Posts

Wednesday; November 22

Fifty-four years ago our nation was shocked, saddened and sacred.  On November 22, 1963 President John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas.  President Kennedy was a young man who was looked upon as new type of leader – one that could and would usher in a renewed nation and a fresh philosophy.  History is intrigued by what might have happened had President Kennedy lived, but alas, it is all a matter of speculation because we will never know.  I don’t actually remember President Kennedy (even though I was alive during his brief presidency), but I am convinced that some of his programs were accomplished because of his assassination and some of his dreams became reality due to the nature and timing of his death. Centuries before John Kennedy was killed another fresh-thinking leader died at the hands of evil men.  Jesus came to earth with a renewed way of seeing the world and a fresh look at what was possible.  He, too, was charismatic and controversial.  Initially, it appeared that He wa…

Tuesday; November 21

Those who know me now realize that I am a baseball fan – but, those who knew me as a child would have probably called me a fanatic!  I could quote a lot of baseball trivia, up-to-date statistics as well as past and present information.  I loved baseball and couldn’t get enough of it.  While this was a great way to grow up as a child, there was one drawback – I couldn’t pass a Math test based upon who much baseball I knew.  I might have even been able to impress my teachers with my baseball knowledge, but my grades in school weren’t based upon how passionate or informed I was about the Oakland A’s or the Atlanta Braves, I was judged on how well I mastered the scholastic subject at hand. Have you ever thought about how we will be judged at the end of time?  We may be the best and brightest in our profession, but that won’t be what our Righteous Judge will be considering.  We may have an understanding of the world’s philosophies, but that won’t be the basis of our eternal evaluation.  We …

Monday; November 20

When I was growing up we questioned “Preacher’s Stories” wondering if they were merely “parables” created to make a point.  Today’s version of preacher stories might be “Things Overheard In Walmart”.  I don’t know if it is true, but the other day I heard a story that I thought was pretty good.  A lady was looking at frozen turkeys but couldn't find one big enough.   She asked the stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?".  He replied with a straight face, "No ma'am, they're dead."  While there is an entertainment value in the superficial sharing of this story, there is something even deeper.  If examined independently, each part of this exchange is valid, but when they are combined in a single encounter, that’s where things get interesting.  Each person was precise in their individual point, the problem presented itself when it came time to interpret the other’s message.  This story reminded me a reality of communication:  there are three sides to a…

Friday; November 17

What does godly religion look like?  Often, when we discuss religion we focus on what we do (and why we do what we do) in our worship assemblies.   While I believe there are some things that are necessary to do (and some things to avoid) during our church services, there is another layer that should be taken into account.  When the Jews were struggling with being pleasing to God, He made an interesting comment about their spiritual disciplines by saying, “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?  Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” (Isaiah 58:6-7).  I am sure that God would love to have had His believers observe appropriate acts of worship, but the way they treated their fellow man was just as important to Him.  Sure, giving up food…

Thursday; November 16

The other day I was listening to a musician tell a story about another, older musician who had mentored him.  The young singer had grown up idolizing this entertainer, so when they got a chance to collaborate it was not only a memorable time, it was also an affirmation of the youngster’s development.  When the mentor shared the stage with the upstart it set the tone for future success.  There wasn’t a rivalry, there wasn’t a jealousy, there was leadership. Are we helping younger people become the best they can be or are we afraid that the next generation will unseat us and take our place?  If there is one thing that age should teach us it is that the next wave of leaders is coming whether we like it or not.  Armed with this reality, what should we be doing – mentoring them through the wisdom we have learned or causing them to become embittered because we are placing barriers and landmines in their rise to the top?  Often we hear one generation criticize the next because they aren’t rem…

Wednesday; November 15

What do fishing and farming have in common?  Patience! I like to fish … well, let me rephrase that, I like to catch fish.  There is nothing more fun than getting into a school of fish or finding a honey hole and catching one fish after another.  Now, having said that, I can only throw a lure into the water for a short period of time if the fish aren’t biting before becoming bored.  I know several people who can sit and wait for hours, expecting the next moment will produce a whopper, but I am not one of those people.  (Oh, by the way, when it comes to ice fishing, my patience reduces with the temperature.)   Along the same line, I would be a terrible farmer because I think I would have trouble awaiting the germinating and growing process.  When I have planted a garden in the past my impatience has translated a hobby into a headache.  Rationally, I know that things don’t mature overnight, but when it comes to horticulture logic has little to do with it. This insight into my deficiencies …

Tuesday; November 14

Have you noticed how complex we tend to make our world?  In an era when we seem to value sophistication we have lost sight of how simple things can (and should) be.  Let’s take a look at some of the modern headlines:  Sex Scandals And Allegations, Mass Murders, Domestic Violence, Social Injustice And Inequity … and on, and on, and on.  On the surface it appears that these are complicated issues – things that it would take years and millions of dollars to address and even, at that, we aren’t certain that our hypotheses or philosophies would work.  How can there be any hope for a world digging itself into a very deep hole? Yet, what would people say if we proposed a solution of three little words?  Would they think we were being silly or superficial?  I guess it really doesn’t matter what people would say because it really would work.  The prescription for our society’s ills is “Love One Another”.  If we loved each other, people wouldn’t take sexual advantage of others … people wouldn’t …