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Friday, July 27, 2012

Just Trying to Help

      I read about a couple on their way to visit some neighbors. Both were elderly, and the woman walked up the sidewalk ahead of her husband, who was following close behind her.
      Just before they rang the door bell, the husband said to his wife, "You may want to pull up your hose."
      She immediately turned around and slapped him. Not a hard slap, but a slap that communicated her displeasure.
     The shocked husband said, "What did you that for?"
     She said, "Because I'm not wearing any hose."
     Sometimes, we could use a little more grace in the way we treat each other.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Three Rings

            At the end of the New England Patriots historic undefeated regular season, quarterback Tom Brady was interviewed on the TV program, 60 Minutes. Reflecting on the success he had achieved in our American culture, Brady said:

Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man this is what it is.” I reach my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, “God, it's got to be more than this.” I mean this isn't, this can't be what it's all cracked up to be.

            Tom Brady had encountered the problem all humans do: the realization that there has got to be more to life than this. People instinctively realize that something transcends their lives. That “something” is God. People were created to know God.
            I hope Tom Brady has come to know God. 
            Do you?

Source: Preaching the Word: 1 & 2 Thessalonians by James Grant

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blessings of Radical Obedience

            May Nelson lived in Australia. One morning, she was walking with her three small children on a dusty road when suddenly she commanded, “Children, stand still!”
            Fortunately, the children stood absolutely motionless, even though they did not know why. A few seconds later, they observed a 6 foot long, deadly snake slithering only a few inches away from the shoes of the oldest child.
            Since the children stood completely still, the poisonous snake slithered past and disappeared. Had the children asked “why?” instead of instantly obeying their mother’s command, the result could have been catastrophic.
            One of those children was Allison Nelson. She would grow up to become a world-famous concert pianist.
            God desires instant, radical obedience like this. In Genesis 22, Abraham offers God this kind of radical obedience when he took his son, Isaac, to the altar. To this day three world religions honor him for it—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. More importantly, God does too (see also Heb. 11:17-19.)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Wisdom from a Teacher

         School will be starting soon, and I am reminded of the wise teacher who sent a note to all parents of her students on the first day of school, "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Walking the Talk

            In youth minister’s Tony Tucker’s bulletin article, I read that the Christian band dc Talk wrote the following lyrics in one of their songs, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips often walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
            Wow! What a challenge to live lives consistent with the teachings of Jesus.
            The Apostle Paul talked about the same challenge when he wrote to the Thessalonians that Christians should embody the gospel they proclaim. Easier said than done!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Is A Saint?

               A little boy was once asked what a saint was. Thinking about the stained-glass windows in the cathedral, he replied, “A saint is someone whom the light shines through.” That’s probably a pretty good description.
            We sing a song, “This little light of Mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Let's let the light of the Son shine through us.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Walk a Mile in His Shoes?

            Empathy can be difficult to achieve. It certainly does not result from what comedian Billy Connolly recommended, "Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away. And you've got his shoes."
            Empathy includes seeking to understand someone from his perspective. That’s what Jesus literally did when he put on skin and came to Earth.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stamping Out Cussing

            “Let’s stamp out cussing!” 
            That’s what the inhabitants of Middleborough, Massachusetts said last month when they voted to institute a $20 fine for cussing in public. This is no “one stoplight” town–Middleborough has a population of 23,000.             
            There are many reasons for folks having reached their limits of tolerance. One includes that of the business owner quoted as saying that the language by young people was harassing her customers. Take note, this is the secular Northeast we are talking about, not the "Bible Belt."
            All of this indicates to me that God knew what he was talking about when gave us the third commandment.
Source: WORLD magazine

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Charles Siburt—Let Us Praise Godly Men

            In February 1999, I was facing a difficult challenge in my ministry. I felt I needed to grow. At that time, I was living in Brownsville, Texas, and had an opportunity to pursue a doctorate in education from the University of Houston.
            I had an occasion to attend the old ACU lectureship and I decided to investigate their doctor of ministry program. ACU administrators introduced me to the man who could answer my questions—Dr. Charles Siburt.
            Ultimately, I decided to move my family to West Texas to preach and to pursue my doctor of ministry degree. In the ensuing years, I got to know Charles Siburt well, and he became a mentor and counselor to me. Indeed, it would not be stretching the truth to say that he became a father figure during those years. (Without irony I tell you that many other church leaders will offer you the same testimony–such was the power of Charles’ ministry.)
            Charles Siburt passed away earlier this morning after a long battle with cancer. He fought it valiantly, courageously, and selflessly.
            He now enjoys the peace of God, and my prayer is that his wonderful wife, Judy, and his two sons, John and Ben, enjoy that peace as well.
            While the unselfish side of me is happy for Charles, the selfish side is sad for myself. I always knew that if things got bad, I had an option, a phone call, which was always available for wisdom and perspective… a call to Charles.
            My hope now is that since Charles has invested in so many of us, perhaps collectively we can rise to the challenge and disseminate a Christ-like presence into a broken world as well as he did individually.
            Enjoy your new proximity to God, Charles.