God’s Relentless Passion

The Lord loves you more than you could ever dream. He says, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.”

His love for you is not cold & calculating. He does not parcel it out in measure to see if it will be reciprocated. His reckless love pursues you to your lowest and finds your heart broken and wounded, unlovely and unloving. Angry, you spit in his face and turn away. But he pursues you further. He stretches himself out on the cross and dies for his great love of you. With every rejection, his heart still aches for you.

When you receive his love and take Jesus as your Beloved, you are showered with endless extravagant gifts. You are bedazzled with his continual expressions of endearment. “How is it that He could delight in me? Doesn’t he remember what I was?” Oh, but he does love you. He is consumed with passion for you.

And if, my friend, you should then grow cold toward him and with mocking betrayal turn your back on the Lover of your soul to pursue other lovers, he would weep over you. Though this love would cost Him untold agony, He would love you still. He would pursue you once again to try to win your heart back again. This is the nature of His love.

He loves you with a fierce, reckless love. He loves you with a relentless passion! He loves you no matter how unlovable you feel. He loves you no matter how spitefully you treat him. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Jesus loves you! Please don’t turn Him away!

When you receive Him, He longs to see your heart filled with this same reckless, self-giving, even-unto-death kind of love. A passion for Him… and for those around you. You see, He loves your family, friends and neighbors just as fiercely as He has loved you. This is the heart-beat of missions. A heart ablaze with God’s love. A heart that breaks and groans for those rejecting Jesus. A heart over-flowing with grace, tenderness, and mercy.

Six Things A Minister “Probably” Should Not Say at a Funeral

Funerals are important moments. There are precious grieving souls needing words of comfort and grace.  Out here in rez country, the families seem to call multiple clergy for most wakes and funeral. I have attended or co-officiated dozens of funerals in the last few years. The tone of this post sounds a little condescending; I intended it to have a only touch of my dry humor, but any way… here are 6 Things a Minister Probably Should Not Say at a Funeral:

graveside1. The Fertility of life. Seriously, please DO NOT talk about the fertility of life.  A funeral is a serious time, and you will make it difficult for the rest of the clergy to maintain their somber composure. It would be especially bad if the front seats were lined with a good number of kids to a good number of baby-mommas. One dear friend would always misread his beautiful funeral liturgy about the futility of life in this rather awkward way. Continue reading

In Dad’s Words: Grace Sufficient for the Grieving

graceI picked up one of Dad’s sermon notebooks today and my eyes fell on some of the words he shared at the funeral of a parishioner. My mind, of course, retraced the steps back that time and place over two decades ago – a journey now marked by the loss of Dad’s passing. The sermons in this notebook include a full outline exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Almost all of the sermons in this particular notebook are handwritten – often with bold blue ink and red underlining, stunningly neat (not his usual scrawl) and thoughtfully presented in outline form. For this occasion, he deviated from his typical pattern to write manuscript some of what he wanted to share that day. I read these words today and thanked God that they are true when they were first shared and they are true today. I’ve found God’s grace sufficient for me on my own journey and I share these words hoping they might again console another soul. He begins with a poem by H. S. Rice, The Bend in the Road.  Continue reading

Possible with God


There seems to be a standard talking point in conversation with those involved in Native American ministry. I have heard it over and over again. The talking point: Ministry with the Native Americans is slow, hard work with little prospect of fruitfulness. This In one way or another, this has been said to us many times, usually with consolatory appreciation for faithfulness.

To be charitable, the sentiment often feels pretty well grounded in reality.  We may find ourselves encouraged by signs of progress in one aspect of our ministry only to face a disheartening set-back in another. Sometimes, we even commiserate a little with our fellow laborers, but dear reader, please do not assume that we have lost confidence in our God or our hope for the mission we’ve been called to serve.

In Matthew chapter 19, just after the rich young ruler had walked away sorrowfully, Jesus told his disciples that it was more difficult for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The disciples shook their heads in wonder and asked, “Who then can be saved?” If the rich people, with all of the advantages they have to succeed at life, can’t be saved, what hope is there for the rest of us?

We look at things quite a bit differently these days. We think of the poor, vulnerable and needy, as the most likely to respond to the claims of the gospel. “If these can’t be saved, who can be? Jesus’ answer comes to us just as it did to his disciples: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

We thoroughly love serving the Lord on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. We may expend our lives with no assurance that we will be part of the harvest, but the call of God still rings clear in our hearts. We thank God for providing a church van primarily through the generosity of Canal AWMY. We rejoice with each open door including a radio program, a children’s and youth ministry and a food pantry. We thank the Lord for each adult who is seeking for God, and we are thrilled that our church was able to send more young ladies to Northwest Indian Bible School this year.

Allow me to close with a simple request: rather than offering the dispiriting assessment that this work is hard and nearly impossible, would you be the one who would offer an encouraging word? “We are covenanting with God in prayer for a mighty awakening on your reservation and a great reviving of holiness missions among the Native Americans.”

We truly value your prayers. The bringing of souls into the kingdom of God and leading them in the holy way is spiritual work that must be accomplished by the Holy Spirit. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  

Rez RV

Frank Jamerson, a friend and former SRST councilman, spotted this classic rez camper at the Eagle Butte Powwow this past weekend. His comment: “NDN RV!!! Sleep in comfort, ride in comfort!! No more sleepin on the ground…split level luxury!! Invite the whole family out for a ride on the powwow trail…another native invention.”