Saturday, May 30, 2015

WE100Days

This Sunday is a big day at The Water’s Edge. We are going to kick off #WE100Days. Paul’s letters contain 100 chapters. We are going to read these 100 chapters in 100 days. These are some of the most amazing words ever written. 

He talks about grace and forgiveness.
He gives us the best description ever for love.
He teaches us how to get along with each other.
He teaches us how to pray.
How to get past our past.
How to live and how to die. 

I’m praying this summer God does amazing things in us and through us. Here is how to participate:


Read

One chapter a day. It takes a few minutes. The daily reading is on our app. Or you can use your own Bible. Try to write one simple application from your daily reading.

Devote

A short devotion written by a person from The Water’s Edge will be posted to the app each day. Take a few minutes to read it. Share another person’s experience with the Scripture you are reading.

Pray

Each week will have a prayer focus and a prayer in our weekly devotional guide. Start there. Then pray for others. Prayer for your needs and direction. Spend time listening to God.

Reflect

A study guide will be distributed in worship. They will also be published on our web site. Each guide will have questions for reflection to help you grow. You are encouraged to reflect individually, with a friend, with your family, or in a small group.

Worship

We will be covering one of the seven chapters for the upcoming week in worship. Fifteen different topics over fifteen different weeks. Some weeks you will be comforted. Other weeks you will be challenged. If you miss our Sunday morning services—worship with us on Sunday evenings at the ministry center at six o’clock.

Social Media

Participate in our photo a week challenge. Use #WE100Days to share your thoughts and pictures. Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for resources and information. 

I look forward to sharing #WE100Days with you!

The best is yet to come…

Craig

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day means different things to different people. It usually falls around the time of graduation and the ending of school. For some it is the beginning of summer. Picnics, BBQs, family reunions, and sporting events are all associated with Memorial Day. For some it is simply a welcomed day off from work.


For others Memorial Day is a sacred time. Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates United States men and women who have died in military service to their country.

A few years ago I visited two parents who lost their son in Afghanistan. The son was like a little brother to me—he was a youth in a church I served. We laughed about days past. I told them stories about their son and listened to many of theirs. We ate burgers and mashed potatoes together. They shared dreams that would never be fulfilled. Hopes that would never be realized. Even though the son died a few years prior to my visit, it was like the pain was as deep and real for them as if I was the person who was breaking the news to them for the very first time. 

Then she looked at me with a tear flowing down her cheek like a sprinkle of rain dripping down a rock. I’ll never forget what she said: “One thing we are learning is that God knows what it’s like to lose a son for the freedom of many. In our darkest moments, He has always been our shining light.” 

Freedom isn’t free. Attorneys don’t provide freedom of speech. Soldiers do. Preachers don’t give freedom of religion. Military families do. We are grateful for soldiers, sailors, air men and women, and their families. 

As Americans we are blessed with political, economic, and religious freedom as no other group of people in the history of the world has ever been blessed before. This did not come without a high price. Many of us have known somebody who has lost their life defending the things that make the United States so great. As Christians we are blessed with spiritual freedom as well. Things like hope, forgiveness, and grace give us both an abundant and eternal life. This did not come without a high price either. Jesus lost his life so we can experience a full life that will last forever. 

To all those who have served, who are serving, and their families—thank you!

Craig

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Letter to Graduates

Dear Graduates,

You will get a lot of these notes over the next few weeks: 

Make the world a better place. 
Live life with no regrets.
Chase your dreams. 
Laugh often. 
Work hard.
Love all.

It seems like yesterday to your parents when they dropped you off at Kindergarten for the first time. They wiped the tears from their eyes as this little person walked into this big door. Since that day you have attended school about 2,340 times. You have learned. You have made friends. You have been hurt. You have been mentored. Some days it was lots of fun. Some days it wasn’t much fun at all. Your parents are going to watch you graduate soon. The same teary eyes that dropped you off at Kindergarten thirteen years ago will surely well-up as you walk across the stage.


I want to tell you some things I wish somebody would have told me twenty-some years ago when I graduated from high school. Some I have learned from observation. Some I have learned the hard way.

Fail often and fail well. Failure is a necessary step to success and significance. Failure teaches courage, wisdom, humility, and perseverance like only failure can. I don’t want you to get to the end of your days wondering what might have been if you had only taken a risk, but didn’t, because of the fear of failure. Tomorrow’s dreams are made possible by today’s failures.

Don’t forget to play. People will tell you to study hard when you go to college and work hard when you get a job. I agree. But I want you to hear this: Don’t forget to play. My best memories in life are not sitting in front of my computer writing my dissertation or leading a meeting. My best memories are playing in a lake, exploring the world, and hanging out with friends and family. 

Love people and not possessions. Stuff can give you happiness for a while. People will give you joy and contentment for a lifetime. Spend much of your time, energy, and resources investing in people rather than acquiring things. You are designed to live in community with others and with God.

Have faith. Some things in life can be proven. Sound travels faster than light. The moon doesn’t shine its own light. But the most important things in life can’t be proven. We can’t prove a friend is a friend or that forgiveness is better than revenge or that love is better than hate or that God is holy. That is where faith comes in. Have faith in self, others, and God. You’ll need it because the most important things can’t be proven.

The best is yet to come…

Craig

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rain

I love the smell and the sounds of a gentle, fresh rain.
Takes me back to my childhood and the open windows of
the big, blue house on the corner.  Simultaneously
looking back on the brokenness and blessings of the past
and dreaming about God's promises and what the future holds.
"God comes to us as a spring rain that waters the earth.” -Hosea 6:3

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Foul Ball

David showing off the foul ball he got
at the Creighton game.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Column

My mom has been in town this week. She is a tax accountant and is enjoying May. It is much better than March and April for her. She came down to watch Benjamin use up a few of his fifteen minutes of fame. She made a rhubarb pie yesterday. It was perfect.


The Bible tells us to honor our mother (Exodus 20:12). For some of us this task is simple and natural. For others it is difficult and contrived. Some mothers are nearly perfect. Others have made so many mistakes that only God can clean up the mess. Either way, God says, “Honor your mother.”

My mom, Bonita, is imperfectly perfect. Despite her demanding job as an accountant and parenting my three older siblings, she loved me like I was the only one to love. I ran track and cross country in high school and college. She drove thousands of miles to see me run around a 400 meter track countless times. She was my biggest fan – celebrating the victories and encouraging me on the days I wished I was on the golf team instead of being a distance runner.

She is not perfect, but as far as moms go, I am blessed. She enjoys and loves her many grandchildren. But she still loves me like I am the only one there is to love. 

The role of being a parent is holy and sacred. Even if the parents are neither holy nor sacred, the role of parent is still sacred. Being a parent is ordained by God, the creator and sustainer of life. Being a parent has responsibilities and rights. The responsibilities are many. 

Entire books have been written on parenting: but praying, playing, listening, and modeling a Christian life are a good start. These responsibilities are for the parent of a six year old child and the parent of a sixty year old child. The rights are many as well: smelling the hair of a sleeping baby who has recently been bathed, laughing with the child exploring life, watching the child hit baseballs or dancing dances or singing songs, witnessing the child become who God wants the child to be, and having that child care for you when you are no longer able to care for yourself.

Today is Mother’s Day. God’s command to honor your mother applies today as it does every day. Honoring them doesn’t mean putting them on a pedestal or worshipping them. It means seeing them for who they are and who they are not. It means loving God and our neighbor as faithfully and selflessly as mothers at their best have tried to love us. It means listening to them, praying for them, playing with them, and taking care of them to the end of their days on earth. 

To mom and all the mother’s reading this—Happy Mother’s Day! 

Craig

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Handkerchief

Benjamin at Honor's Night.
He won the President's Award, Principal's Award,
Rotary Scholarship, Distinguished Honor Roll,
and best handkerchief.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Storm

He makes the storms be still and calms life's difficult waters.
-Psalm 107:29