Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

At our Christmas Eve service, as another pastor-elder was sharing an offertory reflection, he mentioned the song The Little Drummer Boy. I’ve heard it a thousand times, yet I’d never thought about the lyrics before. The song is about a boy who wants to give a gift worthy of Jesus. But, as he says, “I have no gift to bring . . . that’s fit for a king.” (I’m leaving out a few “pa rum pum pum pum’s.”)

I feel the same. We all should. Before the Messiah, there’s nothing we could give that would bring him the honor he’s due. But that shouldn’t stop us from giving; the little boy plays his drum the best he can.

For the last four or five years, I have spent hours and hours each week trying to assemble words as best as I can into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into articles, and sometimes articles into chapters and books. It might not look like much of a Christmas present for the King of kings—and I’m not very impressed with my own words either—but it’s what I have. And what I have, I give.  

I love the ending of the song. When the boy played for Jesus, Jesus smiled at the boy and his drum. Pa rum pum pum pum. I love that.

Every “note” wasn’t hit perfectly in the fifty articles I wrote last year, including my favorites. Still, I offer them up to the King. May they bring a smile to his face and find a place on his heavenly refrigerator. Me and my words. Pa rum pum pum pum.



1. Pastors Need Healthy Boundaries
Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Eastern District Blog, January 18, 2017

Pastors are people, and people are finite. This article offers a few reflections about the implications of this truth for pastoral ministry.

2. Sometimes God Just Closes Doors
Desiring God, June 27, 2017

Jesus is always enough for you—even when you’re at the end of your rope.

3. The Wilderness Makes or Breaks a Man
FAN AND FLAME, August 29, 2017

Peter C. Craigie wrote, “The wilderness makes or breaks a man; it provides strength of will and character.” But what he means by this is not what you’d expect.

4. What If Tomorrow Is Even Harder Than Today?
Desiring God, November 4, 2017

If tomorrow is as difficult as today, or is even harder than today, how will we go on? (FYI: I started writing this article almost 7 years before it was published.)