Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I don't know about you but I don't think one of our brave men or women's lives are worth someone's desire for political gain!
Monday, May 23, 2011
When you see," and then He filled in the events and activities that were to be looked for. Of course there are literally hundreds of different opinions, interpretations, and differences in the way that scholars handle the end times passages. I contend that the end times officially started immediately following the ascension of our Savior back into heaven. The angel told his followers that He would return in the same way He had left them. The early believers lived as if His return was imminent. Some had to be corrected because they had quit their jobs and were just sitting around waiting for Him to come. I am only pointing out that they had an earnest expectation and anticipation of the return of their Lord. That is a healthy perspective and one that we should have today as we continue on in living out our lives. Where is the balance? I think the Apostle Paul had it about right. He said if it was up to him, he would go on to glory immediately, but God's will was what counted, and Paul believed God had more work for him to do here on the planet. You can read about this in his letter to the Phillippians, Chapter 1. Look up and expect Him at anytime, while also living each day to its fullest in order to honor Him and serve others. That my friend is excellent advice even if it did come from me.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand; But I know Who holds tomorrow, And I know Who holds my hand." I didn't really understand this approach to life so much when I was younger and while I would never say I have the strong faith he demonstrated, I can begin to grasp by my own belief in God how that he could have this outlook. I will tell you that a faith walk does not mean that folks laugh in the midst of adversity or trial. No. People of faith feel pain, hurt, anguish, and they at times are worn down by the difficulties they face. Yet, they face it with a resolve and a hope. In themselves? Now that would be foolish. Right? People of faith seek God and His strength to help them to make it one more day, through one more challenge, and to persevere one more time. The Apostle Paul said we do this by seeing the unseen. That's right. The unseen. He also said the unseen is actually more real than those things that we can see. I'll let you think about that to get you started off for a Friday. You can read about it. It's found in the Holy Bible, where God inspired the second letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Chapter 4, especially verses 16-18.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I suppose I would prefer to go back to the days when all I did was go on and on about all the junk coming over here from China, like the Barbie Doll. What about the safety of our food supply? I'm sure their system is really on top of all of this. Can you remember the baby food scare? Folks, you may think I am an alarmist but it just seems that every week or so I feel like I have walked into a really strange episode of The Twilight Zone already in progress. We see all the elements of weirdness in our news sources each day. All we need is that eerie music to play as we read and for the most part, we weep.Their response to the baby food contamination deal was to sentence a few folks to death or life in prison. That wasn't a big deal for them because they do these types of things daily to folks who speak out for their Christian faith. It's one thing to engage them, to exchange goods and services with them, and to seek ways to maintain order and peace. It's another thing entirely to become subservient to a sworn enemy who is using the billions we send to them each day to build weaponry targeting our defenses. No playing nice will make this problem go away. They now have the most potent power that anyone in this world can wield. Economic power! I would guess that the masses for the most part are pretty much satisfied with the cheap goods available but fail to appreciate that these policy decisions like who we do business with, they do have an impact on how many new folks each day must shop at the Dollar Store. We end up looking pretty foolish in all of this. At least that is the way I see it and may God help us is my prayer. Amen.
Don't blame the messenger here. They started all of this a long time ago but those doctored watermelons that began bursting open all over the place just goes to show you that whatever it takes to fill up the assembly line including the food line, they will do it with their well being in mind, not ours, and we put ourselves at risk to operate as if this were not the case. We spent all those years after WW2 doing everything we could to bring down Communism and now we are up to our necks in bondage to the largest communistic nation on the planet. All in the name of free trade that isn't free at all and some day we may well understand the cost even as we are experiencing the early waves of a coming tsunami. We can't really do much about it at this stage. If we were to impair goods coming in, Walmart would have to shut down within weeks. I read a number of years ago that Walmart was being constrained in some areas in building more stores because the world does not produce enough product. One can only imagine what would happen if the Chinese supply line was interrupted, even for a few days. We might even end up having to go back and figure out how to make things for ourselves again. As late as the early 1960's we still made more than 90% of the shoes we wear. Today, we import 98%. Look down at your feet and see if that doesn't give you a reason to consider all of this. Shoes. Electronics. Raw building materials. Food. Clothing. And, yes, even the toys our children play with. Remember the lead paint used in all those Thomas the Train sets? I know it's not pleasant to think about all of this but it is the reality of our situation today and we have to see it begin to change if we are to once again be that shining city set high upon the hill that President Reagan talked about. At this juncture, only God can help. I pray that He will. Amen. ......More later.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I think the debt ceiling deal is fairly easy to understand. We are currently on track to spend 1.5 trillion dollars more than we have in revenues for the current year. At the present time we are not allowed to borrow that much. That's why they need to pass a law that will allow us to raise the amount of debt that we as a country can borrow against. Those trillion dollar numbers are really difficult for most of us to get our arms around. One thing we cannot deny and that is what this number represents. It reflects a huge black hole called the national debt that is growing at a rate that everyone agrees is unsustainable. We can't keep doing what we are doing but oh by the way, if we don't keep doing what we are doing, at least for now, the whole world's financial systems will collapse. We don't know for sure what might happen but we do know that Senator Barak Obama wasn't necessarily concerned about the impact to the world economy when he voted against President Bush's request to raise the debt ceiling. Yet, he now has his team reading from the Book of The Revelation to illustrate the potential dire consequences if we don't pass this raising of the amount we can borrow. Don't think it doesn't matter folks. Sadly, it does. All of this has something to do with the price at the pump and it has something to do with why we look at the grocery cart and are stunned to see how little we have for what the tally says on the register. All of these things connect and I suppose the unsustainable part is the run away train that no one seems to have the will to try and slow and then stop. Why? Self interest. Politics. Power. About the only thing running efficiently these days are the presses printing money that will have to be accounted for by many generations to come.
Most folks do get the part about the impact on our ability to provide for our families. Recently I was engaged with some fellows and they are very clear on what happens when you rearrange the size of the pie slices within their family budgets. Gasoline is now a much larger piece of the pie. Food prices are becoming a larger slice as well. That typically means that other slices have to be decreased because the overall pie for the average family is not growing larger. The rainy day fund slice has to suffer. The slice you thought you might have to provide for a vacation has now shrunk. The vacation folks are looking at their pie and they are having to readjust because the folks they thought might be coming will likely we staying closer to home. Repeat this scenario over and over in every area of our lives and we begin to see how things like monetary and fiscal policy at the highest levels do trickle down and you and I are left to deal with the consequences. Those who have come out with plans to try and slow the run away train are ridiculed by all sides. Folks don't like to have to deal with reality especially whenever it involves some painful changes. As usual, we are in that check mate position where much talk ensues and very little ever gets done. We will have the debt ceiling raised because there are too many special interests at stake. We will have the vote spun from both sides about how it did or did not add to or take away from the problem. Meanwhile, those of us who trust in the God who created the universe must turn to Him to help make a way for ourselves, our families, and our nation. If we ever needed His help, we need it now! Amen. .......More later.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Oh be careful little tongue what you say. Oh be careful little tongue what you say. For the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little tongue what you say.
We pretty much live in a culture today where we all are surrounded by coarse words. I actually first wrote coarse roads but that is a subject for another day. Thank the Lord we also have the delete or erase function on the electronic page. We have spell checker as well. There are also additional software tools for helping to improve the presentation of our text. I don't have any of the advanced stuff, therefore, I use the basic tools to do what I do each day. These tools are neutral in terms of the words chosen by the author. They will support the writing of hateful words or they can present hopeful words. The other day our President's staff caused some controversy when they invited a rapper to perform at the White House who had previously promoted in his songs freedom for some cop killers. He also had recorded songs that directed some pretty hateful speech towards former President George W. Bush. Some supported the invite on the basis of artistic freedom of expression. Others thought it to be a disgraceful situation, where, intended or not, the administration appeared to give their approval to this performer. Words. They can inspire and point folks to God or they can be used as a spigot for all manners of filth and venom. Words matter. Words count. And, that brings me full circle to where I began, talking about word counts and the wordiness of my blogs. Even if they do seem wordy at times, I do hope and pray they will meet the test of being an encouragement to each of us in our daily walk through the life that God has given to us. Until next time, may God bless one and all Amen. .....More later.
Monday, May 16, 2011
There is a reason God allowed us to get up today. But it is our choice whether we will give Him the glory that is due Him.
Our small group that meets each Wednesday evening for prayer and Bible study is currently reading through the Book of Esther. For a writing that never once mentions the name of God, He sure is seen in His providential working on behalf of His people in almost every verse. Esther became queen because of her beauty, inside and out. When she was confronted with a decision to intercede on behalf of her people, she had to make a decision. She was rightfully concerned and even frightened in taking the lead in this matter. Here's her response to her cousin, Mordecai, who had raised her: “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” (Esther 5:11) Mordecai sent word to her regarding this matter. His words reflected a deep faith in his God. They are some of my favorite from this Book and even from the entirety of God's word: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”(Esther 5: 13-14) Wow! How does that connect to you and I today? It could mean that we, you, and I, are positioned at times to accomplish something God would have us to do. It may require courage and it may make us nervous, but we further His Kingdom when we follow His leadership. That ties into my opening comments if you sit and think about it for a while. Go ahead. Trust me. Read the Book of Esther and see what I mean. I am confident that God will bless. Amen.
God's care for His own is very much on display in the book that bears Esther's name. She along with Ruth are in very privileged territory in having writings named after them. I will be the first to admit that Esther's story is one that sounds almost too good to be true. In fact, many folks reject it because of that reason. But to me, all of God's working on behalf of His people sounds that way. I love the unfolding of these nuggets of great truth. It just so happened..... Yes, and God was involved. People operated based on the context of their outlook on life. It just so happened that the king needed a new queen. It just so happened that the king couldn't sleep one night. It just so happened that Mordecai's act of heroism had never been recognized. It just so happened. Back then it just so happened and today it is still the same, it just so happened in my life, and in your life. We have the promise of God that we belong to Him and if we have believing faith then we are His beloved children. The just so happens continue and so does God's involvement in the affairs of His very own. Just last Tuesday our little prayer group was pleading before the Lord for a certain outcome for a dear lady in our group. God heard. That outcome was realized. We gave Him the glory for it. The naysayers will say that was the way it was going to be anyway. We give God the glory. They might question what we would do if it had not just so happened the way it did. We know that God cares and we would give Him the glory regardless of the outcome. That's how it works? Absolutely! That's enough because I'm pretty much all tied up in my own 'it just so happened' stuff, and all of this is way over my head anyway. That's okay because He is all about listening to our heart. There are days when I thank God for what He allowed me to write. This is one of those. Have a great day and may God bless each one. Amen. ......More later.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Okay. Even the biggest and best have problems but Blogger is finally up and running again. For those who thought it good for it to be down a while longer, sorry. For those who start their day reading my little stories, well here it is and we're off and running again!
Welcome to Friday, May 13, 2011. Friday the 13th causes many people to be a little on edge, the bad luck deal and all of that. I would hope that we who are believers would have nothing to do with all of this superstitious stuff. Bad things happen every day. Bad things happen to many people, many believers, and they happen also on Friday the 13th. I do hope you and yours are well. This Sunday, May 15th, would have been our baby sister's 59th birthday. Kayla Jean was taken early from this life to her eternal home, on June 26, 1979. She was barely 27 years old, married to a Marine Captain, and the mother of three precious daughters. We've had some huge losses in our family over the years, and I mean huge. But Kayla's death has always haunted us because she was the baby of our family and we always thought of her in this way. When mom reached her limit and decided to apply the board of education to our seats of knowledge (all six of us at the same time), it was actually the plumb tree switch to the seats of knowledge, all of us older kids begged on behalf of Kayla because we did not want her to have to participate in what was no doubt our deserved justice. After dad died in January 1954, Kayla as barely a toddler continued to go and hide behind the curtain over the closet at the end of our hallway. That was her little game of hide and seek she played with him each evening when he got home from work. I don't know if I remember this or not but it seems that I do. Sometimes we hear stories so often they become our personal memories.
Leukemia. We all learned more than we ever dreamed about this dreaded disease. It came up suddenly and from the moment of discovery she was given very few options for any long term prospects. Young. Frightened. Worried about her family. What would our baby sister do? She turned to her faith and allowed it to sustain her, and sustain her it did! She held up through countless radical treatments that required as many waivers for potential harm as it did potential benefits. She persevered. She began to gain insight to the extent that she could see her privilege of soon meeting her Savior. Hurting? You betcha. No one loved her children more than her. She hated leaving them and Robert but she had a peace about what awaited her on the other side. There she was. In a pitiful situation with many days marked mostly by excruciating pain. How did she cope? She began to make contact with people with whom she felt led to speak to about their eternal destiny. She made a list, and checked them off after she was able to share her testimony and encourage them to seek God. She became an inspiration to people we didn't even know. She became a champion. Our champion. A champion of faith, and we literally watched her walk through the valley of the shadow of death into the glistening glow of the fulfillment of her life in Christ. We do not forget her, and we thank God for all she did to influence others before she left for home.
|Kayla with Mary Beth, her youngest.|
PS: There's a beautiful presentation of the song Bow The Knee on YouTube here:
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I hear people talking about when they were required to lay their heads on their desks in elementary school for a rest break. That's not a hard image for me to conjure up but I'm not certain I recall having to do it. I do remember doing those atomic blast responses where we all got down under our desks. Later when we viewed those film clips of utter devastation from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it pretty much showed the futility of those exercises. But we live and learn. However, there are days when laying my head on my desk for a few minutes does sound like such a wonderful idea. Instead, I usually zap me a warmed up cup of Community and I'm off and running again. There are some researchers who really don't have much to do these days. They keep looking into the relationship between things like diabetes treatment drugs and caffeine. Most of them indicate that drinking too much caffeine especially in coffee tends to make these drugs less effective. What's next? I'm already reduced to sucking on a sugar free cinnamon disc. Next thing you know they will be writing about how the cinnamon itself is a problem or maybe the combination of Splenda and cinnamon create new issues. Did someone appoint these folks to dog my steps or what? Thus far, I have stuck with the Community but there is this gnawing realization that I will have to deal with it one day soon. I've tried the decaf so I don't even want to think about it. I suppose if I eventually end up giving up my Community I'll just have to resort to laying my head down on my desk. Now I know what it means to be fearful of those fellows in white coats trying to catch you.
I can always tell when they are picking on me. It's not enough for them to persecute, they have to get personal with it. I say that because it's one thing to write reports that deal with issues in a general way. But, what about when they call out the exact drug you are taking? There's dozens of others out there guys. Maybe it's because you take the most widely prescribed generic. Don't muddy the water with facts. Okay? Why my specific prescription? Or better, why me? When I see my doctor next month I will speak to him about all of this. My idea is to bump up the dosage to compensate for the conflict. Knowing him, he will most likely advise a gradual reduction in the offending ingredient. He and those research guys all know each other. They are in this together. Am I wearing a sign on my back or what? Okay. You do know I am only kidding, ...only kidding, ...only kidding.... Right? And, I am so very thankful that taking a handful of pills at night, and another four in the morning, along with watching what I eat, has given me, with God's help, a pretty good level of control over my diabetic condition. It is a constant consideration and one that I never expected to have to deal with. Yet, God has been good to me in allowing me to find out about it early and in helping me to do the things I have to do to help myself. Meanwhile, the report writers will continue to do what they do, and most of us will seek that smallest of loop holes that somehow and in some way exempts us from their findings. Things like: That report came out on a Friday and today is Thursday, so all bets are off. I didn't say it was a reasonable evaluation but lets not talk about it anymore for today. Drag up that chair over there and lets enjoy a cup together. May God bless one and all. Amen. ......More later.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
|Bro. Robert Francis, 1957 - 2011|
I will tell you that it is powerful stuff. And as our Pastor often says, it's also, "That's good stuff folks." Are there questions in the hearts of so many within his family and the sizable ministry he oversaw? Many. Even the numerous men of God who stood and spoke confessed to having questions about God's timing. However, the good news is still the good news and as the old song says, God is always on time, every time. One of the preachers quoted from a past sermon by Brother Robert where he addressed our hope for heaven. Brother Robert had commented that while most believers know about this hope and they grasp it intellectually, often it is not the very essence of our expectation because if it was, then we would be excitedly looking forward to going home. We would be living out our expectation that when God calls, we will finally achieve the ultimate crowning of our life in Christ. As I heard this being said I could identify because Brother Robert was aware that most of us, including most believers, do cling to life here and we often think about heaven very differently than it being a very present reality in our day by day living. Here's my summary of all of this. I have believed for a long time that God rewards some folks with an early call home. They have honored him with their lives and completed the work He called them to do. That's why there was so much rejoicing along side the tears during that memorial service. Perhaps we all could use a little more of the expectant hope where we anticipate our wonderful call to our heavenly home, and we do so as a natural response to all that God has in store for us. Pretty amazing thought for today. Amen. ........More later.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
|My wife on Mother's Day with our three sons.|
|Bro. Kim and his wonderful family.|