Friday, April 30, 2010
Today is also the birthday of our niece Stacy, daughter of our baby sister, Kayla, who passed away, after an 18 month battle with leukemia, back in 1979. Stacy is a wonderful woman today and we are reminded of how much her mom loved her and her two sisters. We will never understand in this life why things happen the way they do but we are thankful to God for Kayla, her remarkable testimony, and how she continues through her children. Happy Birthday Stacy. Finally, today is also our middle son, Jimmy's birthday. He is 42 years old today. Come next year all three of our boys will wear the 40's badge. Now that is hard for me to take in. Jimmy has had a rough time of it much of his life due to a myriad of physical and emotional issues. Yet, he is beloved by his family, and each day we thank God for him and seek God's best for his life. Happy birthday son, may God be with you on this day.
People come and go in our lives but as this blog would indicate, they have an influence, and they make a difference in the living out of our daily walk. We who have trusted God really are only temporary residents of this world. We are essentially marking time until that day when we arrive home. The song says "I've a home prepared where the saints abide, just over in the gloryland; And I long to be by my Savior's side, just over in the gloryland." Some folks may think it best just to sit and wait until they get there but thank God for those who busy themselves pursuing a life of serving God and others, giving us an example on not only how to live, but how to be prepared to arrive in our real home. Birthdays give us that opportunity and today we pause to remember these mentioned. May God help us all to make the best of our travels here while moving each day closer to our heavenly home! Amen. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and we all will have to wait and see what comes up on Monday! .....More later.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I actually know a few people who pay very little attention to trying to keep up and I am usually amazed at even the big stories they tend to know very little if anything about. What is wrong with them? How can they seem to get along so well? They don't even know any of the details about the insurgency and conflicts that continue to plague the Sudan. They are unaware of how China may ease up on their one child policy. They also find little time to focus on the current driver feuds going on in the NASCAR world. For the life of me I can't figure out why they don't even care how many points Labron James scored in the playoff game last night. I really do feel sorry for them. And, it's pretty much useless to tell them about the time I emailed a radio station in Brisbane, Australia because when listening to their broadcast on the internet I heard them make a glaring error in something they said about the Crocodile Hunter series running here in the states. Pitiful. These people who know so very little about what is going on, they seem so happy. Why they don't even pay attention enough to know how unhappy they are. Wow!
I know we all at times have a fear about not knowing enough. This especially happens as we learn on a new job. But it really can become an obsession whenever it has to do with the instantaneous junk that we seem not to be able to live without that occupies so much of our time. I do have to discipline myself because keeping up with all of what becomes tomorrow's trivia most certainly can interfere with time spent with God and especially in His word. I could certainly do more to follow the Apostle Paul's admonition: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8) That's it for today, I have to run because I believe there's a congressional hearing coming on CSPAN that I can stream on my computer and I wouldn't want to miss it. Just joking but I will check the CSPAN schedule to be sure since you mentioned it. Have a blessed day and remember to remember to spend time with God. Amen. .......More later.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It seems that somehow just talking about the weather typically gets me to Al Gore. I can't even guess how those dots connect but when you tune in to this station you typically get whatever I happen to be broadcasting on that particular day. I realize that many of you probably think that when I am lost in thought it's probably very unfamiliar territory. It's gets pretty lonely sometimes being me. It's like one of Yogi's quotes: "Nobody goes where the crowds are today. It's just too crowded." Sadly, that makes perfect sense to me. In our Bible study class we have been working through a verse by verse study of the Book of Genesis. Last week we read about that remarkable audience between Jacob and the Pharaoh of Egypt. Jacob must have really looked old because the Pharaoh asked about his age. He told the Pharaoh that he was 130 years old but he certainly had not attained the age of his ancestors. His dad, Isaac, lived to be 180, and his grandfather Abraham lived to be 175. Then Jacob did something pretty phenomenal, he, the elderly shepherd and clan leader, who had just recently been facing famine and potential extinction, now standing before arguably the most powerful ruler in the world, he actually pronounced a blessing on the Pharaoh. Hello? How could this be? Jacob had every reason in the world to be in a position to bless the Pharaoh and reading all about it is very thrilling. You can find this amazing text by beginning in Genesis 12 and reading through to the end of the Book, in Chapter 50.
But being reminded of growing older is always good for a laugh or two. I have always liked this story about an older couple. The old couple were watching TV one evening, and the husband got up to go to the kitchen. His wife told him to get her some iced tea, and knowing that the years had taken their toll on his memory, she told him to write it down. "I can remember iced tea," he protested. "But I want sugar in my tea too," she told him, "so write it down." He told her he could remember iced tea with sugar. "I want a slice of lemon too." she said, "Just write it down." He left the room grumbling to himself. A few minutes later he came back with a plate full of mashed potatoes for her. "Now look what you've done!" she yelled at him, "You forgot my gravy!" None of us know exactly how many years we have left. At the time Jacob confirmed his age to be 130 he still had seventeen more years before he left this world for his true home in heaven. What we do know is that the amount of years is not as important as what we do with the time we have been given. May God help us all to use our time wisely, for His honor and glory, and in helping others along the way. And, maybe here and there, we need to be able to chuckle about it all. I think that would do each of us a world of good. Amen. .....More later.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Yeah. We do look at life differently, don't we? Women report that men are like a Swiss army knife, they look like they do a multitude of different things, but mostly end up only opening bottles. They also say that men are like a zip lock bag because they hold everything in but usually she can see right through them. Women also say that men typically have bad eyesight since they seem never to notice any wrinkles in their clothes. On the other hand, men have their own observations about women. Even the words used by women tell a story. They use the word "fine" but for some reason that doesn't typically mean that anything is fine. Women also like the word "nothing" but rarely do they use it to mean "nothing" because most of the time it really means "something" and that "something" is usually a big "something". Confusing as all get out, don't you think? The young man asked his dad about how it works in native cultures. He said he had heard that in some tribes men never really know their wives until they are married. His dad couldn't help himself, "Son, as far as I can tell, this is how it works in all cultures!"
How in the world can we ever get along if these differences are so entrenched? We are able to love and respect each other when we do life God's way. He tells men how they are to love their wives. He tells women how they are to respect their husbands. He also gives us His Spirit to help us to do exactly what He has instructed us to do. This typically doesn't happen on the first day, or the in the first year, but it can happen if we recognize these differences to be inherent in God's design, and we learn to live and laugh on our journey as we seek to honor Him in our relationships. It's no easy task and there are days when we all find ourselves slip sliding around as we fret and fumble through our conversations and connections. However, recognizing that only God can help us to be who He wants us to be is the best way to start every day. I love the fact that my wife is so different from me and that she accepts me even if I use the lame, "May I help you with dinner?" For she knows what this really means. It means this question almost always comes when everything is on the table. Thank God for the person who coined how it's the thought that counts. Always remember that God's word on every subject is readily available as found in His Book, The Holy Bible. Have a blessed day. Amen. ......More later.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I was in a group recently talking about leadership and we were discussing how you can spot a good leader. Of course one of the obvious ways is to look at those who follow and the influence their leader has on them. A good leader is not good because they carry the title, they have to be able to inspire and elicit the response of those they lead in producing results. I had much to learn about this subject when I started out because everyone has their own style. I settled in on leading by example and I believe it to be best for me because it showed others what I was all about. That's what we all do every single day. We show others what we are all about. That's what those fellows who greet folks and herd carts do, they show others what they are all about. Having a consistent testimony that comes from a genuine commitment makes a difference. It makes a difference in whatever the activity or endeavor being worked on, and it makes a huge impact on others as they observe and are influenced by that testimony.
The writer of the letter in the New Testament, James, said that talk was one thing but action is the true way to evaluate a person's heart. We can talk all day about how hard we work and how tough our work is and how fortunate our company is to have us there. But the real proof of us being a good worker is in the results we produce and in the influence we wield. James said talking about being spiritual is one thing but proving it by loving others, regardless of their station or status, is the best way to show it. Sometimes the kid's songs can be quite convicting. "If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it." Whoa! or Woe! That's one of those that always reaches out and grabs me even on a Monday where things are kind of oozing along. This tells me that I have work to do, every day, and that work is not the other fellow's problem, it begins with me, myself, and I. May God help us all to see that we are where we are doing what we do and He can work through us, if we carry the right spirit and attitude in all we do! Amen. .......More later.
Friday, April 23, 2010
We've been together for a long time. We will soon be able to catch a glimpse of that bridge called 50th not too far up ahead. I tell people how I took her as a child and finished raising her. Of course since I was only 18 and she was 17 she might well wonder who was raising who but we've had an amazing journey together, thus far, and while we've had plenty of hard knocks and heartaches, we've also enjoyed some really great blessings as a couple. She loves the Lord. She loves her family, our kids, grand kids, and great granddaughter, and she loves her brothers and sisters and their families, and my mom and dad and she loves our extended family, our Church family, her many friends, and finally, she actually loves me. I made myself last so that you would see how humble I am but I am so very thankful that she has been such a faithful and loving companion all of these years. We've got one of those growing older together stories and it keeps us laughing as we teeter totter our way through life. There are folks who tell me how lucky I am to have such a wonderful wife. Lucky? I don't think so. Here's the truth: I am Blessed by the Lord God of heaven! Happy Birthday Sweetheart, and always remember this truth: "Baby, you're still the greatest!" Amen. .......More later.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
One of the things we all learn if we grow to be almost any age at all is how that trouble is no respecter of persons. This economic downturn has crushed millions including some who were previously very wealthy. While those who are poor have suffered immensely, many have joined the ranks of the needy for the first time ever. Tough? It's hard to even imagine how difficult it has been for those who have gone from the pent house to the poor house and who wake up each day with little or no prospects for a return to their previous lifestyle. Eating humble pie is something most of us have had to do but I don't wish it upon anyone, except as God wills for His own good purposes, and even then I pray for mercy and grace to under gird His working. I remember when I left the big company. Before I left I could pick up the telephone and make many things happen. My word meant something. I chose to leave and things changed, rightfully so. But, it still stung whenever those same people who at one time would have jumped in response to my request suddenly couldn't find time to even return my call. I never held that against anyone because that's the way it works out there in the proverbial 'real world'. I read recently about a heiress who has become near destitute due to the destruction of her fortune. According to this article she will soon be close to being homeless in a real sense. Trouble is no respecter of persons.
When we allow ourselves to become so wrapped up in ourselves, our prestige, and our stuff, we lose sight of this universal truth and how it all can be gone in a heartbeat. Therefore, we need God and His provision to give us identity and purpose because it remains regardless of the trouble that comes our way. Some like to joke about how that poor people believe in God because they have so little. Isn't that just like man in his arrogance? If being poor makes it easier for someone to seek and find God, then the poor person is better off than any and all rich people who never find God. In fact, that poor person who is a child of God is assured of eternal riches that transcend any and all of what this world has to offer. I hear people say they know that being wealthy may not be good for them but they would surely like to try it at least once. The writer James in the New Testament was inspired to tell us that it is better to ground our plans for any and all things based on the will of God, because that is best for those who belong to God, without regard to how the world might evaluate station or status. It's finding that place of rest within God's provision that will help us as we too deal with the fact that trouble is no respecter of persons. Amen. ......More later.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Experts tell us that the cost of funerals have soared by 50%. The blame? The high cost of living! This sounds fishy to me. I don't do well dealing with fractions, in fact, I'm not 1/2 as good as most people. Have you noticed that rarely do you find places where they still give a thumbs-up to hitchhiking? Or maybe something as bad as this quote from a man spared his nearing execution: "No noose is good noose." Then there are those perfectly good phrases suited for a bumper sticker but never used. "If I throw a stick, will you leave?" or "I started with nothing and still have most of it left." or "I'm not crazy, only in a bad mood for 30 years." or "Is it time for my medication or yours?" or "I like cats too. Let's exchange recipes." Cat lovers please don't send me angry letters, it's a joke. Remember this: Never complain about farmers with your mouth full of food. Or perhaps we all should learn to be more flexible since folks who are flexible tend not to get bent out of shape.
Life can be difficult but with God's help we learn that true happiness is an inside job. I will admit that today's blog is all over the place, all over the page, and mostly over the top. But it has been written to people who believe a balanced diet involves having a cookie in each hand or to those who find out their clear conscience is only due to their bad memory. Benjamin Franklin observed that while we all want to enjoy a long life, no one wants to be old. Today I decided to be like the diplomat who thinks twice before saying nothing. But I did put some thought into it and did some reading therefore I feel somewhat vindicated, it's that feeling I have when I take out the trash which somehow makes me feel like I've cleaned the entire house. Let me leave you with a final piece of wisdom for your consideration: Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes, that way if he gets angry, you will be a mile away and he will be barefoot. Have a blessed day and may God give us all something to smile about, today! Amen. ......More later.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The consequences are already huge and growing by leaps and bounds. Businesses are suffering beginning with the airlines. Families are disrupted and travelers who are supposed to be somewhere doing something productive are stuck, waiting to get a flight. I read where one global airline is anticipating the temporary lay off of thousands of its workers since it cannot financially handle this ongoing hold. The numbers will end up being astronomical, in the many billions lost for sure. This particular volcano has not erupted since 1822 but they tell us that its the baby brother to another larger one that could cause even greater problems if it goes off. People scoff at how the Bible describes a coming time of judgment where people will no longer function in their modern ways but they will be forced to revert to primitive forms of operation. I notice that Britain is trying to figure out if they can send ships to rescue their citizens from foreign cities. Others have been forced to find ground transportation, cars, buses, or trains. You would have to admit that we are living in some strange times, right?
All of these events should remind us that we are a frail and needy people. They should point us to the existence of God and our need of Him. Romans Chapter 8 reminds us that creation was cursed because of the sin of man and it too awaits restoration. Meanwhile, it groans as those tectonic plates rub up against each other and we see earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami devastation around the globe. What is the response of a world that has refused to recognize the Creator? One of denial and rejection of Him and His rightful place as Sovereign Ruler over all things. The steady knock of the skeptics hammer has worn the rock of God's revelation and we see more and more of its results in a worldview that rejects God and His Word. It's not even effective to say we have a Christian worldview any more since Christianity has been greatly infiltrated and polluted by ungodly influences of all kinds. What you need and what I need is to adopt a Biblical worldview. One that lines up with thus says the Word of the Lord. He is our only hope and you and I are to stand up and be counted for God's truth in a world where truth has become in the eye of the beholder. Yes, creation itself, including the volcano in Iceland, declares God and His glory! Amen. Hallelujah. May He be praised. .......More later.
Monday, April 19, 2010
President Obama is, in my opinion, wrong about what is needed to get America back where she belongs. He is not wrong because of the color of his skin. He is wrong, in my opinion, because he fails to honor the Godly principles that have served us since our founding. It's okay for us to be fierce in our defense of these differences but it is never okay for me to slam him as a man, to make fun of him because of his race, or to poke fun at his family in order to help me win an argument. We are only human and having these strong differences can become heated. That's understandable since the stakes are so high. But when heat becomes hate we have crossed a line that violates God's mandate to us that we are to love our enemies, (Jesus speaking in Luke 6), and to pray for and support the government ordained by God during whatever time period we are living, (Paul's letter to the Romans, Chapter 13). How can we be clear in our opposition while also honoring the calling God has placed on our lives? We can start by our awareness of how easy it is to cross the line and that we should go out of our way to make clear our position regarding these Scriptural mandates even as we voice our opposition to policies and programs that we believe fail to honor the God who made us the nation we are.
I must tell you that I receive far too many emails that have a denigrating tone regarding individuals with whom we disagree. Please don't send those to me. They do not honor God and they do not advance the cause of our argument against the march of socialistic policies. They end up being mean spirited that are neither humorous nor enlightening. This doesn't mean we should be silent. This does not mean we should be passive. We have been given the responsibility to operate our lives in the time continuum that God has placed us in, with all the rights and privileges He has provided to us, therefore, we should exercise these rights by our voice and our vote in seeking to see our nation be one that acknowledges God. How can we not speak out against the killing of babies? How can we not speak out when laws are established that 100% contradict the clear laws of God? How can we not speak out when our nation adopts a worldview that proclaims there is no God? We can't be silent but we can be light and love into this world of darkness and hate. May God help me to speak out even more but to do so with an understanding that we are all sinners in need of the love and forgiveness of a Holy and Righteous God. Have a great day and go ahead and think about these things, it will do a body good! Amen. .....More later.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I happen to like funny stories and jokes. One I like talks about the dog that went into the telegraph office and asked to send a message. He gave this message to the operator: "Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof." The operator told him he could add another 'woof' for the same price but the dog responded: "Why would I want to do that, it would no longer make any sense." You may not have thought that to be very funny. It struck me as being funny but that's okay because you may have one that I might not find to be funny either. The problem comes when we can't find anything to laugh about and believe me, it's not any way at all to live. The fifteen year old had this to say about life: "My mom told me that I should live each day as if it is my last. That's why I never do my laundry because who wants to be doing laundry on the last day of their life?" Life is serious and there are times when there's little to laugh about, however, we should never wear a frown as a permanent fixture. Joy is contagious and you and I should be carriers.
"Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you will eventually have to blow your nose." If we are normal we will have plenty of doing both as we make our way through this life. I feel sorry for any of us who cannot think of one or more times when we knew that a situation or happening in our family could have qualified for America's Funniest Home Video. One that always gets a huge laugh for our youngest son is the one he tells about me and the Moon Pie. My wife had me on a diet. I slipped outside one day with a chocolate cream pie hidden in my pocket for a little R & R. When I heard Rodney coming around the side of the house I stuffed the entire pie into my mouth. He claims by the time he got to me I was not only choking but also spraying Moon Pie particles all over the place. His telling of it is greatly exaggerated but I cannot deny the basic facts. He has told that story many times but we all still share a good laugh because it was a funny thing that happened and he tells it so well. One of the things I love about my wife is the laughing we do together. Sure, we have our share of stuff to be solemn about but our time together is just too funny not to laugh as we go on down the road hand in hand. Perhaps your smile maker has been put away for too long and it's time for you to get it working again. My recommendation is to use it and use it often because without it working, believe me, it's not any way at all to live! Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I'll see you next time, Lord willing! Amen. .....More later.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
There is also the issue of using the internet too much. There are folks who they say are actually addicted to the tasking they involve themselves in on their computers whether it is social networking, games, or some other activity. I saw one website that had an article describing this problem and it called it Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). The experts quoted in this article say there are between 5% and 10% of people who regularly use the internet that have some form of this disorder. Treatments vary but there are more and more professionals coming up with ways to adapt psychological treatment plans to try and help people with this problem. This gives us plenty of incentive to pay attention to our own use as well as being vigilant in observing how much time is being spent on the computer by our children and grandchildren. Nearly every tool ever developed that produced breakthroughs has also evolved into something that can bring harm and hurt, therefore, we have to stay on top of it, 24x7, right?
I love the fact that we can share instantly with our loved ones and given that you glance at my blog is a testimony for how we can use this form of communication to inform, encourage, and perhaps even to bring a smile. This is the technology age, therefore, it's interesting to observe the proliferation of devices that crowd our lives. The internet can be accessed now from powerful cell phone devices that essentially operate the same as if you were sitting at your computer. Talk about instant messaging! It is exactly that and more! Texting is now the rage as people talk forth and back through typed in messaging on their cell or smart phones. It's also now being outlawed while driving in many locales after so many horrible accidents have occurred. We don't text. We didn't get that feature. We are considered to be way behind the technology curve at this time. All our children text and many of our grandchildren text. Our friends text. But we don't do text. Many of wife's friends text and since we don't have the feature we encounter a fee every time she reads one. It would appear that to text or not to text is the next great question she and I will have to face. Who would have ever thought that these types of issues would be those that we have to fuss over as we seek to be a part of the mainstream. And, don't get me started on the abbreviations used, that's a whole different matter or perhaps a whole different language. How much can us old folks handle? Have a blessed day any way! Amen. ......More later.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Yesterday we attended the funeral service of our former pastor's dad, Darrell Evans. We have known these folks for over twenty five years and at 87, one could see that he had lived a full life filled with love for God and family. When I think of this gentleman the word that comes to mind is 'decent'. We had also attended his wife's home going service some five years ago. They were a gracious couple and he was a man of few words but one distinguished by the love of his life, his family. One could do worse than to raise up children who become servants of God and who raise up their children to become servants of the living God, many called to full time vocation in local Church ministry. Viewing the grandchildren and great grand children and their response to their beloved Paw Paw, it reminded me of how we all felt about my Paw Paw Mac. Nothing spectacular. No special recognitions or worldly accolades. Just the testimony of a life lived in devotion to God and family. Not a bad way to go if you ask me.
Now some may think these farewell events to be morbid. I've been around people who never wanted to even think about thinking about death. Hello? It is as much a part of living as life itself. I had not seen Brother Carl in a long time but our connection formed in our serving together caused us to be able to immediately share our tears and hearts as he mourned this great loss. A couple of months ago I was able to visit briefly with Mr. Evans at a special singing concert at our Church. He had been suffering some lapses in memory but on that evening he recognized me right away and we greeted each other warmly. My thoughts were: What a decent fellow. Folks, people matter. They count. Carl has meant something to us and especially to our Rodney. Mr. and Mrs. Evans gave us the pastor we had for many years. People matter. They count. But these departures remind us that someday folks will view our bodies and they will think about our life and what we meant to them and hopefully how we influenced them for God. We rejoice because these have gone on to their reward and based on their testimony we know that being absent from the body they are now present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) What a hope! You might say you have little in the way of a testimony for the Lord to leave behind at this point. It's not too late for any of us because with God we can start today, or we can start over today, and while we may not be able to change yesterday we can make every day going forward count for time and eternity. May God help us all, including yours truly, to do that very thing! Amen. ........More later.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
These photos were taken on Resurrection Sunday when we were visiting in the home of our eldest son. I have told you before that we are a family wired and pre-programmed to love babies. My wife takes credit for taking the photos. Taking the photos is important and I will not deny that. However, and I wish to make this perfectly clear, the photo can never be any better than the subject being photographed. In these particular shots, while I would never want to be picky, I must point out the unseen prompter of these wonderful shots, that being, of course, yours truly who was in charge of holding our little bundle of Madelyn Joy and encouraging her to produce these poses. People can talk about this, that, or the other when it comes to handling babies but I feel compelled, in my desire for full disclosure, to take full responsibility and plead guilty for these beautiful images as portrayed in the photos. Yes, that is my hand, and yes, I was causing her to smile like that. I have found that confession is good for the soul and being up front about the facts helps to keep everything in its proper place.
My eldest son is now the Paw Paw and from my viewpoint, he sure acts somewhat silly in his role as grandfather to our little bundle of Madelyn Joy. It can be quite embarrassing but he is, after all, still a novice and I know he must grow and develop as he seeks to find his way to becoming sophisticated like his dad when it comes to dealing with grandchildren. When he talks about how great he is at handling our little bundle of Madelyn Joy, especially comparing himself to others, I can't help but remember that I actually changed his diapers, my wife would say very few, and I also changed his daughter's diapers, therefore, on skill and experience, and sheer numbers alone, I would have to be considered as the more qualified expert. But rather than point these things out, I just do my own thing in my own way. What happens when Great Poppy does his thing in his own way? You end up with these beautiful images that helps to share and spread our version of joy to all of you. Okay folks, while most of this has been written in jest, I must tell you that at the end of the day, it's mostly also all true. May God bless and may you get a smile on your face as you share in our bundle of Madelyn Joy! Amen. ......More later.
Monday, April 12, 2010
My wife and I do try to practice telling each other of our love each morning as I leave for work. We also know that showing love is much more important than speaking love but in combination they are a powerful force within a family. I reject those so-called experts who say we can be damaged if we never hear the words 'I love you'. I believe we can be very much impacted if we grow up where we are not loved and that love is either not shown or withheld. This is based on my own experience. Having lost my dad at age 7 to a sudden illness, I grew up under the influence of my grandfather. If my grandfather ever told anyone that he loved them, I am not aware of it, including my grandmother. That was not his way. Did he really love us? How about showing it in a million different ways through his sacrificial life? Sometimes we can get hung up on formulas and processes without appreciating the truth about God's love and how His love through others can and do make a difference in our lives. Did I ever feel unloved even once growing up? If I did, I have no recollection of it but I do have plenty of illustrations from the family that surrounded me to demonstrate nothing but love.
The bottom line for me is a reminder that while we can mimic words, it is so much harder to live out the truth of those words as we go about our busy lives. The biggest hindrance for most of us has to do with somehow getting over the 'me, myself, and I' preoccupation that dogs our steps from the inside out. That battle has to go on but we can win the victory by seeking God's power to help us deal with this issue. How else could we as husbands be called to love our wives in the same way that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for the Church? (See Ephesians 5:25) Most of us realize how totally impossible this is from a human, fleshly viewpoint. Good that we see it this way because that is exactly the truth. Only the power of God living in us will ever provide us with the heart and means to accomplish this calling. For many of us we must start with our 'want to' in order to see this need and seek His help in achieving it. Meanwhile, saying it as we part company is still an appropriate thing to do because we never really know what a day will bring. May God help us all to be who He would have us to be for His honor and glory and for the good of those He has placed in our lives. Amen. ......More later.
Friday, April 9, 2010
There's no doubt that the razor thin victory in the recent health care bill has emboldened this team but as they push hard their far left programs it is clear that we the people are not going quietly. The left leaning media has given up defending themselves as being unbiased. Many of the so-called mainstream pundits have recently screamed how that the vocal opposition to this president may end up endangering him personally. While they go on and on about how hateful the dialogue is concerning President Obama, I am reminded that these same hypocrites were not concerned at all when they proclaimed President George W. Bush to be a war criminal and joked about him being assassinated. Never in our history has this bias on all sides been more obvious. I have never believed there is such a thing as there being a source where just the facts and nothing else is reported. Everyone comes at every story with some baggage, thoughts, and ideas. While some may do their best to not allow this to interfere with their reporting I have contended all along that it's just inherently impossible. Fair and balanced? I don't think so. Everyone is selling something.
This being true, sounds like we should just throw in the towel and move up into the mountains and forget about it. NOT!!! That would not solve anything and it would also go against our calling to do our best to make a difference in the world God has placed us in. We cannot change President Obama's world view that informs his approach to governing but we can work together to change who sits in the oval office next. We cannot guarantee that a flawed system operated by fallen and flawed people will ever produce results that are just or fair but we can do our best to support those who have a claim to the higher moral ground. In other words, we can, with God's help, do what we can do, and then with prayer and thanksgiving, allow Him to accomplish His purpose in the 'all things' that define our time here on the planet. We can also seek to mirror in our own individual lives the character traits, behaviors, and disciplines that we say we wish to see in our government. That, my friend, gives me as much to work on in my own life while calling for a return to the God honoring principles that has made us a blessed nation in the past. Don't be downcast, look up and seek God's help as we seek to see God honored throughout our land. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and may God add His blessings on you and yours. Amen. .....More later.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
One day this week I heard an interesting tidbit on the Wall Street Journal early morning radio report. It was about the huge problem that exists with folks who have chronic illnesses but fail to regularly take their prescribed medications. There are many tools available to try and help this situation. Vibrating watches that remind, glow caps that flash, and special calendar boxes to separate dosages are all out there as ways to get folks to take their drugs. However, there's a new one in trials at this time that really got my attention. They are working on a pill that has a tiny transmitter that operates on a timer and it will signal an alarm box to remind someone to take the other pills. This has to be one of those: What will they think of next? deals. You know how my mind works. What will they come up with to make sure someone remembers to take the remembering pill? I told you it's not easy to get older and I have the pills to prove it!
They have recently reported a huge increase in sales for Toyota. This is despite the lack of definitive information to prove they have the unexpected acceleration problems fixed. How did this happen? Huge discounts and interest free financing is the most likely reason, although some say that many folks are unhappy with how our government has handled this case, especially given the government's ownership of GM and Chrysler. I heard one fellow proclaim that it says much about the American mindset when we are willing to buy a car at a good price with good financing without regard to whether it is safe or not. It just goes to show us all that we can never be sure about anything in this life as it relates to products, services, and stuff. Every day people follow proper instructions like roadside signs but if those have been altered in any way, it can end up in tragedy, even though the rules were carefully followed. This is why we need to solidify our trust and confidence in God and His Word alone. We are told that His word will never pass away and that is something we can stake our very life on, each and every day. (Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35) Amen. .....More later.