Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Life and stress… they go hand in hand. We will experience lots and lots of stress in our life. There is no getting around it. I believe that the degree to which we effectively manage and cope with the stress in our lives will determine the degree to which we are healthy. If we turn to unhealthy behaviors to cope with the stress, our physical and emotional health will suffer. Many people turn to food as a way to cope with stress. Others turn to the use of drugs. Some turn to alcohol. Still others light up a cigarette. Some burn the midnight oil surfing the internet and pay for it the next day because they have had inadequate sleep.

Long ago Jesus told his followers: “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find much rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. I don’t know of any more effective technique to get a handle on the stress in my life than to turn to Jesus. God designed you and me in a way that our spirit, mind and body would react together in a marvelous way when we feel tense and anxious and “heavy” and set our heart and mind on Jesus. God knew that Jesus was our anecdote for stress … not drugs, food, alcohol and the internet. That’s why he inspired Matthew to capture and write about Jesus’ short teaching on this topic.

How do we “Come to Jesus?” We pray. We listen to inspirational music. We sit or walk quietly and listen for His voice. We cry out to Him in desperation. We read His Word, the Bible. We get on our knees and pour out our heart to Him. When we do this, He promises that He will give us rest. Is your life heavy and full of stress? To what or whom do you turn to when you are weary? Do you know someone that needs so rest?
See you in church, but until then take care of yourself and one another.
Peace & Grace,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

People ask me to pray for them on a regular basis. It comes along with my job and I have come to not only embrace it but at times endure it. I get it, I mean I work for Jesus and part of that job description is to lift up prayers from those who ask. It’s hard at times. I’m not one of those ministers that just say, “I’ll be praying for you” and walk away like it is just a parting comment and pleasant way to move on about my day. Jesus will know when I’m slacking. There are days I don’t feel very much like praying. Not even for myself much less a list of others. It can wear a guy out, praying and all. Then there are times like yesterday.

While in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, yesterday I began a conversation with Jim. (Jim is not his real name, as there is anonymity in my prayer list) Jim asked me to pray for him. Jim explained how he and his wife after having raised a son and daughter of their own decided under God’s calling to adopt two girls from China. I expressed how awesome that was. Jim asked me to pray for the girls. No biggie I thought. He proceeded to tell me about eighteen months ago, his wife passed away after a horrible brief battle with cancer. Then just three months after his wife passed away, his adult son was arrested and sentenced to spend the rest of his natural life in prison. His daughter in her twenties stepped in to help raise the girls. Up until this January, when she died suddenly of an undiagnosed brain tumor. He was all the girls had left. They had planned a trip back to China leaving today so the girls now 16 and 13 could visit their home land. Jim had to back out of the trip because he had just been diagnosed with advanced stage four lymphoma and was advised not to take the trip. They were to travel with a group of ten other parents who all adopted girls at the same time. This group agreed to surround the girls and take them on the trip anyway. Jim’s prayer request was to pray for their safe travel and that God cold allow him to live at least five more years as then both girls would be over 18 and or legal age.

At that moment I felt unworthy as Jim asked me to pray for him and the girls. At that moment my heart broke for Jim. There in the waiting room, my life problems seemed so insignificant. I felt like a wimp. God opened me up when I met Jim. I realized what an honor and privilege it is to add Jim and the girls to my list. God used this stranger to reaffirm what we do as ministers are important in the lives of those who suffer. Thanks Jim for the lesson on life and yes I did pray for you and the girls today.

Monday, June 6, 2011

An Old Watch

Sometime last Christmas, I received a box and a note from my Aunt. In the box was a very old pocket watch. The note explained that the watch once belonged to my grandfather, which upon his death he had given to my uncle Walter because Walter was the youngest Henegar. The note read since my uncle and father have long since died and because I was the youngest Henegar, she wanted to be sure I got it. It was very touching to me as I never got to know my grandfather. I have no conscious memory of grandfather as he passed away two days before I was born. I now have possession of something tangible to hold on to the stories I have heard about my grandfather. I have something real to represent the legacy of my family. While I was over whelmed with the gift my hearts beats with anticipation for the future. I have a vision of the day when I hand it over to Will and he hands it down to his children. The joy I felt when I received the watch will not compare to the joy I am confident I will feel when I give it away.

When the resurrected Christ ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit as His legacy to us. Christ left the world his body known as the church. Sunday we will kick off a 12-18 month campaign of “I love my church.” We will reveal the vision God has laid for us specifically for the year ahead. We will begin Acts 29. (Many have asked what exactly Acts 29 is, sorry you’ll have to come Sunday to find out). Acts 29 will be the legacy of the church we leave to our children and grandchildren. When Christ left this world to ascend into heaven, he left his body, the church to continue his teachings, his ministry of healing, and his instructions on how to live. The church, our church, is the extension of the gospel stories. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that helps us, guides us, and strengths us to do what Christ has called us to do. We could never accomplish anything without God’s spirit upon us. When we read the second chapter of Act, we get a glimpse of the power of the Holy Spirit. It empowered ordinary people to do extra ordinary things. It broke down language and cultural barriers so the good news could break through. It was the beginning of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Centralia. Yes, you read that right. The moment the Holy Spirit busted into the room that day that was also our beginning. The Holy Spirit was the family watch handed down to many generations.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we as Christ body, we as FCC will transform our community like never before. We will pass along a healthier, stronger, growing, and stable church to our children and grandchildren. We will no longer be restricted by the mistakes of the past, but by the power of the Spirit for tomorrow. We will extend our faith family beyond our own imagination because we are the Pentecost story. Where do we start? We begin Sunday by sharing our most valuable gift and asset we have in our possession: LOVE…
Peace & Grace,