Dewey Springs

Dewey Springs

Encouragment, Short Stories
The village of Dewey Springs is nestled somewhere between never mind and you’re lost. There’s a small cluster of buildings clad in aged wood and peeling paint. The center of activity in Dew, as the locals call the village, rotates between the old church, Brother’s Hardware, and Bell’s Diner. On Sunday’s the church building boasts three services as three separate congregations time-share the building. There’s the Baptist, the Congregational folks, and a group of Jesus People. I’m sure you could tell them apart if a group photo of all of them existed. The straight-laced Baptist, the business casual Congregational, and the blue jean clad Jesus People would be easy to separate out. Where folks hang out the rest of the week depends on the time of day. Early morning and lunchtime folks g
Angels of Christmas – The Message to Mary

Angels of Christmas – The Message to Mary

Christmas, Encouragment
This Christmas season my thoughts are on the angels. Those messengers from God who brought the various announcements in the Christmas story. Last week we looked at the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Zechariah and God’s answer to prayer. This week we consider Gabriel’s announcement to a teen-aged girl living in the obscure Galilean village of Nazareth. The record of Gabriel’s announcement is found in Luke 1:26-38. Six months or so after Zechariah's encounter Gabriel is once again sent by God with an important message. We can wonder many things about why God choose Mary to bear Jesus. For a moment, let’s strip away some of the tradition and some of our modern ideas concerning Mary. In many ways, Mary’s world was far different than our own and yet also very similar. Mary could have b
Dale’s Rules for Life: Beware the Infinitives

Dale’s Rules for Life: Beware the Infinitives

Encouragment
If you’ve been following along with Dale’s rules then the next one may puzzle you a bit. The next rule happens to be thirteenth in the list. I’m not sure if that is important. Anyway. The next rule is “beware the infinitives.”  By infinitives, I mean words like every, always, all, and never. The kinds of words that leave no room for exceptions. Every child, and perhaps every parent, has gotten in trouble with these infinite words. “Every other kid has a sting-ray bicycle!” To which a parent wisely points out those that don’t. Even though we may or may not have learned this lesson a long time ago the infinitives can still get us in trouble. To be fair we rarely mean “every, always, all, and never” literally. I mean that would be silly of us to turn an observation or preference into
Angels of Christmas – The Message to Zechariah

Angels of Christmas – The Message to Zechariah

Christmas, Encouragment
This advent season my thoughts are on the angels in the Christmas story. In the Old Testament books, we see a smattering of angelic visits and even fewer after Jesus’s resurrection. But in the Christmas story, angels are everywhere. Angels appeared to Zechariah to foretell the birth of John the Baptist, to Mary and Joseph, to the shepherds, and to the magi. In some of these instances, their appearance was real, in others as a dream. In every instance, they proclaimed a message from God. This flurry of noticeable angelic activity highlights the momentous event of Christ’s birth. The first time an angel appeared in relation to Christ’s incarnation is often overlooked. Well over a year prior to the events of Bethlehem an angel appeared to Zechariah. The story is recounted in Luke 1:5-

Lambchow Survey December 2018

Encouragment
It’s time again for our annual Lambchow Survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to the survey. The survey has two purposes. It helps us gauge Lambchow’s effectiveness and gives us a clearer picture of our audience. The information from this survey will be part of the Lambchow Annual Report which will be published in early January. There are two changes to this year’s survey. We’ve added a question asking “Would you be interested in a daily email from Lambchow?  This would be a separate email subscription made up of previous articles.” We’re considering an additional email list that would pull from previously published articles which would go out on days not covered by our regular email subscription. The second change is seen below. Our preference is for folks to
Overcoming in Christ

Overcoming in Christ

Encouragment
In our journey concerning overcoming, we’ve traveled a difficult path which may seem overwhelming. We began with changing the perspective from overcoming in the worldly sense of conquest to overcoming our internal struggles with sin. Along the way, we examined the three receptors of temptation seen in the temptation of Adam and Eve, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, and 1 John 2:16. And we looked at overcoming regret, guilt, and shame. But there is one more stop on our journey, one which changes how we strive to overcome. Just by way of reminder. Our key verse for this journey is found in John’s first letter. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory t
Five Smooth Stones

Five Smooth Stones

Encouragment, Short Stories
One day a man sat beside a lovely tree-lined rocky stream. The kind of place one could sit for hours soaking in peace as the flowing water carried off your worry and stress. Sitting there that day the man thought of his troubled world. To him, it all seemed like a mighty giant, a Goliath, filled with rage impossible to overcome. One by one the man thought of the troubles, the struggles, the injustice, and the darkness. He searched them hoping to discover an exploitable weakness but ultimately gave up. As the man sat with bowed head, the tears rolling down his cheeks were carried away by the stream. “Thanks for this moment,” he said with a sigh to the creator of the stream as the last teardrop fell. It was at that moment when the air stirred, trees rustled their leaves, and a sparkl
Overcoming Regret

Overcoming Regret

Encouragment
In the medical world, there are two major concerns. The first is preventative care which encourages ways to avoid sickness, disease, injury, or even death. Consider our three previous articles on overcoming our hunger, sight, and pride to be preventative care. The other type of medical care intends to reverse the damage and promote healing. There is an aspect of overcoming in Christ that also heals what we have broken through our wrong choices and sins. We often approach guilt, shame, and regret as if they are bad things. Feelings no one should have or be haunted by. While each can be abused and used to control someone, which is wrong, they can also show us where our soul is wounded. Guilt, shame, and regret are to the soul like pains are to our body. Is our soul broken by the sharp pai...
An Ordered Tension

An Ordered Tension

Encouragment
Recently Pastor Ben was sharing about the importance of holding God’s Holiness in tension with God’s love. In that sermon, he pointed out something I’d never seen before. Perhaps you haven't either. Before I get to that simple yet often hidden nugget let me provide some background. Let’s face it. We often struggle with the different views of God the Bible presents. We see a God of holiness, justice, and wrath in the Old Testament, yet a God of love, forgiveness, and acceptance in the New Testament. So which is it?   The best way to navigate that question is to look to Jesus. The simplest way to put this is that when we see Jesus we see the Father. (Colossians 2:9, John 14:9, Hebrews 1:3). Over and over again in the Gospels, we see in Jesus the holiness and the love of God. One st
Overcoming Pride

Overcoming Pride

Encouragment
Our third receptor of temptation is something we all struggle with. So far we’ve looked at how our hunger and our sight are receptors of temptations and how to overcome them. Large parts of those temptations are aimed at our souls from the outside. We see something and want it. In those cases, there is something we see, hear, or feel that triggers a desire to have. The third temptation source and receptor are almost entirely in ourselves. The key verse for this series is found in 1st John. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of Go
A Life of Gratitude – By Ben Hoerr

A Life of Gratitude – By Ben Hoerr

Encouragment
For nine years—when our two boys were in Middle and High School—we ran a lawn mowing business named Hoerr’s Lawn Care. In peak season, we mowed 25 yards per week, mostly for neighborhood widows and widowers who had fenced-in yards with small gates that wouldn’t accommodate the big mowers from commercial services. Most of our customers were very delightful, but we had one elderly widow named Edna whom we absolutely could not please. We either mowed too fast, or there were too many clumps of clippings, or we didn’t pick up the sticks adequately before mowing. Edna was simply a bitter, unhappy, unthankful person. Edna stood in stark contrast with Dean—the lonely, chain-smoking widower who had a hard life. He’d lost his wife years before and even though his children and grandchildren were i
Dale’s Rules Number 12 – Always Leave Room to be Wrong

Dale’s Rules Number 12 – Always Leave Room to be Wrong

Encouragment
I have these rules; guidelines, reminders, and challenges to navigate the highways of life. Some folks may not be very comfortable with today’s rule. It seems squishy and unsure about things, but there is an important attitude of the heart behind it. This rule is “always leave room to be wrong - especially when certain.” It may seem that this rule is designed to provide wiggle room for when things don’t go as planned but that’s not the primary purpose. This rule is meant to foster attitudes of humility and openness towards others. Besides, there have been too many times when I was wrong even though I was certain about something. The practical application of this rule means putting the burden on myself instead of another.  A common occurrence in our home is my forgetfulness of events