October 6th. In 1582, with the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar, this day was accidentally skipped. Who knew?
I know what some of you were thinking when you saw that photo of me and the boys from yesterday's edition. It looked like maybe they had checked me out of the home for an outing. Or, that I was a blind fellow who happened to be sitting on that particular bench. Or maybe an aged rocker who looked like he needed a rocker. Don't feel bad because I made some of those same comments. My wife said that my appearance will change (for the better) when we come to the end of the Christmas season and I get the beard trimmed and the hair cut. Then I will go back to looking like a regular convict or something like that. Just joking. It is good to see you and thanks for tuning in once again on this Thursday, October 6, 2011. I did make the comment about how odd it will be for folks to see me in the picture because over the years I've typically been the one with the camera and there have been many events where I was the only one who never showed up in any of the photos. The missing link? If the shoe fits I suppose. I saw that Hallmark now has a line of cards devoted to those who have been fired or laid off. Sadly, they seem to be selling well since obviously there's a growing market for them. In a related story, President Obama continues his tour of promoting his jobs bill and blaming Republicans for not passing it. While this might be expected, he missed at least one major issue. The bill is currently being held up in the US Senate by the Democrat leadership who do not have enough Democrat votes to get it passed. Maybe the President needs to have another one of those summit thingies with his own party. Just sayin......
I know that you know that times are tough right now for many people. Growing up I often heard that saying, "When times get tough, the tough get going." And, while that sounds cute, we all know that it isn't always easy and a catch phrase will not necessarily improve life. But a good sense of humor, even in difficult times, will help keep our spirits up. I Googled that catch phrase to see how others might fill in the blank to the saying, When times get tough, the ______. Here's some of those I found: When times get tough, it's time to take more naps. When times get tough, the tough get smarter. When times get tough, the tough learn to share. When times get tough, the tough go shopping. When times get tough, the tough turn to scapegoating. When times get tough, the tough have more time to party. The one I thought of goes like this. When times get tough, the tough realize they are not really that tough, and they turn to God and cry out to Him for help. That's not based on trying to make a clever remark. It actually reflects some hard knocks experience from my own life where I've learned that Jesus is right for whatever is wrong in life, period, end of story. Another one I thought of is when times get tough some might be tempted to change from Community to Maxwell House but that was just too scary even to think about. Some of you do know what I mean. Right?
Again, it is never a laughing matter when folks are going through hard times. And for those in the midst of the battle, there's often very little, if anything, to smile about. This is why it is so important to have God with us as we deal with the challenges that life brings our way. Jesus never sugarcoated the truth about this life. He said we would have to deal with adversity and tribulation but that we were not to lose hope because He had overcome the world. (The Gospel of John, Chapter 16) The Apostle Paul had to deal with some personal disabling and painful challenges in his life. He prayed three times that God would remove this obstacle. And, why not? From Paul's point of view it was hindering his ministry for the Lord. But God's word came to Paul and told him that He had permitted this to happen in his life for a purpose, and that His grace would be sufficient. That purpose was to keep Paul humbled as God revealed to Paul the great treasures of truth that you and I are privileged to read and study today. What was Paul's response? Bitterness? No. He said that since God had permitted this into his life he would glory in it as a way of fulfilling God's purpose for him. You can read about this and be encouraged by Paul's personal testimony when he was going through hard times in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 12. I can tell you that God has used some difficulties in my life that have gotten my attention or caused me to change direction. That's why we need Him folks, because that is the only way we will ever make it. Amen. .....More later.
Many years in this sojourn here on planet earth and I have the scars to prove it but I have been, am now, and will be blessed to have had the privilege of doing what little I've done to honor God and serve others.