Not the streets of Laredo but Chicago!  What about them?  During the summer of 1966, I’m studying at Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute.  Still wondering if I should end my Fairleigh Dickinson University business administration studies to complete one in God’s Word.  Change is in the air.  Reshaping!

Even more than making oodles and caboodles of moolah with a stock trade, I love sharing Jesus with others.  Like times in Chicago’s Old Town with a group called Open Air Campaigners.  Someone would get up on a flat-bed truck, draw pictures on a chalkboard, explaining the Gospel of salvation in Jesus.  As in the unbridged gulf that sin creates between mankind and God.  The healing effects of the cross of Jesus.  And the call to accept Him into their hearts and lives.  Some hands go up and off we go, talking with them about their possible decision.  Thrilling!

I can’t wait to give out Gospel tracts to almost anyone I come across on the Windy City’s streets, buses and elevated trains.  I remember one kid coming up to me on his bike, showing me a tract that I’d given him a year before.  He still had it.  Pulled it out of his back pocket.  Astonishing!

Recently, after a friend dies, his wife shares with me how much a sermon I preached means to her.  A Sunday message from 40 years ago!  She’s kept it and reads it.  The title?  ‘What Lies Beyond’.  Comfort comes from this long- in-the-tooth meditation.  Lately I’ve mailed her one of my daily devotional books to bring the Lord Jesus closer to her every day.  Humbling and gratifying!

Psalm 87 motivates me to share my faith.  Talks about all kinds of people coming to worship the Lord God.  From everywhere.  Not only the expected bunch.  Previous pagans come pouring into God’s Temple finding His love, acceptance and care.  Psalm 87: 4–‘Among those who know me I mention Rahab(Egypt) and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre with Cush…’  Surprising!

But how do the outsiders know the way inside?  Right!  Someone tells them.  Don’t have to be a pastor or missionary.  Be you.  Share.  Open your mouth.  Give a tract.  Support evangelistic causes.  Make it clear who has salvation to offer– the only One.  Costs Jesus everything; but, for us, free for the taking.  Amazing!

What could be better than to tell others about Jesus and point the way to heavenly home, sharing Him on whatever streets we travel.  Happy trails!


Thank you, Jesus, for the privilege of sharing you with others.  Amen.


Before traveling we always pray to meet other Christians to fellowship with as we journey together.  A few years ago, we embark on a world cruise.  From Sydney, Australia through Asia to India, the Middle East, traversing the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean visiting Egypt, Italy, France, and Spain; north to Scandinavia, then to England and Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, sailing the Atlantic’s thick fog to Nova Scotia, relishing pizza in New York City, south to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, off to the Hawaiian Islands, down to Tahiti, American Samoa, New Zealand, and finally docking in Sydney 104 days later!

On the first evening of the cruise, it’s the Sail Away Party on the upper deck, as we navigate Sydney’s Harbor Bridge and fabled Opera House, where Sue and I meet a couple as friendly as can be.  Jack and Maggie Littler of Australia.  A sail away toast launches our friendship.  Somewhere at sea we discover that they also are fellow believers in Jesus.

They’re such fun.  Laughed all the way around the world.  Literally.  We prayed together.  Shared trials and concerns.  Jack would always poke fun at us as we warmed two deck chairs while they diligently walked miles and miles around the Lower Promenade!  We still keep in touch.  They were one of the first to receive these weekly devotionals, and to read the two books I’ve written.

Psalm 68: 6–‘God sets the lonely in families…’ (NIV).  When you need someone to feel connected to in life, ask the Lord to provide.  He places us where we can find family way beyond our biological ones.  As in believers, who are more than family.  Blood relatives through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross.  A bond that lasts forever.

So pray.  And how about allowing the Holy Spirit to make you family to someone else?  Reach out.  Loneliness is terrifying.  Being together in Jesus the best antidote!


Thank you, Jesus, for family found in surprising places.  Amen.


I’m dedicating this week’s devotional to our Sail Away Party friends, the Littler’s.  They were God’s answers to our prayers.  Thank you, Jack and Maggie!





It’s a blistering hot day when we travel to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.  With temperatures just shy of 120 degrees.  They say it’s a dry heat.  But so is our oven!

Here small children swarm all over the tram that ferries us deep within.  They’re in our faces, hawking postcards, gum and scarves.  They’re eager to ambush our cash, the baksheesh, they scream for.  ‘Baksheesh!  Baksheesh!’  Can still hear their plaintive, begging cries.

The only heat relief is found in the bowels of each king’s tomb.  How welcome!  But not for long as there’s much more to check out.

Visiting these tombs makes me wonder about what remembrance I’ll leave behind.  After all, in about 3 generations I’m just a name on a genealogy chart.  You too.  What do any of us know about our great-great grandparents?  A name?  Some dates?  Not much more, if that.

Reading 2 Chronicles, I’m mining information about some rather sketchy kings of Judah.  Few are godly.   Jehoram found in chapter 21 is a real mess.  From start to finish, a noted failure.  Kills all his brothers, preventing familial competition.  Nice bro!  Marries the daughter of wretched pagans Ahab and Jezebel.  Poor move!   Forsakes the Lord, suffering horrific war losses.  Big mistake!  Leads Judah into apostasy, and doesn’t give the time of day to the prophet Elijah’s mayday distress signals of imminent judgement.  Warnings like water off a duck’s back.

When Jehoram dies, here’s the final word –‘He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings’ (2 Chronicles 21:20).  No burial with the other kings.  Excluded.  Shunned.  Given the bum’s rush.  No one sheds even a crocodile tear.

Not how I want to be remembered.  But I don’t need a valley tomb.  For I’ll be in the bosom of the King of Kings!  Close to Jesus in the dwelling He’s prepared for me and you (John 14).  Who cares if I’m remembered much beyond the next few generations?  Jesus never forgets us… and never lets us go.

Our King was dead but now He lives.  Risen and Reigns forevermore.  Happy Easter!


Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us safe with you.  Amen.

EMERITUS John 3: 22-36

What an honor to be named ‘pastor emeritus’ of the church I retired from.  An undeserved privilege.  Until I start leafing through my ‘Thesaurus of Slang’.  Why my eyes latch onto the word ’emeritus’ is beyond me.

Here are the synonyms.  You decide why I shouldn’t return that blasted book.  ‘Emeritus’–‘on the shelf, out of circulation, over the hill, passed it, a once was, has-been, hung up one’s spurs, old-timer.’  Enough, already!  What a bunch of hooey.  I want my money back!

Don’t imagine my church family discussed those ducky and dandy descriptions when they chose me as their only ’emeritus pastor’ in the church’s one hundred and twenty year history.  Or did they?  Someone may have some explaining to do!

Nevertheless, when I retired from the United Christian Church, a much younger man became their pastor.  We moved away, and one reason was to get out of his way.  To give him breathing room.  Without people turning to me first, which they were used to.  Giving him space to grow, making changes, as the old goat, me, moves aside.  Emeritus!

John the Baptist says this of Jesus–‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30 KJV).  That makes me think. Maybe you know of someone who needs you to step aside so that they can have an opportunity.  To increase, to spread their wings, even making mistakes as we all do.  To find the direction of the Holy Spirit without you barging in.  Moving forward rather than backwards.

How about letting go of something that’s moved Jesus off center stage in your heart and life?  Ring any bells?  Move aside.  Let it go.  Get out of the way.  The Lord always has something better for you.  What you’re now reading is His next job for me.  And I love it!

How about you?  Ready?  Get set!  Let go!


Thank you, Lord, for new opportunities to serve you and others.  Amen.