Friday, May 31, 2013

Tornado Watch

All the parents were gathered in the Music room at the Irving Elementary School. We were there to watch our children perform a musical rendition of "The Frog and The Toad."

The class wasn't 20 seconds into their final number when the Principal's voice came over the intercom system and announced that the school was under a "Severe Weather Watch." The music teacher stopped the production and went on to explain in explicit detail that should the principal come over the intercom system one more time then we would all need to head down to the "tornado shelter" until further instructions were offered. After which, she smiled broadly and said to the children, "Ok... with smiles on our faces let's finish the show."

The children smiled and sang and all I could think about was the fact that we were about to get wiped out by a tornado...

My iWitness...

From what I could see there was no need for alarm. It didn't look too ominous outside. The wind was not howling. The skies were gray but they weren't turning black. It wasn't even raining. I quickly pulled up "The Weather Channel" on my iPhone and didn't see any threatening weather patterns on the radar feature.

My overall attitude was rather non-chalant.

And that's where the problem lies...

I have lived in the tornado prone midwest for one year. What do I know about severe weather watches or tornado watches? What do I know about everything becoming eerily still right before the clouds let loose their fury?

The answer is quite clear to me... "Nothing!"

Jesus has some simple sound advice and counsel for us who live in this world.

"What I say to you, I say to everyone: "Watch!" (Mark 13. 37)

Be on your toes.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Be mindful of those things that lead you astray.
Listen to the wise counsel of those who know better and have more experience.
Pay attention to your blindspots and weak spots.
Take the necessary shelter.
There is no dishonor in turning around and running and seeking the safety of the Savior's arms.

Jesus' words awaken us out of our non-chalant, novocain induced smiling stupor that everything is just hunky dory and we can just mindlessly mosey our way through the day with blinders on.


And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I looked at the phone after I had hung up.
72:14 was displayed on the mini-screen, telling me how long I had just talked with Jason and Ragella in India.
72 minutes and fourteen seconds.
6.6% of my waking hours yesterday was spent talking to someone thousands of miles away.
My brand new computer was not working correctly.
I called customer service.
Come to find out... the hard drive is bad.
Jason is going to send me a new one.
It should arrive next week.
When confirming my address Jason laughed at himself trying to say, "Dubuque."
We said our good-byes to one another.
I was rather shocked when I discovered how long I had been on the phone.

My iWitness...

The "hard drive" of my life comes broken.
Only One person can fix it, save it and install a new one.
I wonder how long I will be talking to "Customer Service" today who is not miles away but rather as close as my own heartbeat.
I have a feeling that I won't talk for 72 minutes.
What percentage of my waking hours will I be talking with the grand designer of the Universe?
More than likely, the most shocking part of my day will be discovering just how long I was off the phone rather than how long I was on it.

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"pray without ceasing..." (1 Thessalonians 5. 17)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Haves and the Have nots...

It was such a simple project (you already know where this is going don't you!).
Hang a brand new storm door on the front of my front door to my house.
Easy enough.

What I had were the directions...
What I had was the brand new door...
What I had was about three hours of daylight...
What I had was a multitude of different size screws...
What I had was a sense of full confidence going into this project...
What I had was my whole family and then some waiting and watching me put the door on...
What I had was all the necessary tools...(surprise, surprise)
Piece of cake!

What I didn't have was a wood frame surrounding my front door. But rather a metal frame. This proved to be problematic when trying to screw in "one inch" wood screws into a hollow piece of metal that is 7/8 of an inch wide.

What I didn't have was an extra battery pack on my cordless drill. After having the drill "die" on me on several occasions, I went to the hardware store and bought a "corded" drill. (Quick aside - I love my new drill!

What I didn't have was the directions on how to "secure" the screen door into the frame. The screen kept falling out of the door... over and over and over again! I found the directions the next day under some other papers... Ugh!

What I didn't have was the one piece of the frame where the door closes and latches on to. What a mystery. How is the door supposed to stay closed when it has nothing to close against. That piece was found in the bottom of the box two days later...

What I don't have is a door that is completely functional...

What I do have is hearty material for a blog... once again!!

My iWitness...

One thing I have learned over the years is that my life is full of "the Haves and the Have nots".

I have so much and am so blessed on so many fronts.

And yet I yearn for the things I don't have.

For some reason I believe that there must be a missing part in the bottom of the box out there.. somewhere. And once I find it then my life will be complete.

I search and find, search and find only to discover that the "missing piece" didn't fit, or didn't work or took something very valuable away from me that I truly treasured all along.

What is this all about?

What about you?

What do you have?
What don't you have?

What if we became content with the blessings we have?
What would happen then?

I wonder if I will ever find out...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

" content with what you have, for he (God) has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13. 5)

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." (Philippians 4. 11)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Honoring the Veterans

I expected it, but then again the gesture caught me unexpectedly.

I was standing on the side of Main Street on an overcast, drizzly Memorial Day Monday yesterday. My daughter Faith was in the Dubuque Memorial Day Parade and the whole family was anticipating her arrival with cameras in hand.

The parade started with the usual Police car sounding its siren and flashing its lights (One of the few times I don't mind those flashing lights catching my eye in the rear view...)

A few convertibles rolled by at a snail's pace with some of the city's dignitaries seated on top of the back seat giving the "Parade Wave" and smiling at all those who had come out despite the threatening clouds.

Then a group of Veterans walked by in full uniform carrying the flag of the United States of America. What happened next is what caught me off guard.

Everyone sitting... stood.
Every man wearing a cap... removed it.
Everyone who had their hands in their pockets... started clapping.
Every Veteran on the sidelines... stood at full attention.

The very act brought moisture to my eyes... honor to my heart.

My iWitness...

We live out our lives on a Parade route.

We carry high the Flag of our Faith called the Cross.
We are surrounded by veterans of the Faith who cheer us on.
Veterans who shout words of encouragement.
Veterans who clap their approval of our progress on the parade route.
Veterans who stand at attention to honor those who will follow in their footsteps.
Veterans who march with us with a limp, a gimp and other battle scars from the field.
Veterans who by their very dress tell stories of a life lived by the Creed.
Veterans who stick by us with a three syllable code - "Semper Fi" (Always Faithful)
Veterans who wear their colors with humility and pride for the One they serve.
Veterans...We honor them...They honor us

Together... we honor our Greatest Grand Marshal,
                        cheer for our most worthy Veteran,
                             salute with great gusto our Commander in Chief - Christ the Lord
Left, right, left, right, left...
See you out on the Parade Route!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right had of the throne of God."
(Hebrews 12. 1-2)

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - Decorating the Graves

The practice started after the bloodiest battle in the United States short history.

After the Civil War, moms and dads began decorating the graves of their sons and daughters who had fought so valiantly for the Confederate or Union forces.

Not too many years later the practice became a national holiday. The last Monday in the month of May is set aside to remember the men and women who fit into this very honorable category...

"All gave some... Some gave all."

Let us always remember and let us never forget, the liberties and the freedoms we enjoy are due to the ultimate sacrifice of these men and women.

Carry high the flag, decorate the graves and pray for the families whose hearts are hurting this Memorial Day...

My iWitness...

The practice started after one of the bloodiest and shocking battles in human history.

After Jesus died on the cross several women went to decorate his grave after he had fought so valiantly for the forces of God and Good.

Not too many years later the practice became a national holiday. The first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox is set aside as Easter Sunday which remembers the Son...

"Who gave his all so that we could have it all."

Let us always remember and let us never forget, that no matter where we live, no matter what type of government has authority over us, it is Jesus and Jesus alone who ultimately sets us free!

"For freedom Christ has set us free." (Galatians 5. 1)

Here's the best news for the day...

There's no grave to decorate for Jesus...
His grave is empty...He's not there...
Jesus is not dead
He is alive!
He is risen! He is risen indeed!

On this Memorial Day, march in the parade of freedom lifting high the flag of the Cross knowing that you have been set free... today and forever!

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!
ps - Remembering my dear friend Lt. Colonel Skip "Hoss" Robertson who lived by three important principles - God, Family, Country. He served all three very well with great honor and pride. On February 26, 2006 he was ultimately set free..."Fly Skip Fly!" I miss you Skip and I love those two lovely ladies that have been left behind - Debbie and Wendy. I remember all of you on this day in my heart and in my prayers...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A most powerful Word!

As I wrote earlier in the year, when the Dendy's sit down for a meal we do an "echo prayer." No matter who is leading the prayer they always start with... "Dear Jesus" and then the rest of the family says in unison, "Dear Jesus". And so it goes until the person leading says, "Amen" and we echo the same.

For as long as Joshua has been able to pray out loud he has inserted a particular phrase in his prayers. It goes like this...

Joshua: "Please forgive our sins..."
Family: "Please forgive our sins..."

And then with a little pause, followed by a rapid fire of these words strung together, Joshua says,

"...for whatever we have done."

With my heart smiling each time, the rest of the family repeats in similar fashion,
"...for whatever we have done."

My iWitness...

Did you just hear the best news of the day?
Were you paying attention to that "one" little word that strikes disbelief into the heart of the most faithful saint?

Read Joshua's prayer one more time...

"Please forgive our sins...for whatever we have done..."

Which word is the most important?

Pick and choose all you want, but the one word that cuts to the core over all the rest is the word, "whatever"!

"For WHATEVER we have done."

Here's the best news of the day!!!!

We are forgiven for whatever we have done!

 And here's the biggest challenge of the day...

Do you believe that?

Whether you believe it or not, listen to this incredible truth...

"Hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
As far as the east is from the west (and that's a long ways!),
God has removed our transgressions from us.
We are forgiven...
for WHATEVER we have done."

If your eyes roll and your heart is inclined to respond in a cynical, 8th grader tone of, "Whatever..."
My heart shouts for faith and for joy and says, "Yes! WHATEVER!! You are forgiven for whatever you have done!"

"As far as the east is from the west,
     so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103. 12)

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Scrapbook or Scrap heap?

My mom and my sister arrived yesterday from Lexington, Kentucky. They pulled into the driveway and the whole family was waiting for them, even the Lily the dog.
It wasn't long after a delicious dinner that the "old stories" started being bantered about. I remembered a story one way. Mom another... Mary Jo recounts it still another way.

My wife Julie is the scrapbook queen. After a couple of minutes she walked down the hallway and returned with the thick "Life of David Dendy" scrapbook that contains all sorts of photos, stories, letters, memorabilia and thousands of embedded memories.

For the next hour the dining room table was surrounded with laughter, lively conversation and love as story after story was recounted and relived.

My iWitness...

When was the last time you pulled out the old thick "Life of God" scrapbook called the Bible?

What are some of your favorite stories? Which ones do you love to read and recount?

The creation story...
Noah and the flood...
Moses and the burning bush...
The Ten Commandments...
The ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea...
Samson and Delilah
David and Goliath
The 23rd Psalm...
Psalm 51
Jeremiah 29.11
Daniel in the lion's den
The birth of Jesus
Healing of the Paralytic - going through the roof!
The Good Samaritan
The Prodigal Son
Palm Sunday
The Last Supper
Jesus on the Cross
The Empty Tomb on Resurrection Sunday
The Ascension
and many many more...

Just make sure your Bible stays a "Scrapbook"
and doesn't get tossed into the "Scrap heap"...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

"Your word is a lamp to my feet
     and a light to my path." (Psalm 119.105)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Where the streets have no name...

Imagine living in a typical planned suburban community with postage stamp lots, square blocks and every fifth house looks exactly alike.
Imagine all of that sitting on about 1,000 acres of flat land.
Now, take it one step further.
Imagine an EF-4 tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles an hour wiping out every home in the whole 1,000 acre planned suburban community.
Your imagination became a reality this week in Moore, Oklahoma.

Here's the strangest story I have heard yet...
The city officials have come into these types of neighborhoods and are working furiously to do one thing and one thing alone.

Put up the street signs.

You heard that right. The city is trying to put up street signs so people can find their homes... or at least where their home used to be.

Would you be able to identify where you have called home for the last few years if everything around it was flattened rubble, strewn debris, decimated homes, trees broken off like toothpicks, and there was not one landmark left standing?

My iWitness...

Do you know where your home is?
Of course I am talking metaphorically and spiritually.

What pillars, what foundations, what fences, what boundaries and what landscapes do you surround yourself with so that you know you are "spiritually home and spiritually secure" from the storms that life will throw your way.

Do the streets where you frequent have names?
Or do you wander in a world where the streets have no name?

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths (streets) straight." (Proverbs 3. 5-6)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Legacy - What will you leave behind?

I sat with her for two hours yesterday. She was visiting the University of Dubuque. Together, she and I visited with the President of the University and the Director of the Character Initiative Center that bears her last name. She and her late husband, Dick, who passed away on August 14, 2010 had made a gift to the University to establish a Character Initiative program that would help students and faculty alike in the matter of "Character." There are a number of students who apply each year to be a "Character" scholar. Once accepted, financial aid is offered, extra classes are attended each week with guest lecturers, being mentored by a respected member of the community is required and service to the community is mandatory. The lives of these students are being impacted in a huge way.

A lot of Universities have "Ethics" centers. Few, if any have "Character" centers.

The thinking goes like this...
"Character" is what is built and formed between kindergarten and twelfth grade. (Implication: No need for that in college)
"Ethics" is the art of how to make sound decisions based on the character that has been formed in you during your first twelve school grade years. (Implication: Character building is done by the time you turn 18)

As we listened to the President and the Director of the Character center, we both heard stories of how student's lives have radically changed through the "Wendt Character Initiative" and the gratitude that these students have displayed was more than heart warming and touching.

This is one of the legacies that my dear friends Dick and Nancy Wendt are leaving behind... lives of "Character" that have been changed for the better... forever...

My iWitness...

All of us have been given the ability, the skills, the gifts, the power and the privilege of leaving something behind.

Something that will carry on...
     Something that will outlive us...
          Something that will have our name attached to it...
               Something that people will remember and cherish....
                    Something that will impact the lives of those that follow us...

What will you leave behind?

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5. 22)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

N Sync

I saw them walking yesterday morning.
You've seen them too...
We may not have seen the exact same couple, but we have seen this couple time and time again.
They were out for their daily walk.
They have done this thousands of times before.
They came into view at just the right angle from my kitchen window.
From the side view they didn't look like "two", they looked like "one."
(And the two shall become one...)
Stride for stride... left, right, left, right...
Hand in hand, gently swinging back and forth, back and forth...
In rhythm...
In step...
In sync...

My iWitness...

What I found fascinating about this innocent observation from the kitchen window was that this married couple was doing something that Julie and I will never accomplish in a lifetime of walking together. I am seventy-four inches tall. Julie... sixty-two. My legs are long. Julie's are not. For my every two steps, Julie takes three. We walk together, side by side... but not like this couple.
The above couple were about the same height, same leg length led to the same length of stride. It was as if I was watching a military parade, their precision was just that... precise.
And yet, they just flowed in motion with one another... fluid and effortlessly.

The above observation made me think about my walking with God.
In certain "Christian" circles we talk about, "How is your walk with the Lord?"

The implication being...
Are you in step with God?
Stride for stride?
Are you walking hand in hand?
Are you looking like two or are you looking like one?
In rhythm?
In step?
In sync?

Well... are you?

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him..." (Colossians 2. 6)"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pray for Oklahoma

A couple of years ago while living in Oregon, my six year old daughter Faith learned of some devastating tornadoes that had hit the Midwest. Bedtime prayers are the norm in our home and Faith's sensitive spirit was on display as she innocently and passionately prayed for the people devastated by the tornadoes.
The next morning at breakfast Julie asked Faith, "Do you know what a tornado is?"
Faith's response was an instant classic, "Yes. It's when the hot air meets the cold air... and then it doesn't go so well."

It's not going so well in Oklahoma...

My iWitness...

As of this writing 51 people are known to be dead. Twenty of them are children.
An EF-4 Tornado with winds in the 200 mph range ripped through Moore, Oklahoma yesterday cutting a swath one and one quarter mile wide. How wide is that? Let's put it this way... It would take me twelve minutes and thirty seconds to run from one side of the path to the other.

From a purely insurance/business perspective what has taken place in Moore, Oklahoma will be considered "An act of God" - a legal term for events outside of human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible.

God gets the blame for a lot of things. I am positive that God will get blamed for the decimation, devastation, destruction and deaths.

Here is where I see the "acts of God" in Moore, Oklahoma...

At the Plaza Towers Elementary School that became a heap of rubble, parents, neighbors and everyone within running distance formed a line behind the firefighters and police officers as they pulled child after child out from under the rubble passing each child from one set of loving arms to the next to make sure that the children would receive instant love and care after such a horrific experience.

At the scene everyone was very quiet so that the rescuers could hear the children under the rubble. "No Child Left Behind" took on a new meaning at the elementary school yesterday.

Fences and barns were obliterated during the tornado strike, leaving owners of cows and horses with no place to keep their animals.  Holly Porter and her husband Tracy live 40 minutes away. They packed up their truck along with their horse trailer and drove straight to Moore. "We have 60 acres and we can take cows and horses. We're just going to help anyone we can."

Pray for little nine year old Kaleigh. She's in the hospital but her parents as of this writing have not been located yet. I wonder how God is going to "act" in this young girl's life. I don't know the answer. No one does. But I do know this... God will act. God will move. God will look after this little girl somehow, some way through someone...

Over the next few hours and days and weeks and months and years God will perform many more "acts" that will bring
calm out of the chaos,
     healing out of the horror,
          deliverance out of the destruction,
               redemption out of the rubble,
                    purpose out of the pain and
                         love out of the loss.

That's what God does best... He acts...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not and shed a tear and offer a prayer for Oklahoma...

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." (Romans 12. 15)


Monday, May 20, 2013

Shining Bright - The Dimmer Switch

I have used the analogy hundreds of times in hundreds of conversations. Yesterday, I saw a victim of the very thing that has led to the hundreds of conversations above.

The powerful underlying question is...
"Who is in control of the "Dimmer Switch" of the light bulb of your life?"

My iWitness...

I am convinced that God has made all of our lives to shine with the brightness of a 500 Watt Light Bulb.

However, I am also convinced that most people live their lives with the brightness of 60-100 watts.


Most people have allowed someone and it could be anyone to have control over the "Dimmer Switch" of their lives.

How many relationships have I seen where one "spouse/significant other/family member" has complete control of the dimmer switch and for reasons that are not all together completely clear to me or to anyone else in the universe, this person holds the dimmer switch down to a level that the person in question barely makes a glimmer.

How many people have I seen hold down the "Dimmer Switch" on their own lives because someone told them, "Don't shine too bright. Don't be a bright and shining star. You're making everyone else around you look bad. You're nothing. You're a nobody." And the list goes on and on.

I ran across this quote years ago that is worth sharing today and tomorrow and the next day...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson - excerpt from Return to Love...1992)

Here's my twofold word for the day...

1. Get your hand off the Dimmer Switch and let God turn it up. Don't settle for 60 or even 100 watts. Shine bright my friend... Shine Bright!!

2. If someone else has their hand on your "Dimmer Switch"... slap their hand so hard that it makes their head spin. You've got some shining to do!

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8. 12)

Turn it up!
Light up the world!
Let the light of God shine bright today!!

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Green Hornet

I call him the Green Hornet. He is eight years old or younger in the "U8" soccer league that Faith and Joshua are playing in. I called him the Green Hornet because with his red shirt and red shorts he wore neon green knee high socks. He was on the opposing team yesterday for our last soccer game.

The Green Hornet was the best soccer player for this age group that I have ever seen. He literally scored at will. No matter where he was on the pitch he could take control of the ball and dribble it down the field through multiple defenders and strike the ball with such force for such a little guy and sail the ball through the goal. Every time... and I mean every time.

He scored about four or five goals within the first four or five minutes of the game. All in all he had about twelve goals. He was unstoppable!

A very interesting phenomenon began to happen after about the fourth goal. I was standing next to the Green Hornet's parents when all of a sudden they called out his name and told him to "hold back." Play back in the back of the field and just play defense was their plea. Pass the ball and don't score any more goals was their directive. The coach agreed and put the Green Hornet next to his own goalie.

The Green Hornet couldn't resist himself. He would get the ball right near his own goal and off he went!! Dribbling, dodging, dancing his way through defenders and decisively delivering the ball through the goal. He was poetry in motion. I couldn't help but think I was watching something special.

Over and over again the "reins" were put on him and he was told to back off and just play defense.

My iWitness...

Although it wasn't much fun for our team to be scored upon over and over, I was troubled in some respects by the Green Hornet being told to back off and slow down. Basically, he was being told, "Don't shine so bright!"

The Green Hornet wasn't boasting. He wasn't arrogant. He wasn't flaunting. The boy simply loved the game of soccer and he had a great passion for running up and down that field being in total command of the soccer ball with just his little feet and legs. He was amazing to watch.

Have you ever been told to tone it down?
Has your light ever shone "too brightly?"

I'm a bit perplexed by this.
God put a light inside of me.
Should I tone that light down so it doesn't cast too much of a shadow in a world full of weak flickering light bulbs?

I'm torn over this...
Jesus said, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5. 16)

I understand the role of good sportsmanship. I understand the role of not decimating an opponent and allowing your opponent to walk off the field of competition with some sort of self respect left in tact. I understand all of that and I appreciate that and those are rules I play by...

But there was a part of me yesterday that wanted to shout, "Go Green Hornet Go!!! Don't hold back! Run baby Run!!! Score and score and score again!!"

He was a pure joy to watch and I gave glory to God in heaven that He has equipped each of us with different gifts that allow all of us to shine bright!

Shine bright today my friends!
Don't let anyone tell you to tone it down because the light of God is shining too bright.
Pass out sunglasses if need be, but just keep shining!

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Stage

Today at the University of Dubuque over three hundred seniors will walk across the stage, receive a diploma, shake the hand of President Jeffrey Bullock and walk off the stage, officially graduated from UD.

My iWitness...

What is it about "The Stage?"
On one side of the stage you are a senior in college.
On the other side of the stage you are an alumnus of the college.

On one side of the stage you are still "in" college.
On the other side of the stage you are "out" of college.

How many stages have you crossed in your life?

On one side of the stage you are a bachelor or a bachelorette.
On the other side of the stage after someone says, "Kiss the bride", you are a husband or a wife.

On one side of the stage you are married.
Take a few steps, get handed a piece of paper
On the other side of the stage you are divorced.

On one side of the stage you are unemployed.
On the other side of the stage after a firm handshake you have a job.

On one side of the stage you don't have any children.
On the other side of the stage, after "more than a handshake", you are a mom or a dad.

On one side of the stage you don't know the love of Jesus.
On the other side of the stage you're embraced by His loving arms... forever and ever.

What "Stage" will you cross today or tomorrow or this month... this year?

From one side of the stage to the other side of the stage, one thing stands true,
Everything and I mean everything is all brand new!!

"And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."" (Revelation 21. 5)

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Never give in...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during WWII became very popular for his motivational speeches to the English people.

On October 29, 1941 after the "Blitz" from the Nazi war machine, Churchill visited the Harrow School and gave one of his most passionate and quoted motivational speeches...

"But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period -- I am addressing myself to the School -- surely from this period of ten months, this is the lesson:

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty-- never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

My iWitness...

I had a visit with three people yesterday that these words came to mind.

How bout you?

Been blitzed lately?
     Been overwhelmed?
          Been beaten down?
               Been trampled over?
                    Been stomped on?

Feel like giving in?
     Feel like giving up?
          Feel like rolling over?
               Feel like throwing in the towel?
                    Feel like raising the white flag?

Never give in.
     Never give in.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall Tribulation,
     or Distress,
          or Persecution
               or Famine,

                    or Nakedness,
                         or Danger

                              or Sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that
neither Death
     nor Life
          nor Angels

               nor Rulers
                    nor Things Present
                         nor Things to Come
                              nor Powers
                                   nor height
                                        nor depth

                                             nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us
                                            from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!"
                                            (Romans 8. 35, 37-39) 

Never give in and never give up!
Our God never gives up on us!
Let's not give up on Him...
Go get 'em!!

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What does Jesus mean to you? My Answer...

The assignment from yesterday's blog was a simple "not so simple" task...
Answer the following question...

"What does Jesus mean to me?"

My iWitness...

Here's my answer...

Objectively Jesus is the Son of God who came to this earth to teach us how to live in relationship with God and with our neighbor. He offered Himself up to God as a perfect sacrifice so that we could be forgiven of all of our sins. He lived for us and then he died for us. Three days later He raised himself from the dead to conquer the final enemy forever. Death no longer has the last word. Jesus does... and His last word is "Life"... "eternal life."

In that context this is what Jesus means to me...

The amount of understanding of "who I am" that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. Jesus is more than I have ever experienced with any other person in the world. Jesus knows my heart through and through.There are no false pretenses. There are no masks. He laughs with me when I try to put one on. There is no hiding behind success, dysfunction, charm or puffed up knowledge. I am out in the open. It is very raw and vulnerable and yet at the same time, with Jesus, I have never felt more safe and secure.

The amount of patience that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. I'm 50 years old and I think "by now, I should have this thing called life figured out!" But I don't... and I love the fact that in my selfishness and self centered ways Jesus walks with me, sojourns with me, explores with me and He talks with me. Jesus is the constant companion that is always there with never a mean, sarcastic and judgmental tone. When I trip, stumble and fall Jesus is there. Sometimes I like laying down in the puddle of the mess of my own doing. Jesus lays down with me... for as long as I lay down. Abandonment is never an issue or a threat.

The amount of love that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. I always marvel at the people who feel the need to beat others up emotionally, mentally and worst of all, spiritually. I don't need you to beat me up because I beat myself up enough as it is. And here is where the love of Jesus poured out onto my life and into my life is simply incomprehensible and profoundly overwhelming. His loving eyes melt my heart. His loving arms enfold me as I collapse under the weight of the moment. His hands, oh my, those hands of grace and mercy, hold my hands and my heart ever so gently and every so firmly. When I try to let go, one thing I know, one thing I know - Jesus never lets go!

The amount of life that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. As much as Jesus holds me when I fall there are other times when He grabs me by the hand and says, "Let's Go!!" And in a flash, we are off and running! Breathlessly running, pursuing, jumping, skipping with my eyes and heart wide open as I wildly take in landscape after landscape of people and experiences I have never encountered before. The sense of adventure is invigorating and downright inspiring. There's a reason the phrase "Fear Not" is often used in God's word. Everyday is an adventure where I have the full assurance of Jesus' presence in leading me with an attitude of "Laugh often and Fear Not"!!

The amount of grace, mercy and forgiveness that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. Jesus never tires of me and my propensity toward straying and running off and doing my own thing. He always forgives and always offers His grace and mercy to me. How does He do that? If I had some sense of a logical answer then that would rob the grace of Jesus from being just that... Grace!

The amount of hope that Jesus shows toward me is unmatched. There is something better that awaits me. Wherever I am today there is hope for a better tomorrow. There is the hope of life getting better. There is the hope that Jesus is not done with me yet and that the good work He has begun with me will come to completion some day. There is the hope of the promises of Jesus coming true as my life will eventually come to a close and I will graduate from this life into the eternal heavenly kingdom. It is this solid, rock solid, foundational hope that undergirds my sense of being and sense of self.

The reason Jesus pours all of these things into me, "Understanding, Patience, Love, Life, Grace and Hope" is not an end in and of itself. The purpose of the pouring is so that I will pour out those attributes onto the people I encounter, love and care for in my world.

So... to answer the question, "What does Jesus mean to me?", it all comes down to one word...
Jesus is "unmatched!"

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Standing Up for Jesus...

It seemed like such a simple assignment.
Stand up in front of a group of fellow Christians and answer the question, "What does Jesus mean to me?"
Simple right?
This fellow sister in Christ laid out the assignment at hand before a group on Facebook called "Standing Up For Jesus." She offered a brief response and then opened Pandora's box by asking the group, "What do you think I should say?"
The number of responses was amazing.
Everyone had a take, an angle, a position, an argument, a ploy and a prayer. But no one seemed to have an answer.

My response on the Facebook page offered nothing earth shattering or heaven shaking. It was brief and to the point.

"How about just answering the question, 'What does Jesus mean to me?"

My iWitness...

That's our assignment for today...

"What does Jesus mean to me?"

Simple right?

I look forward to hearing your responses...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

Jesus said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16. 15)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Puzzle Pieces - Happy 8th Birthday Faith!

On this day eight years ago...
at 12:01 a.m. in the morning...
in The Dalles, Oregon...
my daughter,
Faith Louise Dendy...
took her very first breath of life!
Happy Birthday Faith!

My iWitness...The Lord God Almighty is the master at putting together jigsaw puzzle pieces to make an incredible picture. The story of how Faith Louise Dendy came into our arms and into our lives is nothing short of a miracle.

The Monday before Thanksgiving in 2004 I was looking to have my friend Rev. Jim Hazlett, from the Gateway Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, Oregon assist in my installation service as the new pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Klamath Falls, Oregon. I called the church and Joan Ahier, the secretary answered the phone...
"Hey Joan, it's David Dendy. How's it going?"
"Hey David! Well, we are a little stressed these days. Brian's 17 year old daughter Barbara from Hawaii is living with us... and she's... pregnant."
"Wow! How about that! What is she going to do with the baby?"
"Well.... we don't know."
"If she wants to give up the baby for adoption, let us know. We'll adopt the baby."
"Are you serious?"
"Uh.... uh.... uh.... Yes!" (Thinking to myself... I better talk to Julie!!)
"I'll have Brian call you tomorrow."

On Tuesday, Brian called. This is what he said...
"David... you are not going to believe this. On Sunday night, Barbara was praying with the youth group and this is what she prayed out loud. 'Lord, I want to give this baby up for adoption. But I don't want to go find the people. You will have to bring the people to me.'"

I called the next day!

After three years of trying to get pregnant, after three rounds of in vitro fertilization and after three face to face weekend visits with Barbara, Faith Louise Dendy came into this world, and into our lives and into our hearts!

Happy Birthday Faith!!
We love you more than you will ever know!!
Thank you Barbara for giving Faith breath! Thank you Brian and Joan Ahier! Thank you to my dear brother in Christ the Reverend Jim Hazlett and thank you to the congregation of Gateway Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, Oregon for nurturing and loving Barbara through those uncharted waters. Thank you to the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church, Klamath Falls, Oregon for accepting Faith from day one and loving her in a way that no other church could have!!

Thank you to all the other aunties, uncles, grandmas and grandpas that have shown the love of Jesus to Faith for these first eight years. You have shaped her life in more ways than you will ever know.

Thank you Julie for loving, teaching, shaping, caring and praying for Faith like no other Mom could have...

Thank you to all of you for being a piece of the puzzle for Faith's life.. Her puzzle wouldn't look the same without you!!

And last but certainly not least...
Thank you dear Lord for knitting together Faith in a most spectacular way! She has the biggest and bluest eyes of anyone I have ever met. May those "baby blues" always keep their focus on you throughout her life! Thank you for the gift of a lifetime!"

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139. 13)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hole Punchers

My daughter Faith loves to be creative and crafty. On Saturday she retrieved some paper from the printer and started drawing large hearts on them. Carefully she cut around the lines of the heart on the paper. In seconds she secured a paper heart. She eventually wrote on the heart, "I love you Mom!, Love Faith." She also thought it would be nice to allow the heart to have the ability to put a piece of yarn through it so it could be hung. With heart in outstretched hand, Faith's question to Julie startled my mind, "Can you punch a hole in my heart?"

My iWitness...

Has anyone ever punched a hole in your heart?

Perhaps the better question is, "How many holes do you have in your heart?"

Do you remember the first time someone punched a hole in your heart?

I bet you remember the last time?

We talk of people suffering from "broken hearts." I have a perfect picture in my mind on what that looks like... a Valentine's shaped heart ripped in half with jagged edges right down the middle on both halves.

I have run into a few people with that kind of "broken heart" from divorce, disease and death.

I have run into thousands of people who suffer severely from holes that have been punched in their hearts. I've witnessed their vitality, their creativity, their zest, their manhood, their womanhood, their love, their very life slowly but surely leak right out of them.

The result being a crippled, compromised mess...

It's hard to run on all cylinders when the very fuel of our life is seeping or gushing out of our hearts.

It really is a vivid image with horrific consequences.

King David on several occasions suffered from self-inflicted "hole punching." After one such hole punching binge here is what he wrote...

"Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51. 10)

Jesus knows something about "hole punching."

For us, He had three holes punched in Him on the cross so that the holes in our hearts could stop leaking. His Holy Spirit fills our heart and plugs up the holes. Doesn't stop my heart from being punched... but the Spirit does keep my heart from leaking...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

My iWitness...

My random thoughts on Mother's Day...

I have a mom that gave me life - Thank you Judy Dendy!!
I have a mom that gave me breath - Thank you Betty Jean Padgett!!
I hope the two of you get to meet each other some day...

I have a daughter, Morgan Goodson Cox who is a mom to twins - Parker and Peyton-Leigh
I hope I get to meet them some day...

During our trials of in vitro fertilization Julie had a miscarriage...
I look forward to meeting them some day...

To all the moms that suffered a miscarriage through nature or on purpose
You and your children will meet again some day...

To the moms to be that never turned out to be,
Thank you for being a mom to my kids and to so many others

To the moms that nurture, care, offer prayers, love and kiss boo boo's,
What would our world be without you...

For the word "MOM",
which is spelled the same whether you're coming or going, forward or backward,
Thank you for always being there!

For the mom in my house, Julie
who loves Faith and Joshua with a furious and passionate love that is so deep and so tender
that it brings tears to my eyes as I type...

For my grandmothers, Nana and Momma Jerry...
They always made me feel like the most special grandson in the whole wide world
I look forward to the day we hold each other again...

To the Cleveland mom Amanda Berry and her six year old daughter, Jocelyn
Happy first Mother's Day in total freedom!!

For the moms that struggle, succeed and sometimes fail
Thank you for doing and being the best mom you know and knew how to be.

For Mary, the mother of Jesus.
What was it like to care for the one who created you to begin with?

For all the silly Mother's Day cards we made as kids,
Thank you for keeping them...

Solomon, in the book of Proverbs wrote about an incredible woman.
I love this one verse from Proverbs 31...
"Her children rise up, and call her blessed."

So, on this day, in the year of our Lord 2013,
the 12th day of May...
So do I...
I rise this day and say to all the Moms,
"Blessed are you... and blessed are we!"

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Odd Couple

There they sat... together.
They are a rather "odd couple."
It appears the only thing they have in common are the first letter of their first names.
His name starts with the letter "D".
Her name starts with the letter "D".
That is where the similarities seem to end.
As they sit together...
He leans into her like a reed being blown by the wind,
She sits straight up like a tall redwood tree,
His eyes are soft, warm and loving,
Her eyes have lost that sparkle they once held,
His arm wraps around the back of her chair as if to keep him from falling,
Her arms are crisscrossed in front of her as if she is declining the taking of communion at the rail,
He talks and smiles with affable animation,
She rarely seems to say a word and when she does, it's just that... "a word."
They are a rather "odd couple."

And then...
Someone whispers in your ear...
"She has Alzheimer's."

My iWitness..

In the moment that your ears have heard that last sentence to the time it hits your mind what has just been said, your whole view on the situation has forever changed. Whatever judgments you have made on their relationship has just been thrown into the garbage heap.

What you have interpreted as coldness and distance is quickly recalibrated into a display of unconditional love that has grown out of a lifetime together of committed love that knows no bounds and barrels through every obstacle thrown in its path, even that son of a b***** disease called Alzheimer's.

I wonder if anyone has ever noticed God sitting next to me and has made the same observations as above. That God leans into me as I sit erect... That God's arm is around me as I sit with my arms crisscrossed... That God speaks while I mutter...
I wonder if anyone has ever noticed God sitting next to me and thought to themselves, "They are a rather "odd couple"."
I wonder if anyone has ever noticed God sitting next to me and said to themselves, "David must suffer from spiritual Alzheimer's".

Once again, God's unconditional love knows no bounds, knows no obstacles, stops at nothing to wrap His loving arms around me and whisper into my ear, "Fear not, I have bought you with a price, I have called you by name, You are mine, I love you with a furious love, I will not let go, nothing will separate me from you, I am with you always..."

And then my eyes start to twinkle, my heart starts to beat again, my posture starts to lean, my ears begin to hear, my voice begins to proclaim...

And I wonder, and I wonder and I wonder... "when will the spiritual Alzheimer's disease strike and turn us into an "Odd Couple" again...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Snooze Alarm

The early morning hours are the only time adults love to do math... in their heads.
Let's say it takes you an hour and fifteen minutes to get up, showered, dressed and fed before you head out the door for work.
The alarms goes off at 6:00 o'clock in the morning...
Let the Math begin!
We hit the Snooze Alarm button with great flailing force and our mind begins to race. "I can still get everything done in one hour and six minutes..." And off we doze again to enjoy more slumber and sleep.
And then all of a sudden - BAM! The alarm goes off again. We think, "There is no way 9 minutes just passed!" But our mathematical minds make more mental calculations - "Let's see... 75 minutes to get up and out and now I only have 66 but if I hit this snooze alarm one more time, I am positive I can get it all done in 57 minutes..." And once again with great force the Snooze Alarm is set in motion as our minds and bodies drift off into dreamland.
What's really amazing about this is that all of these thoughts take place in less than five seconds.
My personal record for hitting the Snooze Alarm was 13 times in a row!
How about you?

My iWitness...

I wonder how many times God has sent me a "wake-up call" and in less than five seconds I have decided to hit the Snooze Alarm.

How many minutes, days, weeks, months and even years of life have I missed out on God's call because I decided to hit the Snooze Alarm?

Yes, we are tired. Yes, we need more rest. Yes, we are masters at rationalizing the need for a few extra minutes of slumber.

But the question still nags at me like a dripping faucet... How much have I missed out on?

Isaiah had a vision of God that is simply mind-blowing! The Cherubim and Seraphim (Angels with six wings - two to cover their eyes, two to cover their feet and two to fly) are flying around singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts...!" The train of God's robe fills the temple. The columns of the Temple are shaking at the presence of God. And God sends out the alarm and the wake-up call, "Whom shall I send?"

Isaiah's response is immediate and clear - "Here I am! Send me."

This morning, the Lord's wake-up call just might be saying, "Where are you?"

Perhaps today we won't hit the Snooze Alarm and instead simply say, "Here I Am Lord!"

Let's hit "Send" today... not "Snooze."

Oh no, look at the time... Forgive me for stopping short today...
I only have 53 minutes left to get up and out the door!

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said "Here I am! Send me." And he said, "Go..." (Isaiah 6. 8-9)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Go ahead... Make my day!

It's one of the most classic four minute scenes in a Hollywood movie.
Detective Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood walks into a coffee shop that is being held hostage by four armed robbers.
Harry reads the paper at the counter while Loretta pours a coffee into a large Styrofoam cup. In addition to the coffee, Loretta pours about a pound of sugar into the stationary cup. Harry presents his folded dollar bill onto the counter and without looking up walks out the door, takes three steps, takes one sip and spews the coffee out onto the sidewalk. Upon turning around he sees two suspects turning the "We're Open" sign around to say, "We're Closed". Harry continues down the sidewalk.
In the next 90 seconds or so three great quotes from the movie "Sudden Impact" emerge...

1. Harry walks back into the coffee shop while bedlam is taking place and is confronted by one of the armed robbers. The armed robber quizzically looks at him and says, "What are you doing here." In the classic "Dirty Harry" voice, Detective Callahan says, "For the last ten years, Loretta there has been giving me a large black coffee. Today she gives me a large black coffee, only it's got sugar in it... Lots of sugar... I just came back to complain."

2. Detective Callahan goes on to say to the four armed robbers, "We are not going to let you just walk out of here." The robber laughs as he says, "Who is we, sucker?" Callahan's response doesn't disappoint..."Smith... Wesson... and Me."

3. Five shots later three of the suspects are shot dead and one injured. The injured one grabs Loretta and hold a gun to her head with his left arm holding a headlock on the waitress. Callahan calmly and coolly raises his 44 Magnum (the largest handgun in the world) with his straightened right arm and with eyes squinted utters the famous phrase, "Go ahead... make my day!"

My iWitness...

I had the joy of "making someone's day" yesterday. (I didn't shoot anybody!!)

All of us have the power to make someone's day... every day.

You've probably noticed in our world these days it doesn't take much to "make someone's day."

That's the challenge of the day...

"Go ahead... Make someone's day!"

Send an email, write a text, pick up the phone, buy some flowers, offer a hug, compliment someone's traits that make them extra special, tell your children how proud you are of them, tell your parents "thank you!", let the ears of the ones you love hear those precious words escape from your heart through your lips, "I love you..."

I have a sneaking suspicion that when you "make someone's day..."

Your day will be made too...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." (Ephesians 4. 29)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Freedom Cry in Cleveland

Amanda, Gina, and Michelle... Welcome Home!!!

All three were just young girls when they were abducted a decade ago against their will and placed into captivity in a home in a densely populated area just two miles from their own homes in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ten years...
Where were you ten years ago?
Think about all that has happened to you in the last 10 years...
That's a long, long, long time... to be held captive.

Somehow and some way Amanda was able to make her way to the front door of the house of horror she had been surviving in and was able to scream, kick and get a hand out the door for a neighbor to see.

With the neigbor's help she ran across the street and said, "I'm Amanda Berry!!!"
The neighbor's response sounds like it came right out of a mystery novel, "You can't be Amanda Berry. Amanda Berry is dead!"

When you have gone missing for 10 years people believe you to be dead. And why not? What else are you going to believe?

The neighbor gave her a phone to call 911.
Here's Amanda's freedom cry in Cleveland...

"Help me, I'm Amanda Berry.... I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now!"

My iWitness...

Have you ever been abducted?
Have you ever been held captive?
I cannot begin to count the number of people I have met, myself included who have been held captive by an assortment of people and things....

I've seen beautiful young people get abucted into a bad relationship. Within months they're self-esteem, their self respect and their whole personhood is lost and they become almost unrecognizable.

I've seen successful people become addicted to their job, their work, their success and their power and ten years later they have gained the world, but they have lost their soul, their family and their standing.

I could go on and on...

What's strange and similar to our story above is that most of us get abducted and are held captive in densely populated areas. There are family members close by. There are neighbors across the street that we see almost daily. There are friends that we interact with regularly.

Here's what is extra sad. We live with and amongst these people and sometimes they never know that we are being held captive. On the other side, the equally sad part is that these same people sometimes see with great clarity how imprisoned we are and yet for the light of day we cannot see how imprisoned we are...

I've been abducted.
I've been held captive.
There are still some chains that dangle around my ankles and wrists...

"For freedom, Christ has set us free." (Galatians 5. 1)

Amanda's words beome my words and my prayer...

"Dear Lord, Help me! I'm David Dendy... I've been kidnapped  and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here! And through Jesus... I'm free now!!!"

And God's words have never sounded so sweet...
"Welcome home David!"

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Night Owl meets Early Bird

I'm a paradox...
I'm a night owl and an early bird. Over time these two friends don't make good company, with each one vying for more attention.
Today they met each other at 3:00 am.
I woke up, listened to the silence of the night and the creaks of the house.
I turned over, closed my eyes and laid there wide awake.
I turned over once again with my eyes closed and laid there wide awake.
After rolling over once again I decided to get up.
Here I am...

My iWitness...

As I laid in bed in the wee hours of the morning and night, it hit me once again that we worship a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps.

In the brightness of the brilliant sun,
in the shadows of the starless night,
in the abyss of apparent abandonment,
in the juxtaposition of jump up and down joy,
in the darkened days of depression,
in the gut wrenching pain of grief,
in the methodical motions of the mundane,
in the chaos of confusion,
in the crystal clear of clarity,
in the agony of anxiousness,
in the excitement of exhilaration,
in the hilarity of laughter,
in the fomenting fear of failure,
the God who neither slumbers nor sleeps says,
"Here I am..."

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"I lift my eyes to the mountains -
     where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
     the maker of  heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
     he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel

     will neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121. 1-4)

Monday, May 6, 2013


We had a family meeting yesterday after church.
More than likely if you work in the working world you are a part of a "staff" meeting.
We decided we would start having "family" meetings after church on Sunday.
Yesterday we discussed some things that happened over the weekend and some items that needed to be talked over for the upcoming week.
I am big into Robert's Rules of Order.
We taught Faith and Joshua how to make a motion, how to second it, how to discuss it and then how to vote on it. I taught Julie how to record such motions in the "minutes" of our meetings in which she served as secretary. MSP stands for Motion, Seconded and Passed...

After the "Family" meeting we had a prayer.
We call them "echo" prayers. Whoever is praying out loud says a few words and then the rest of the family repeats those words.
I prayed...
Joshua prayed...
Faith prayed...
Julie prayed...
I was proud of Julie for getting through her prayer after listening to what Faith had just prayed...

Faith's prayer was profound in its simplicity...
"Dear Jesus... Thank you for my family making the decision to adopt me. Amen"

My iWitness...

My iWitness today is just as simple but not as profound since it comes out of the mouth of a 50 year old and not a 7 seven year old...

"Dear Jesus... Thank you for making the decision to adopt me. Amen!"

I love being your son...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and fear not!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (Ephesians 1. 3-6)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

For the Love of the Game

His name is Ricardo.
He is 46 years old.
He loves life.
He loves his two daughters Johana and Ana.
He loves the game of soccer.
Out of his love for the game of soccer, Ricardo referees youth soccer games, to help build up the game and the young people who play it.
Last Saturday, April 27th Ricardo was refereeing a game when he noticed the 17 year old goalie of one team pushing an opposing player.
Ricardo gave the goalie a "Yellow Card" - a foul indicating an egregious breaking of the rules. One more "yellow card" would result in a "Red Card" which would mean expulsion from the game.
As Ricardo was writing down his notes concerning the "yellow card", the 17 year old goalie came rushing over and punched Ricardo in the face with a crushing blow.
Ricardo never saw it coming...
He was taken to a hospital, slipped into a coma and for six days Johana and Ana and others prayed for a miracle that would never come.
Ricardo died last night.
Ricardo had been attacked before by players and his daughters had asked him to quit refereeing because it was becoming too dangerous.
For the love of the game he didn't, and for the love of the game he died.

My iWitness...

His name is Jesus
He is 33 years old.
He loves God.
He loves his mom and dad, Mary and Joseph
He loves the game of life.
Out of his love for the game of life, Jesus came down to earth to help build up the game and save the people who play it.
On a Monday Jesus saw some people pushing the less fortunate around in His Father's house. Jesus pulled out a yellow card on the religious leaders of the day.
Four days later the mob came rushing over and punched Jesus in the face with a crushing blow.

Here's the difference...
Jesus saw it coming.
Jesus saw it coming before he ever left the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
The friend's of Jesus had asked him to avoid going to Jerusalem. It would be too dangerous.
Jesus knew that as the grand referee he would be crushed, he would whipped and he would be crucified.
Later that day Jesus was crucified, dead and buried.
His friends and family prayed for the miracle that would come.
The goalie that kept the grave of death locked up was thrown out of the game with a Red Card.
On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead!
The stone was rolled away! Not so that Jesus could come out, but rather that we could look in.
For the love of us He didn't quit on us.
For the love of us He died.
For the love of us He was raised.
For the love of us and for the love of the game of life...
Eternal life...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father." (Philippians 2. 5-11)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just sayin'

I recently visited two institutions...

The first place was filled with people I had never met before except for the group of ten I was hanging out with. The other people around me were friendly and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were people younger than me and there were people much older than me. The hospitality that was extended to me was generous with a bright smile and helpful spirit. Everyone was welcomed! I stayed for about two hours and fifteen minutes and the time passed by so quickly that by the time I left it seemed as if I had just arrived. I came home energized. The place had a band and people were so moved by the music that many applauded and some even got out of their seats and danced. I had a great time and so did the people I was with. We laughed a lot, shared some hilarious stories and genuinely showed care for one another. We pledged to get together again and do this on a regular basis.

The second place was filled with people I had never met before except for the group of ten that I knew already. The other people around me were fairly friendly but their faces betrayed their inner feelings as if to strongly suggest not everyone was having a great time. There were people younger than me and there were people much older than me. I stayed for a couple of hours but found myself constantly checking my watch which only made the time drag on and on. I came home kind of drained. There were serious discussions about the moral decline of America and the lack of respect children had for their elders and why more people didn't come to this particular institution. We laughed a little. The place played some great music. I left feeling a little uninspired because of the chain of events that took place were not what I had expected to experience. I wondered to myself if I would do this again on a regular basis.

One of these institutions was a church...

The other was a bar/night club...

From the above descriptions, can you guess which one was which?

My iWitness...

If more churches were like bars...
And more bars were like churches...
Our world would be in better shape!

Just sayin'...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice." (Philippians 4. 4)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where is my...

The two messages were succinct and strikingly straight to the point.

The first one came through at 9:21 am... "Where's my mini-sermon for May 3rd?"

The second one came in at 11:06 am... ""Where is my Dendy blog fix for today?"

My iWitness...

Since beginning this journey of writing a blog every day in the year 2013 of where I see God at work in the life of every day people in their every day lives, my "MO" - modus operandi, has been to write the blog first thing in the morning, between 5:00 - 6:30 am.

Today that didn't happen...

And I am hearing about it!

At least two friends, with their great sense of humor are giving me a hard time about not showing up on time this morning.

Did you notice how each message began?

"Where is my..."

Do you grow impatient with the seeming silence of God's voice?
We pray and we pray and we hope and we expect and we count on the consistency of God's countenance to flow down on us.

And when it doesn't...?

Our response starts with, "Where is my..."

"Where is my answer?"
"Where is my hope?"
"Where is my next move to be?"
"Where is my salvation?"
"Where is my next job?"
"Where is my next meal?"
"Where is my next relationship?"
"Where is my next fix?"

How do we handle the silence of God?

In watching us and being with us, I wonder if God ever asks that question of us?
"Where is my child?"
"Where is my grace?"
"Where is my love?"
"Where is my joy?"
"Where is my forgiveness?"
"Where is my mercy?"
"Where is my patience?"

How does God handle the silence of us?

At least one answer comes to mind...

"With great patience and with great love."

And for my dear friends Herb and Karen, with great patience and great love this is my answer too.

"And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5. 22)

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I received two invitations in the mail yesterday...

One to a wedding
One to a retirement party

One will celebrate the beginning of a chapter in life
One will celebrate the end of a chapter of life

One will proclaim, "Here we go!"
One will proclaim, "Thanks for the memories!"

One will be a party full of laughter and tears.
One will be a party full of laughter and tears.

One will say, "I do."
One will say, "I'm done."

One will be filled with family and friends.
One will be filled with family and friends.

One will celebrate a life together
One will celebrate a life together

One will have people sending a couple off into the land of the unknown
One will have people sending a couple off into the land of the unknown

One will be filled with, "Congratulations and good luck!"
One will be filled with, "Congratulations and well done good and faithful servant."

One I will RSVP that I will not be in attendance
One I will RSVP that I will be in attendance

One is the alpha
One is the omega

My iWitness...

Invitations are a part of our every day lives.
Every invitation demands a response.
Each invitation includes an:
RSVP - "Repondez s'il vous plait" or "please respond"

What will you be invited to today?

A party? A meeting? A conviction?
Will you be invited to stand up for something you are passionate about?
Will you be invited to stand down from something you are passionate about?

All invitations lead us somewhere.
How you RSVP could lead you to places you wish to go or it might lead you to places you do not wish to go.

Jesus offers the ultimate invitation... "Follow me..."
It's an incredible invitation to:
Journey with Jesus
Saunter with the Savior,
Ramble with the Redeemer
Party with the Provider
Dance with the Deliverer
Gallop with Grace
Meander with Mercy
Hobble with the Humble One
Follow the Forgiver
March with the Messiah
Laugh with the Lamb
Linger with the Lion
Crawl with the Crucified
Run with the Resurrection
Experience eternity with the Eternal one...

But then again...

It's just an invitation...

How will you RSVP?

Please respond...

One party I will not be in attendance
One party I will be

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"And Jesus said to them, 'Follow me...'" (Mark 1. 17)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Night Tillers

I love driving through the state of Iowa! I love the rolling terrain that is filled with miles of acres of dirt where corn will soon be planted. Driving in the dark last night I came across a sight that almost made me drive off the road. My first thought was that it was a UFO landing in the middle of a corn field. The darkness was heavy. The sky dusty. The object in the middle of the corn field was illuminating the immediate ground around itself with brilliant bright lights. Dust from the ground enveloped this huge piece of Alien machinery. It was a scene right out of a "B roll" movie.

As I slowed down and took a closer look, I realized that this "encounter of the third kind" was simply a huge tractor tilling the ground, in the dark, getting it ready for the spring seeding.

It would have been fascinating to be a neighbor and go to bed seeing a field in disarray and then wake up the next morning and see the same field tilled in long rows ready to receive its seed.

My iWitness...

Tilling and plowing at "NIGHT."

I wonder how many times God tills and plows at night. How many times does God prepare the ground for great "fruit" to bear during the hours when we are not paying any attention?

Many of us are dealing with some tough decisions, critical circumstances, confusing situations and we wonder, "How is this thing going to work out?"

Fear not! The Tractor tills relentlessly through the night. The ground resists such change. The blade of the plow cuts deep softening the toughened turf. That which was infertile becomes fertile. Dust fills the air and perhaps makes it hard to breathe or see clearly. But the morning will come. The sun will rise again, as it always does. The dust will settle. The air will clear. And the field of our life and hearts will be ready to receive the seeds that will bear much fruit.

The Night Tiller...

And that's my iWitness...
Laugh often and Fear not!

"What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building." (1 Corinthians 3. 5-9)