Posts

Showing posts from July 3, 2017

Tuesday; July 4

Of all the holidays celebrated in the United States, the most uniquely ours is the Fourth of July.  This mid-summer observance doesn’t just honor the date of a proclamation, it also symbolizes the principles upon which our nation stands.  The day isn’t just about fireworks and fresh watermelon, it captures the heart of a moment that shocked the 18th Century world and shaped the history of the last two centuries.  Today is a neat day for the United States. Throughout today we will hear words like liberty, freedom, justice and equality.  Even though these are incredible words, they are shallow without the meaning attached to them.  It isn’t enough to stitch these words on a throw pillow or plaster them on a bumper sticker, we must understand the concepts and defend them in each element of our lives.  Many people have fought and died for these principles and there are still a lot of people around our world who would be willing to give up all they have to enjoy the same blessings we share.…

Monday; July 3

When someone asks us to pray for them most of us are more than happy to oblige.  We are willing to support one another and often their request is pretty straightforward – they ask us to pray that a disease is cured, a burden is lifted or a blessing is granted.  While these prayers are pretty focused, what happens when they ask us to pray for them and don’t give us any directions?  Sometimes they may not know what they want, other times they may have conflicting options or there might be a few times when they don’t know how to put into words what they want.  There may even be a few times when they ask us to pray for something and our wisdom tells us that what they are seeking is not in their best interest.  What do we do when there is no direction or conflicting directions? When it comes to these times of prayer, there are at least two things we can do.  First (and always) we should be praying that the Lord’s will be done.  When Jesus knew what was best for mankind – but, was st…

Friday; June 30

There are a couple of ways to wage war … one is to rely upon strength and might and go toe-to-toe with the enemy.  This might be an effective strategy for those forces with superior numbers or advanced technology; but, what about a David facing a Goliath?  The concept of waging war as an underdog is called “guerilla warfare”.  This type of approach uses things such as imagination, passion, speed and mobility to wage war on a “superior force”.  Rather than relying upon a few major battles to win the war, the guerilla forces take the fight to their adversary using quick strikes and skirmishes to accomplish their goals. While military history is full of these tactics I got to thinking about this concept within the context of our spiritual battle.  While it is true that, as Christians, we serve the All-Powerful God there are many times when we are outnumbered by the forces of satan.  He has the numbers and the conventional power of temptation, sin, greed, immorality and selfishness on his …

Thursday; June 29

In early September, 1935 one of the strongest hurricanes to ever develop in the Northern Hemisphere was just off the Florida coast.  At the time, hundreds of U. S. Military veterans were working on a project to bring rail travel to the southernmost part of the United States.  Weather forecasting was not as sophisticated as it is now, often relying on hunches and history to supplement scientific data.  The area was not serviced by an adequate highway system and the only reliable transportation was the railway.  On Labor Day all of these factors came together in a horrific event that took the lives of almost 500 people; half of whom were the veterans working in the WPA Camp.  A train was sent from Miami to Islamorada to rescue those in harm’s way, but it was too little, too late.  The train, the camp, the railway and the community were destroyed.  In retrospect, there wasn’t much that could have averted the property damage to the Middle Keys, but preparation could have prevented…

Wednesday; June 28

When the Apostle Paul wrote to a young minister he was mentoring he painted a rather grim picture.  He began by warning him, “… in the last days difficult times will come.For men will belovers of self,lovers of  money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents,ungrateful,unholy,unloving, irreconcilable,malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal,haters of good, treacherous,reckless,conceited,lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,holding to a form ofgodliness, although they havedenied its power …”.  (II Timothy 3:2-5)  If that wasn’t bad enough, he went on to caution, “… evil men and impostorswill proceedfrom badto worse,deceiving and being deceived”. (II Timothy 3:13)  That sounds pretty rough doesn’t it?  Could there be any hope for him as a Christian or for the church in the First Century?  The answer was yes, but it required a decision to, “… continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learnedthem,and tha…

Tuesday; June 27

Perspective is an interesting thing.  In fact, our perspective is a glimpse into our hearts.  Even if accepted as being true, these statements may seem to be a bit vague, so let me see if I can explain what I mean by asking a couple of questions:  When considering our wife’s birthday gift, do we ask, “What would I like to give her?” or “What would she like to get from me?”.  When we want to go somewhere special with our children, do we plan to do something we’d like to do with them or something they would like us to do with them?  When we consider the value we bring to the church, do we set out to accomplish what we can do for Christians or do we evaluate what the church (and its members) need from us?  Selflessness has a variety of layers, but the most humble is when we empty ourselves of “me” and truly focus on “others”.   Spiritual service doesn’t ask “what can I do for them” as much as it seeks “what they need me to do for them”.  Yes, on one hand it might seem like a matter of se…

Monday; June 26

$15 Lunch Menu … what a deal!  $100 for dozens of channels … amazing!  $50,000 for a semi-luxury car … incredible!            Every day we are inundated by claims that are – well, they are just claims.  They offer no proof of validity, they just make a statement.  I realize this is just advertising, but the problem is that if we hear them long enough we will begin to accept them.  Another challenge is that if we don’t analyze them for truthfulness, we might tend to believe them.  In all honesty, I’m not too worried about advertising claims because we should all realize they are subjective by nature, but what concerns me is how this type of salesmanship has leached into society.  When the world makes a claim long enough and loud enough they hope that people will just accept it on face value and believe it.  Claims such as “No intelligent people believe in God” or “It is okay to say hateful things about your neighbor because fear is what protects us from outsiders” to “The Bib…