I came in Monday morning and began a new week of work. There is a new week of sermons, Bible Studies, school work, and church administration. It is such a blessing to be serving God in a place so full of ministry opportunity. This “opportunity” can also be a giant burden on those serving in the work of the ministry. We all feel the pressures of engaging in the hard work of raising a family, maintaining a profession, and still finding time for spiritual things. This morning we were late to school again. While Kathryn and I were making lunches, packing school bags, and making breakfast all the boys were doing their Bible Study. The problem was that they had not even gotten ready for school yet! We were ready to walk out the door, and they appeared to have just gotten out of bed. I began scolding them to rush to the table to eat breakfast and run and get dressed. They countered my aggression with a valid argument. They defiantly yelled back, “Dad did you not tell us that our Bible study and time with God must come first every day?” They are smart boys. On one hand they were wrong. Bible study must not replace responsibility to be to school on time. We have to set our alarm earlier, work harder, and sacrifice more to have the time with God we need. On the other hand, how do you scold your children when they are all excitingly reading their Bible’s before school? It was a tough dilemma. We were late to school again, but the boys read their Bible. We will try to make both happen tomorrow. I came to the office afterward and opened my schedule for the week. It was full. I color code my calendar events. Personal events are green, church activities are blue, and doctoral deadlines are red. Every day this week looked like a rainbow of colors. Immediately the stress began to rise. I was quickly overwhelmed by my schedule. My Bible sat beside me unopened. I had not listened to my own sermon. I read this morning about the parting of the Red Sea. It just happened to be the text for that day. He led His people with a cloud and with fire. Plagues were sent on behalf of the people of God. Pharaoh melted before the almighty hand of God. The Israelites worshipped. History was forever changed. Thirty minutes later I closed my Bible. I was overwhelmed by the power of God in His Word. My calendar did not seem as daunting anymore. My stress over an overwhelmed schedule was not a problem of time management. It was a spiritual problem. I had an overwhelmed schedule because I had an underwhelmed soul. We all get overwhelmed from time to time. Perhaps we are overwhelmed by the world because we are underwhelmed in our spiritual life. Do you have an overwhelmed life because you have an underwhelmed soul?  

Daniel Harper


I am done with camping for a good while! If you’ve ever gone camping, you know it’s a lot of fun…but not for very long. After a few days, you start longing for things like a shower, walls, and a real bed. A rainstorm in the middle of the night speeds up one’s dislike of camping. Camping is a temporary situation. In 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 Paul, who’s was a tentmaker, uses the analogy of a tent to talk about the true nature of this life. He stated “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”. The comparison is simple. Tents are temporary. Houses are not. Tents are flimsy. Houses are sturdy. Houses are comfortable. Tents are terrible! Our earthly tent is wearing out, but our heavenly home  is eternal!  We finally made it home tonight. I took a hot shower, turned on the air conditioner, and crawled into a soft bed. I can tell you firsthand tonight that a house is much better than a tent. Next time things get rough remember that this life is just one giant camping trip, but home is around the corner! Serving Him Together Daniel

Spiritual Cracks

I had the pleasure of visiting the dentist office this week. Evidently I had an old filling with a hairline crack in it. The dentist said that the tiny crack allowed some tooth rot onto my tooth. The idea of the use of the word “rot” in connection with anything in my mouth was uncomfortable. Thankfully she was able to drill out the old filling and remove the rot before it ruined the tooth. I was surprised that such a microscopic crack was going to ruin my entire tooth. This got me to thinking about our spiritual lives. Is there any area in our lives that we have cracked, where the enemy can get in? What about watching things on TV that are questionable or reading books that do not honor God? Have we been a party to gossip? Have we spoken harshly to someone or held on to bitterness? Have we embraced a theological idea that is not entirely Biblical? Are our relationships pure and do they encourage us in our walk with God? Do we pray daily and read God’s Word? John 10:10 warns us that our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He is looking for even the smallest cracks to bring spiritual rot into our lives. Take time this week to get some spiritual “filling” of your own to make sure that rot has no place in your life!!