Thursday, June 6, 2013

When My Daddy Died, I...

Thinking about Father’s Day? I want to take a reverse on the usual perspective. Did you – I’m speaking to fathers here, but this goes to mothers as well – ever consider the most important thing you can leave your children? Surprise! It’s not health and wealth. It’s a spiritual legacy.

How wonderful if your child could know with assurance that they will see you again after you die! What an amazing comfort to give your little one! What greater love could a parent share?

K.J. Reider wrote a book, When My Daddy Died, I…, about the many things he misses now that his Daddy is gone. Picture books are mostly for children, but this one has a huge message for parents – fathers in particular. Accept the challenge. Buy the book and be the best dad/mom you can be for your children. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Me Lord?

Why me Lord? Did you ever ask that question? I have. We may never know why God intervenes – or not.

Usually this is a question we ask when faced with a trial or hardship. Recently I read an account of Stan Praimnath in the book The Survivors Club. Stan was on the 81st floor of the South World Tower on Sept. 11, 2001. He had evacuated when the North Tower was hit, but had been given the okay to go back.

The colleague Stan was talking to on the phone asked him if he was okay. As Stan started to answer, he looked out the window – only to see the screeching United 175 headed straight for him. He dropped the phone, dove under the desk and shouted, “LordIcan’tdothis, youtakeover.” Eight words, shouted like one. A prayer.

Six hundred people died immediately or were trapped. Stan’s first miracle was that he was still alive. He peeked out and saw the wing of the plane 20 feet from him, but his Bible was on his desk, untouched.

“Lord send somebody to help,” Stan prayed. Dust and dirt covered him; sprinklers sprayed water; blue sparks arced across the room. Stan crawled through the debris and saw a light in the midst of the smoke and fire. It was Brian Clark. To Stan, he was an angel – another miracle.

Stan and Brian worked their way down the stairs and were two of only four who escaped from the impacted floors. Now Stan wonders, “Why me?” So many were lost. We will never know, but why not him? Why not me?

Stan learned that with God “there’s no call waiting, there’s no operator, there’s no long distance carrier.” We don’t know why or why not, but God knows, and He is faithful.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just a Reminder

I watch the demonstrations in our State and I wonder – whatever happened to civility?

The Apostle Peter told us, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors,…” (I Peter 2:13-14a) What happened?

A mixed message confronts us every time we turn around. Ever hear about separation of Church and State? Our government is not supposed to impose a religion upon us. That sounds okay, but does it really mean we cannot have a nativity scene on public land?

When I was in second grade, my teacher lined us up in the hallway. We folded our hands and prayed before we went to lunch. I thought it was a good thing. In 1960, however, they told us we could no longer do that. Someone might be offended.

Then the Supreme Court ruled that the parents in Kentucky could not post the Ten Commandments in their children’s schools. Part of the problem was that the children might read them, meditate on them and perhaps even obey them. (Stone v. Graham 1980)

Is it any wonder we see chaos in the capital? Maybe we cannot reinstate the Ten Commandments, but we can obey God’s Word. Do you remember Jesus saying, “Ye shall know them by their fruit?” (Matt. 7:16)

No matter what our political view, God calls us to conduct ourselves as His children. The Apostle Paul gave us a picture of what that was in Galatians, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self control: against such there is no law.”

The fruit of the Spirit is evidence to the world that we have been paid for by the blood of Jesus. This is our testimony. Let us guard it.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Innkeepers Wife

Who is she? Ever wonder? She shows up in December in some of the Christmas programs. You know – the same old, same old retelling of a story that we add so many details to. Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem to be counted because Caesar Augustus has called for a census in order to tax the people. (That is another whole story)

When they get to Bethlehem, was the ‘no vacancy’ sign on the door or did the innkeeper direct them to the stable? Was there a stable? Was there an innkeeper? How could the innkeeper’s wife let that poor pregnant girl go sleep in a barn? Imagine that!

Well, we do not know these details. We know there was no room at the inn. So, imagine this innkeeper’s wife. Her name might have been Miriam. The house is full. Everybody is tracking in the dust and dirt. The cook is sick and the dishwasher broken.

Then Mr. Innkeeper calls to her, “Miriam, we have two more people here, soon to be three – and a donkey. What room do you want them in?”

“What room? There are no more rooms. Two families in each one already. The rest have taken all the bedding and are sleeping all over this dirty floor. I think I’m going to lose my mind. The food is gone. The kids are hungry. The babies are crying. I cannot care for one more person. Tell them to go away.” And Miriam turns, stomps off and promptly steps on the foot of a child who immediately screams, more from the confusion than the pain.

Or, was her name Adina? What would the difference be?

When Adina overhears her husband, the innkeeper, sending the young couple away, she pushes and shoves her way through the crowd. “Stop, tell them to come back. Wait!!!” In horror she says to him, “We cannot send them away. Look at her. Poor child will give birth any time now. She looks so tired. Remember how frightened I was? We must help them.”

“How?” he asks, “we are full. We have no room, no bedding and no food.”

“Our Lord would not want us to send them away. We must put them somewhere. They are helpless in a strange town.”

And, so, they ended up in the stable. Or, was it a stable?

We do not have the facts about this place. Scripture does not even call it a stable. It says she laid Him in a manger.

Archeologists tell us that in these Jewish homes the ‘stable’ was probably part of the house, maybe even a room, where some of the animals were kept at night. Thus, it would have a manger. The house probably belonged to some of Joseph’s relatives.

The real question? Would I have been a Miriam or an Adina?

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed." Luke 2:1

Many of us have learned or memorized this from the Christmas programs throughout the years. We even recognize that because of this, Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. Seems like a cruel thing for such a young couple to endure.

This decree, however, put Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth and thus, the fulfilling of Micah 5:2 - "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

So, God used Caesar Augustus and his desire to tax the people to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to fulfill the Old Testament Scriptures.

As our politicians argue about those taxes that we hate, I have to wonder how God will use this.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Advent: Hope and Anticipation

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned and executed for plotting to kill Hitler, once said, “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.”

Advent. From a Latin word, it means the coming or arrival of something extremely important. Imagine for a moment, what it must have been like for the Israelites. The Romans held them in bondage. They watched and yearned for their Savior. They knew from the Scriptures that He would come. We remember this by singing, “O come, O come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” Do we understand the longing they had for their Savior?

I know someone who is in jail. He lies on his bed; he waits; he hopes. His sense of anticipation is heightened when he hears footsteps and voices. His freedom will come someday when the door opens – from the outside.

Christ has already come to earth so we do not look for Him like the Israelites did. We are not in a physical prison.

However, we sometimes create our own prisons. Choices we make or our disobedience to God’s principles entrap us in a life much like a prison. We experience pain. We experience loss. We experience rejection.

If we have never placed our faith in Christ for our salvation, we are in another sort of prison. Christ wants to open the door of our prison cell and set us free. John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Think about Advent. Think about our hope. Think about freedom. Experience the anticipation and thank God for this season of promise.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Rejoicing in Hope

What a stress filled time! The economy is bad. What about our jobs? What if our favored candidate does not get elected? What will happen to our country? Will we lose the freedom that so many fought and died for? What about our health care? Will we be able to see a doctor when we are ill?

Thanksgiving is coming, and we will be gobbling down our turkey. Then, Christmas will be upon us. Where will the money for gifts come from? Who wants to sing carols with all of these concerns?

Worry robs us of the peace that God intended. God did not promise that life will be easy and men will be righteous. He tells us to set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:2. He promises eternal life to those who know Him and accept the death of His Son for their salvation. So enjoy Thanksgiving and celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas. Rejoice always in God’s promise. He never fails.

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