. We find a silent man, yes, but one who is … Continue reading Day 8: Listen, Trust, and Obey

A Christmas Poem: “Hands”

I wrote this poem for our church’s Christmas Eve gathering. The inspiration for this poem came while changing my son’s diaper. As Titus and I exchanged smiles that night, I pondered what it would have been like to be Joseph looking at his baby boy Jesus. As a father, I often feel inadequate to raise my children. I cannot imagine the helplessness Joseph must have felt knowing he was called to raise the Son of God! This poem is my simple effort to begin imagining, to live inside a few precious moments, late at night, after a hard day’s work, when daddy Joseph … Continue reading A Christmas Poem: “Hands”

Jesus: The True and Better Joseph

This is a series of three messages I gave a camp for foster boys at Teen Reach Adventure Camp in Nebraska. This is not an exact manuscript, but it has the general form and content of the actual messages. A Messy Family (Day 1) For the next three days we are going to be spending time in the Bible. We need to get to know it. The Bible is composed of 66 smaller books and is divided into two sections called the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are 39 books in the OT and 27 in the NT. The Bible … Continue reading Jesus: The True and Better Joseph

Foster Kids, Joseph, and Jesus

Before I was a pastoral intern at my church, I worked for the Department of Health and Human Services in Omaha. Though the work was not always a delight, God grew my heart for abused and neglected children. He grew my heart to help these kids–not to help them overcome past hurts with therapy or rehab–but to help them overcome through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a huge mission field, even in Nebraska. To give you an idea, there are usually well over 6,000 calls a month to the abuse and neglect hotline…in Omaha. Not all of those … Continue reading Foster Kids, Joseph, and Jesus