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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Here's a quote that I am chewing on heavily...what thinkest thou?

"Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel."
G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Continually Amazed

In 1978 I was asked to join the staff of Kansas City Youth For Christ.

I was nearing graduation from Bible school, and this was an exciting offer!

Until I realized I would not be paid traditionally, but would have to "raise support."


I had only been out of prison a bit over a year. I had spent most of my life stealing, manipulating, deceiving until Christ captured me in jail enroute to prison.

And now they wanted me to mooch?

But, thankfully, I prayed about it, searched the Word, and came to the conclusion that support made sense for those who serve as missionaries...whether overseas or within the States.

The mere fact that everyone I knew was either in prison or should have been was an inconvenience. I had no family.

But I had a big God.

And since 1978 I (and since 1982 we...Jane and I) have lived "on support."

I'd have it no other way after over thirty years.

If I inherited a bunch of money; I'd have a lot of fun giving most of it away.

Support is amazing...not "simply" because there are folks who sacrificially invest in our lives and work to partner with us in ministry; but even moreso because they pray.

Would they pray were they not giving?

Scripture says "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Too often it gets misquoted the other way around...

It's hard to show interest if you don't have anything invested.

I was catching up on my support record keeping much of today after being gone basically all summer...and uniquely confronted with the amazing fact that bunches of people have, in many cases, since I first started in 1978, been investing in the work to which the Lord has called Jane and me.

Alas, many of those who have started have gone on to glory, or have had to curtail their giving because of economic set backs.

So there is a need for "more" support.

But I fret not...because God (and His people) have proved faithful for over three decades in our lives...and He shall continue to do so.

"My God shall supply ALL your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus."

So...just in case you are thinking about the possibility of serving as a missionary either short or long term...and you are a bit scared of raising support...don't sounds trite but it remains true - "If it is God's will; it is God's bill."

And, just in case you are looking for a missionary couple to support...let me know!

Why Don't Churches Do What Jesus Did?

This from Tim Keller is an incredibly brief but vitally important observation:

"Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect."

Monday, August 29, 2011

So Grateful God Understands

Okay, it may seem I'm a frontman for Peanuts...but, hey, there is often better theology in Peanuts than a lot of "christian" books!

No matter how bad your day is, there is One who understands...and Who is there with you...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just Funny

I continue to be amazed at how much emotion Charles Schultz could put in just a few lines of ink...sure, there could be some observations of truths contained in this; but I just laughed:

Friday, August 26, 2011


Shot this on the fence surrounding the Kansas Governor's "mansion" in Topeka a couple days ago. I guess it's a cicada or somesuch? All I know is the shell is there, the new life gone. Bunches of thematic illustrations there...just kind of odd looking; glad I spotted it:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lego Masterpieces at Washburn University

The Hager six enjoyed a couple days in Topeka, and a highlight was a visit to a traveling Lego exhibit (by Nathan Sawaya) at Washburn University...amazing's a few, along with a couple other fotos:
                                                         Jane by display of Solar System
                                             Jacob in unique "architecture" outside museum
                                                          Titled "Crowd"
                                          Jacob modeling a headpiece at "Legends" on way home
                                  My three sons - in whom I am well pleased!
                                               A guy prepares to fall for my girls
                                            My favorite:
                                                           Janelle gets 'the point'
                            The saddest one - 'father and son'
                                 Got yelled at when I put my watch by this to show perspective
                                                             Artist a former lawyer...hmmm...
                          A whole new feel to "rip my guts out"
                                           Why Legos?
                                                       Titled "Womb"

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Don't let your spiritual concepts and perceptions keep you from knowing God." A W Tozer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Family Time in Topeka

With children ranging in age from 27 to 9, it is rare to have the whole gang together; so Jane and I are beyond blessed to have all four children together for a few days; and Jane got us a couple rooms at a Holiday Inn in Topeka for a great price; today we did the zoo (better than expected!), had a picnic, did a few thrift shops, and enjoyed the include a waterslide and a hottub...tomorrow more touristy stuff, then back home...
                                                        Jacob relaxing in the pool
                                                                  Jane and Joel with the llama
                                                            Josiah and Jacob at bottom of waterslide
                                                            Josiah enjoys the hot tub
                                                              Royalty of the pride type
                                                           Janelle, Jane, and Joel
                                                                   Janelle and a goat....
                                                                Jacob and the Gage Park conductor

Charles Schultz Was So Good!

Alas, I can relate personally...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Will Anyone will Discuss the sacred cow of "the prayer"?

 Actually, some may run to get tar and feathers; or a stake and a match or two...or at least a sign that says "heretic."

But I still wonder...and have at some level since I first heard my first "invitation" while a guest at Oregon State Prison (I had been converted in jail enroute to prison - at the age of 26)...

Why doesn't John 3.16 say "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever 'prays the prayer" would not perish, but would have eternal life."? Or "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever receives Him as Lord and Savior would not perish but have everlasting life"?

Why does it "just" say "believes"?

Of course I understand the Greek conveys the meaning of "Trust, cling to, rely on" etc...but it certainly does not mean "pray 'the' prayer" (that is not found anywhere in scripture).

Just wondering...yeah, and just encouraging us to think this through...

I'll go one step further.

Those of us who work with teens want them to stand up for Jesus, to stand out for Jesus, to unashamedly speak and live for Jesus, right?

Then why do we all too often start them off in secret..."every head is bowed, every eye is closed; no one looking around" with music playing softly in the background....

Understand this, I am not totally "against" invitations; I am against any that are manipulative, play on emotions, or give even the slightest indication that raising a hand or "going forward" has anything to do with conversion. If the "invitation" is designed to put a student with a counselor where there is adequate time for counsel without a rush to get out of the building or to the next activity; it's all good...


Just wondering....

Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Night Near the Hager Home

Went for a walk after dinner tonight down our country road to the's what I saw:
                               One of 3 mushrooms seen in give perspective

                                                                Another mushroom!

              Chapel at cemetery; shot through side window of stained glass and reflected headstones

                                    Through another window...

       So blessed to see a beautiful sunset; more blessed to know Who to thank!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's Gossip? What's Flattery?

Great, memorable definitions:                                                                                             

Gossip involves saying behind a person’s back what you would never say to his or her face.
Flattery means saying to a person’s face what you would never say behind his or her back.
—R. Kent Hughes

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pics From Trip Home

Luke Williams and I are overnighting in Greenville, Il, after spending last night in Erie, Pa after camp concluded. Shot pics Thurs nite, very early Friday in Erie and this early evening in Greenville. Here they are:
                                                 General Vincent had an intruder between his saber and head
                                                SUNSET ON LAKE ERIE 
                                                Beautiful Even in Death:
                                              One of many Catholic Churches in Erie:
                                                     Old Chimney in Erie, 5.45 Friday morning
  One of many paintings in Russian Orthodox Church in Erie; Priest told me all painted by one man
                                                   More in Russian Orthodox church
                                            Commodore Perry in Erie park
                                      Decal seen in back of pickup in Greenville, Il
                                Rough part of Erie; apparently tenant did not like Dish?
                                       A view of the Russian Orthodox Church
                                                   Another view:
                                     Spider still in view of full statue picture of Gen Vincent
                       Odd bluish "contrail" as sun sets in Greenville, Illinois
                                            Luke takes an imaginary climb
                               This in the top of the dome...inside the church...amazing....
                                         The Russian Orthodox Sanctuary
                                        Luke becomes part of the scene in Greenville
                                 Luke literally hanging out in Greenville, Il
                             It has been a joy to have Luke along during this 2 week trip
                            Mission Statement of the Russian Orthodox Church
                                           Another exterior shot