The Blessing of Buffering

I once heard Kristen Keller speak concerning the stage in life she currently finds herself and she described it as “buffering.” You know the drill. You are watching something online only to have it stop while your computer buffers the video content. The techies reveal that “buffering” generally speeds up what you are trying to do on a computer. It can prevent lag when streaming video. A “Data buffer” is a region in a computer’s memory storage used to temporarily house data while it is being moved from one place to another.


  1. The condition is not permanent. Hold on, the next phase of life and ministry is coming.
  2. The aggravating circling round and round that appears to slow us down could invariably be speeding us to our next destination. 
  3. The apparent pause may very well be designed to bring God’s plan into sharper focus.

Myriad of Feelings Generated by Young People

You may have thought from the title that this is a blog about gripes concerning young people. Nope. Far from it! Recently, I spent three marvelous weeks on Guam, where they say America’s day begins; probably because the island is fifteen hours ahead of us in places like St. Louis.


Each day, a couple hours after the sun rose, we staggered into a waiting classroom. We covered over seventy sessions equipping young—and not so young—minds for missionary and ministry service.

Each day I looked into the faces of fourteen amazing, anointed, able, apostolic, developing individuals.

I …

  • Sensed their passion
  • Saw their vision
  • Felt their burden
  • Listened to their devotion
  • Studied their gifting
  • Discussed their future
  • Dreamed of their destiny
  • Heard their prayers
  • Applauded their inspiration and perspiration

I was…

  • Touched by their kindness
  • Impressed by their togetherness
  • Strengthened by their courage
  • Motivated by their desires
  • Humbled by their sacrifice
  • Stirred by their desires
  • Awestruck by their possibilities
  • Enthralled by their sensitivity

They left me…

  • Convicted
  • Corrected
  • Challenged
  • Captivated
  • Changed

Three weeks with these world-changers wildly, well, and wisely spent. An amazing investment!

I’m on the Winning Team

So they went over to him and asked:

  • Who brought you here?
  • What are you doing in this place?
  • What is keeping you here?” (Judges 18:3, HCSB).

It is often therapeutic, directive, and beneficial to pause to reflect for a moment concerning the why behind what we do. This lesson caused me to do just that.


There are at least seven reasons why I became a minister. This blog covers five of the reasons. A previous blog covered another two.

  1. I was indebted to One that gave all for me. How could I withhold or do anything less than my best (1 Corinthians 1:14-16).
  2. I recognized I was a servant. Not just to anything or anybody. I became a servant of this gospel (Acts 2:38 salvation message).
    1. “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working on his power” (Ephesians 3:7, NIV).
  3. I wanted to be on the winning team. Everybody does. Remember those days when teams would be selected and every fiber of your being was silently calling out, “Pick me! Pick me!” and “Please don’t pick me last.” I hated being chosen last.
    1. We get to be involved in the greatest enterprise on the face of the planet: reaching souls.
    2. I was hand-picked. He saw not what I was but what I could be.
    3. Like someone said, “I’ve looked at the back of the Book and I know who wins.”
    4. We not only envision but we can have an end-vision. The church will be triumphant. See Revelation 5:9; 7:9. People from everywhere will be there in heaven.
    5. We all can be a winner. We have a race to run (it’s specifically designed for us) and we can win.
    6. Our confidence and trust is not in ourselves but in who He is (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).
    7. I am insufficient but God is all-sufficient.
    8. We are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). We are on the winning team.
  4. I have the message that changes the hearts of men and impacts the world.
    1. We have the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19).
    2. We have something to say: a message to proclaim.
    3. We aren’t like the runner in the Old Testament, who hastened to the king, but didn’t even have a message.
    4. We persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11).
    5. We have the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:18).
    6. Like a student in the classroom, I have the answer.
    7. Preach the Word (Titus 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:2; Romans 1:16)
    8. Preachers of the gospel have some of the greatest job security in the world. As long as there are lost souls, there will be a market for preachers (Romans 10:13-15).
    9. When He calls, He equips and empowers.
  5. God chose me.
    1. My selection was based on His ability and my availability.
    2. He called me. Yep, He chose me. Recruited. Drafted.
    3. It is humbling to realize that out of over seven billion people on the planet He selected me.
      1. He was thinking about me (Psalms 8:4).
      2. He gives us the desire of our heart(s) because He plants that desire there in the first place (Psalms 37:4).
      3. He enables us to reach our expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).

photo credit: jairoagua via photopin cc

I Still Remember the Rain

Back in Ghana today has caused a flood of memories. Sitting here in the home of our missionary friends, windows are open, and outside the rain is cascading down. The rainy season was always my favorite time of year while living in West Africa for twenty-eight years. We experienced two seasons: dry and wet or we would commonly say, “Hot and very hot!” During the rains, temperatures would drop to comfortable levels of coziness.


I still remember teaching in the Bible school in Nigeria and the sound of torrential rains beating down on the metal roof. It cooled temperatures and brains at the same time since you couldn’t hear me teach over the welcomed noise. 

I still remember Candra, our youngest, as a little gal, outside, with an umbrella, rain pelleting, and us singing, “Raindrops keep falling on my head…”

I still remember, with our girls much older, occasionally reenacting the whole scene with the three of us rushing out into the yard in the bucketing rain. We ended up refreshed and looking like the proverbial drowned rats. 

I still remember the rains falling and collecting enough pressure to force down the compound wall next to our house and flooding into our driveway. 

Dirtied gutters in our city would overflow as rains would unclog and forcefully wash debris away. Nothing could withstand the power of the rain.

I still remember our Sheaves for Christ vehicle swishing through rain-made road-rivers and lakes. SFC vehicles, like Star Trek, going where no man had ever gone before, conquering new territories, and forging new paths. 

Rain. Refreshing. Reviving. Renewing. Revitalizing. 

Cold. Calming. Cleansing. Covering. 

I still remember going down into the cold, cleansing waters of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. My sins washed away! Forever. 

I still remember receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost and times of refreshing that came from the presence and power of the Lord.

I still remember failing, faltering, falling and the cleansing feeling of genuine repentance.

“Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! (Psalms 51:2, AMP).

I’ve got a River of Life falling down on me, flooding me, and flowing through me. Like the songwriter said, “I feel the rain.”

I still remember the rain!

The Seven I am Proclamations of a Minister

Commitments made in the past must be renewed in the present: daily. So, it moves from “I was” to “I am.” The same applies for those of us in ministry; any type of ministry.

Remember, the seven times Jesus proclaimed “I am.”

  • Bread of Life (John 6:35).
  • Light of the world (John 8:12).
  • Gate (John 10:9).
  • Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
  • Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
  • Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6).
  • True Vine (John 15:1).

I AM.jpg

I have seven proclamations of things I am. These apply to any and every minister of the gospel

  • I am qualified through being FAT (faithful, available, teachable).
  • I am addicted to ministry.
  • I am a debtor.
  • I am a servant of this gospel.
  • I am on the winning team.
  • I am equipped with the message.
  • I am chosen by God.