Notes from the Trail

Life, adventure and faith from southwest Virginia

Overseas again

I think every international trip that I have the privilege of taking is “the trip of a lifetime.” This trip to Central Asia, however, is profound AND enjoyable. From mosques to Ephesus, I am being reminded of responsibility to love all peoples.

Loving politics is easier than loving politicians

I still love politics, but this year, it’s hard to love politicians. I’d like to offer 10 points to keep political discourse healthy and wholesome. In addition, you must read Denise McAllister’s article “Voting for Trump Is Not Idolatry.”

Mowing to country music

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting! Feel free to leave comments. Your participation enriches the site!The last few times I’ve mowed, I’ve listened to country music. It’s been an amazing… Continue Reading →

“Not-Dating”

What happens when your daughter brings a guy friend over? Dad gets kicked out of the man cave…

Lunch convos: Camouflage in Blacksburg

Some of the most entertaining conversations I have are over lunch with co-workers. Welcome to another installment in the “Lunch convos” series. In this one, Neal bemoans the lack of a hunting culture in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Even if…

It’s hard to genuinely BELIEVE. Sometimes the night is most dark and the trials most deep that they obscure our vision. It’s in such moments that God is most near. We may not see or sense Him, but He is there. It’s the sweaty, relentless duty of our mind to recall and to remember His promises, by faith. Even if you can’t see, He is there.

God’s steadfast love

The steadfast love of God means that we can rest secure in our relationship with God even when we ourselves are not steadfast. Even when our circumstances are unstable. And even when our minds race with anxiety and fear.

Reflections on Good Friday, Easter and the Virginia Tech shooting

In our culture, April 15 is always awful, simply because it’s Tax Day. However, when the church calendar falls like it does today, this “in-between” day can be a day of sober yet joyful reflection. It’s in-between Good Friday and Easter. In addition, for those of us in Blacksburg, Virginia, it is a weekend of remembrance. It’s the 10-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings that killed 32.

Thoughts on determining God’s will

A sermon I preached on March 27, 2017 seemed to resonate with many, and I had a lot of comments about it from members and guests. I’ve provided a link to the sermon for listening, but here are some thoughts from the message about how NOT to determine God’s will (and also some thoughts on how TO determine God’s will).

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