Photobombed by Jesus

Do you know what a photobomb is?

Here’s an example:


It’s when somebody “steals” your photograph by suddenly stepping into frame.  Like this banana head.

Well, get used to it.  You are going to take a bunch of photographs this next week, and Jesus Christ is going to photobomb everyone of them.

You’ll take a picture of your family, but there, front and center, appears Jesus.

You take a picture of the lovely meal you’ve prepared, but right next to the table pops none other than Jesus.

Turns out, it’s not just pictures Jesus will be “photobombing”.

He’ll show up just about anywhere you’re looking.

Christmas Tree?  *Pop* There’s Jesus.

Beautiful Snowy Scenery?  *Pop*  There’s Jesus.

Even weird places, like on the nightly news!  *Pop* There’s Jesus!

Even sad places.  Scary places. Empty places.

*Pop* *Pop* *Pop*  Right there, in all those places, is Jesus!

If you’re celebrating Christmas correctly, you’re going to start seeing Jesus everywhere.

It may have already started.

So here’s the trick for dealing with Photobomb Jesus.

Don’t just look AT our savior…

Look through him.

Learn to see the world THROUGH the Lens of Christ,

and this holiday will be a little less



Merry Christmas!




Ain’t nothin’ in this life is free, son.


Last week I was at the church, getting a diet-Pepsi out of the pop machine.

Standing next to me, fiddling with the snack machine, were two young guys, obviously at the church for Boy Scouts.

As I reached down to take my soda out of the dispenser, one of the kids playfully reached down and said, “Cool!  Free Pop!”

My response was to say, in an old man voice, “Ain’t nothin’ in this life is free, son.”  This elicited a laugh from the kids.

I chuckled and walked into the gym, opening my pop.  A second later, I hear heavy running footsteps behind me.

It was the two boys, and one of them held a Pepsi.

“It came out!” he exclaimed.  “After yours!”

I laughed and told him it was his to drink.

Now, what are the odds that, mere seconds after uttering “Ain’t nothin’ in this life is free”–the first time I’ve ever made that statement–this pop machine would choose to prove me wrong?

Maybe someone was trying to teach me a lesson?

Could be.  I’ll admit that I’ve attached a cost to most things this Christmas season.

Buying presents — $$.  Renting a car to get to Alabama — $$.  Boarding the dog — $$.

Even things like going to Christmas parties take a toll on my energy, introvert that I am.

Heck, between December 18th and the 25th I have to write and preach 4, count em, 4 sermons.  What are the chances I won’t have expended all my spiritual energy before I head off on vacation?

That’s all costly stuff.

Ain’t nothin’ in this life is free.

Except for Pepsi, apparently.

Pepsi, and, I know full well but sometimes forget, the Love of a Savior.


And because of that love…

I guess that mean’s that I’M free. Strange that it took a Pepsi to remind me of that.

Christmas may come with a cost in today’s world, but the gift of Jesus comes with no price tag, and no strings attached.

And when we accept it,

there’s nothing quite as refreshing.



Have one on me.


Have a great week,



Homesick for the Holidays

christmas-is-a-time-when-you-get-homesickI’m homesick.

I know I’m in good company.

I picture countless college students, soldiers, business travelers and others, pining for home.

This is the time of year when it hits hardest.  A time for togetherness, a time of tradition.

But here’s my thing:

I counted it up, and in my life I’ve had exactly 15 places that I have called home.

That’s a lot, although you may have had even more.

Which one am I longing for?

I have wonderful memories that come from many of those places.

Families, fun, meals, gifts given and received.

But this year, it’s not for any of those places that I am homesick.

I am longing for what I might call a heavenly home.

 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  –John 14:23

The earthly world seems especially slippery this year.  I find it hard to cling to some of those “home” traditions with the same joy I do most years.

This year I long for something eternal.  Something true.  Something I can hold on to.

I long for a Love I can call home.

This home is not necessarily a place, nor is it only accessible after one’s death.  It is the Father, Son, and Spirit setting up a spiritual home with you.

A home base.  A safe place.  A launching pad.  HOME.

What triggers this kind of homecoming?

Jesus says it:  Clinging to him.  Living with faith.

This is the kind of home I’m sick for.

The very kind that will make me well.

Merry Christmas!  Cling to Christ!


Have a great week,