2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

On Missing and Being Missed

I haven’t written extensively about it here, but over the last ten weeks or so, I have been laid up with pain from a pinched nerve in my back.  For the last two-and-a-half months, I have been virtually bed-ridden.  I have missed church, missed work, missed birthdays, and missed normal day-to-day interaction outside of my immediate family.  Through it all, God has proven himself gracious, sufficient and always in control.  That, however, is a post for another day.

This is not a post about the pain or the missed time, this is a post about going back.  You see, Sunday was my first real day back at church teaching God’s kids.  Of all the things I missed while I was laid up, teaching children’s ministry and running games in AWANA were at the top of my list, and I couldn’t wait to get back to doing both.  More than even that though, I was looking forward just to getting back into active community with those I minister alongside and those who are part of my local church.

But, something happened this weekend that really struck me.  I attend a fairly large church (around 2,000 people), and I was absolutely taken aback by the number of people who approached me to ask how I was doing and see if I was feeling better.  What astounded me even more than that was the number of them that I didn’t even really know personally.  Even more astounding yet were the number of kids (from Kindergarten through Fifth grade) who came up to me to tell me that they had missed me and that they were glad I was back.  Many even asked how my back was doing.  It really was heart warming for me to see and feel how God’s community works and cares for one another.

As I got past the initial shock and began to reflect on it more and more on Sunday afternoon, I realized that there were two possible reactions to the reception I had gotten at church the morning.  The first represents more of my natural bent, and that would be to react with a certain amount of pride.  Let’s face it – it is nice to be missed.  These people missed me, which means I must be important.  The teaching must not have been quite as good while I was gone.  Something must have just seemed like it was missing.  Obviously, these people recognized how important I was and how empty church was without me here!  Yes, one possible reaction to such a warm welcome is one of pride.  What a horrible affront to God such pride is.  Of course, I’ve overstated the prideful reaction a little bit, we might not think quite these thoughts, but when we start to think things like “its nice to be missed,” we open ourselves up to pride.

The second possible reaction is one of humility, and this is the one I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with yesterday as people continued to express their concern and well-wishes.  Who am I that God would surround me with people who show a genuine interest in me?  Who am I that God would allow me to teach and impact his kids on a weekly basis?  Who am I that people would use there personal time with God to pray for me?  Through every trial, and every blessing, and every day, I stand amazed and humbled at the work on God.  I am glad to be back.  I am glad that my back is getting better day by day.  Most of all thought, I am glad to be part of God’s family, and there is nothing I have done to deserve that honor.

To all those who have prayed for me, and those who have wished me well, and those who have filled in and taken up the slack while I have been out of commission, I thank you, and I am glad to call you brother and sister!




  1. Wayne Stocks


    Thanks for your kind comments. We are definitely blessed with a great community of people, and I am thankful that God has put me in this community with people like you and others who delight in, and excel at, working with God's kids.

    It does kind of stink that AWANA is off for a couple of weeks now that I am finally starting to feel a little bit better. I can't wait to get back to it after the break.

    Take care!
    My recent post On Missing and Being Missed

  2. Richard Ledger

    Ahh – I understand how you feel, Wayne. It's a good reminder about how blessed we are to be in such a wonderful community of people.

    But you seem to have forgotten one thing – you reap what you sow. You have poured your heart, time and energy into the kids and adults around you. I think that's a big part of why we care – because you've shown us that you care.

    God bless, brother, and I can't wait for you to get back to AWANA!