Apr 132018

I have been thinking about success lately. Some people have it, some people don’t and I am often uncertain of the category in which I belong. In trying to figure out if I had it – indeed if I even wanted it – it became apparent to me that I must first discover what it is.

I think we often equate a successful person with successful actions. A person who is very good at something, who can accomplish great things, is often considered successful. But I think a man who can often accomplish what he sets out to do is not necessarily a successful man. Hitler was a successful leader (he managed to rally millions behind his loathsome cause), but does that make him a success? I think not. The two things can go together. I can be a successful manager AND a successful person, but I do not believe I need necessarily be both.

I suspect the world is full of people who think themselves a success when all they really are is a failure with a talent.

 Posted by at 1:17 pm
Oct 072017

Proverbs says to trust in the Lord and don’t rely on your own understanding. I think I often try to do the first part while ignoring the second part.  It’s more like “I’m trusting you Lord to help ME figure it out.” One big problem with that approach is that it leaves no room for God to do something bigger than I can understand.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NET

 Posted by at 8:47 am  Tagged with:
Jul 242017

Here is a headline from today’s tech news…

A Wisconsin company will let employees use microchip implants to buy snacks and open door

The article, found here, explains that employees will have chips implanted in their hands so they can purchase snacks and gain access.  Here’s a snippet from the guy who provides the technology:  . . .  Westby speculates on a future where RFID chip technology is used for “your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities,” . . .

That was just published.   Now compare it to something published around 2000 years ago:

The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave ) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast – that is, his name or his number.  – Revelation 13:15‭-‬17 NET

I will let you draw your own conclusions, but consider what a little more hacking and identity theft might do to public opinion regarding implanted chips.

 Posted by at 2:12 pm
Jun 232017

I heard on the news this morning about a law passed by the state of Mississippi.  It was a “religious freedom” law that assured business owners that they could refuse to serve those that would cause them to violate their religious beliefs.  This post might not be like my typical post.  While I firmly believe practicing the homosexual lifestyle is a sin, I also have come to realize that I am a bit cloudy on the above mentioned law.  So, the rest of this post is dedicated to questions that came to mind as I considered it . . .

Does the government have a right to dictate who I must employ or by whom I may be employed?

If I sell a product or perform a service, am I working for my customer?

If a predominantly Muslim country passed a law that Muslim shop owners did not have to serve Christians, would I be OK with that?

Should a gay man who owns a sign company be forced to rent a sign to a preacher who wants the sign to say “Repent!  Homosexuality is a sin!”

If I sell a product or service, be it wedding cake, flowers, or a gun . . . Am I responsible for what the purchaser does with it?

Would Jesus the carpenter have refused to build a table or a bed for a gay customer?  What if he knew what it would be used for?  Would it make a difference?

Is it just me, or is it a little difficult to answer these with a consistent world view?

Aug 302016

If you have ever read the Bible through from cover to cover, you will find there are parts that are boring.  If you disagree with me, you either have not read the whole Bible, or you are dishonest with yourself.  Parts of it are boring.  You know it.

The parts in particular that I am thinking of today are the long lists of names.  A list of “begats” going all the way back from Jesus to Adam.  Are you kidding me?  What about the lists in Nehemiah of all the people that worked on rebuilding the city.  Lists of carpentars, stone masons, priests, musicians . . .  the list goes on and on.  Maybe somebody at some point wanted to know all this stsuff, but why is it in God’s Holy Word?  Why is it so important that we have to read it?  Why couldn’t it just be in some ancient filing cabinet at the Bethlehem county court house?

I’ll tell you why.  Because most of us will never be an Abraham, Moses, Peter or Paul.  Most of us will just be like one of the names on that list. The carpenters and plumbers, computer programers, stay-at-home moms, check-out clerks, bus drivers and cooks.  We are the people who do our normal jobs every day for the glory of God.  God wants us to know that we’re an important part of His story.  And every one of us is an important name on His list.

 Posted by at 7:18 am
Mar 302016

I saw a sign yesterday that was advertising for a divorce lawyer. It promised a quick and easy divorce with a headline promising to help “Undo I do.” At first I noticed the clever phrase, then I considered if it was even possible for a divorce to be quick and easy. I think not. And the more I thought about it, I realized it’s not even possible to undo “I do.”

You can’t undo a promise. You can’t unsay it. You can pretend it never happened or you can say you didn’t mean it, but you can’t unpromise it. Once you make a promise, there are only two real possibilities. You can either keep it, or break it.

Strange as it may seem, that’s still one more option than God has.

Dec 282015

I saw a funny headline the other day. It said: Pope Makes Mother Teresa A Saint. Now I mean no disrespect to the Pope, but I think he can no more make a person a saint than I can make a dog a cat. Either a person is a saint or they are not. Only God makes saints. The most we can do is recognise and declare what God has already done through the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is in the business of making saints, and it involves much more than two miracles and a declaration from the Pope. In fact, it required a perfect plan. A perfect sacrifice. God with us. A baby in a manager. Mother Teresa may very well have been a Saint, but if so, it’s not because of what she did. It’s because of what Jesus did.

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
May 082015

As the grey in my beard takes control of my brain, I am beginning to think like old people.  You know, that generation with the reputation for abhorring change.  I’m beginning to understand the aversion.  It’s because they are often on the wrong side of the deal.  When you are young, change means getting a stronger body, getting smarter, more freedom, new opportunities, newer stuff . . .   But when you get old, then the changes start happening in reverse.  Your body changes for the worse.  Change means losing muscle and gaining wrinkles.  Your mind starts taking little holidays without you. The kids whom you taught to drive now demand you give up your license and your keys. The ocean of opportunities that surrounded you as a young person is a drying mud puddle.  No wonder old people look on change with suspicion.  It often treats them very badly.  I’m still refusing to admit I’m old, and I try to embrace change whenever I can but even little changes sometimes make ME wince.

A new version of a version?

A new version of a version?

My Bible keeps getting updated.  Not the printed one.  The one on my phone.  It’s like every few days the program wants to “auto-update” and at least once a month or so, it tells me my downloaded version of the Bible needs to be updated.  For some reason, that bothers me.  Am I crazy?  I mean, why do they keep having to update it?  Is God sending out revisions somewhere and I’m missing the news?  With all the changes going on in the world, it would be nice to know there is something that is not changeable, not negotiable, and solidly entrenched in truth.  A foundation that’s solid and immovable.  If not the Bible, then what?

A club has bylaws.  An organization has a charter.  A republic has a constitution.  What does a life have if not The Word of God? Everything else may change, but don’t change that on me.  You may pretend its truth changes to fit your lifestyle if it makes you feel better about the way you are living or what you have decided to believe is true.  You may embrace what culture, the media, and your friends tell you.  But if you do, you will be clutching something that is constantly moving, constantly shifting, constantly changing.  That’s no way to steady a life.

As I see it, there are two basic types of people.  Those who determine to conform their life to The Word of God, and those who determine to conform the word of God to their life.  One way helps you stand.  The other is sure to let you fall.

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
   – Malachi 3:6

May 042015

My challenge for the day is to go a whole day without grumbling or arguing.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world . . .

Philippians 2:14-15 NET

Feb 132015

Lately, I have been thinking about intimacy.  I can’t say whether or not everyone longs for it, but I believe at least most people do.

When we hear of intimacy we often think of sex. That can be a part of it, but it is not its essence.  Real intimacy is that private bond two share when nobody else is around.  Nobody else is involved. Just me and one other.  The closeness of which nobody else can be a part.  One is alone, three’s a crowd, but two can be intimate.

Sometimes I long for intimacy. I want intimacy from true love. Love can provide intimacy to another because it loves. And love can provide intimacy to another because it wants to be loved. The best intimacy is both. I don’t think true intimacy can exist long without both parties providing both.

I don’t want my wife just to give intimacy to me because she loves me. I want her to desire intimacy from me because she loves me.

God does both. Imagine that.