Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oops! My Bad

Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong place? Maybe things looked okay at first but then, later on, things just didn't seem right for some reason. Welcome to MY world.

Monday morning at Wal-Mart was one of those times. I went in, did my shopping, and was just about to get into my car when I got one of those feelings. I opened the car door and noticed the coffee in the cup holder. I don't drink coffee. And did I just see a kid's booster seat in the back? I was about to get into the wrong car! Someone with the identical car to mine was parked just two stalls away from me.  Oops! Wrong car!

Then a week ago in Church I was heading into the men's bathroom after the service. I stepped up to the urinal and began to unzip my fly when I heard a woman's voice nearby. Then I saw high-heels under the toilet partition next to me. Umm, I know the times are changing but I'm not ready for this!!

"I'll come back later," I thought to myself and made a hasty exit. Turns out it was a mom helping her son go potty. That's usually done in the lady's restroom . . . but not THAT day! LOL!

If you are one of God's children, do YOU ever feel like you are in the wrong place here on earth? I sure do. And I believe we all should feel that way. It's like we're hybrid humans. We start out as human beings but then those who have been called to faith receive the Holy Spirit and we become changed. Transformed.

"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." - John 15:19

We do not belong here!

Do you know what the word "holy" means? We should if we call ourselves Christians. Holy means "set apart." We have been made Holy by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We are now different. Aliens in a world we used to call home.

What do you think it will be like in heaven? Do you think we will ever feel like strangers or aliens when we get there? I think that we will feel so incredibly at home that we will forget everything we left behind. Just think . . . finally, after spending years and years feeling "different" here on earth, we will feel totally and completely at home, at rest, and at peace, forever. And that will be the most amazing feeling. And it will last . . . forever. :)

"20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." - Philippians 3:20-21

I Do Not Belong - Kutless
Somewhere I Belong - Linkin Park

Monday, April 24, 2017

No Spring Chicken

Yes, it is spring. It is a time when all things are made new again. Flowers are blooming, trees and lawns are turning green. The birds are chirping and my bones are creaking. Why, oh why, at old age are our minds more adventuresome than our bodies?

As I write this story I am sitting in the dining room of our 1200 s.f. ranch home. I can see into the kitchen from here. The living room and sun room too. Based on the way my body feels today, I find it hard to believe that I built this house myself 35 years ago. It should have fallen down by now. And where did I ever get the energy!?

Thirty five years ago I was more supple, more bendable, more resilient. Today I am old. I try doing some of the things I used to do but rather than having success I have twinges and "boings" and I seem to have more snaps, crackles and pops than Kellogg's.

After lamenting my body's woes to a friend, she replied, "You ain't no spring chicken." For those who are not familiar with that phrase . . .

"The phrase ‘No Spring Chicken’ is usually used in a negative way to describe someone who is no longer young, probably past his young adulthood, and sometimes doesn’t realize it and tries to look and act younger than his age." *

My friend was right. Cluck . . cluck.

I am reading through the Book of 2nd Chronicles right now. Solomon just got done building God's house.  (I don't think HE built it himself though. He had "people" for that.) In chapter seven King Solomon dedicated the temple to The Lord. After he had done that God responded at night and told Solomon something that is worthy of remembrance, especially for me as my friends and I try to build a Tiny Home for our communities homeless.

"14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Last night my wife and I were talking with a neighborhood friend. When our friend asked me what I was building in our yard I replied, "God's house." I wonder if God would heal my body if I humbled myself and prayed. Hmm. You know, He just might. :)

Father, I am building a house for you. Not that you would occupy it like in Jerusalem, but one that you can use for anyone you wish. I pray that you could keep this old body healthy long enough so I can accomplish the work. May there be good weather and plenty of good-weather weekends until I can get it enclosed. I pray for the people you have in mind who will be using it and who will be helping. I pray that you would be glorified in the provision of this home. May the obstacles be few and may many more houses be built - all with the same purpose . . . in Your name.

Can Tiny Homes Solve Homelessness In The U.S.?

* The origin of the phrase actually comes from its literal meaning. In the early 1700s, Farmers found that chickens born in the spring brought better prices than 'old' ones that had gone through the winter. When farmers tried to sell the old birds as 'new spring born', buyers complained that they were 'no spring chicken'. The first recorded use of the phrase in its figurative meaning was in 1906.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tree!!

It rained Wednesday night. Well, I guess it was actually Thursday morning. That's when 2:45 is, right? It rained pretty hard too. I woke up a little later at five, running a little late. As I left our subdivision, I crested a small hill on my way out to the highway.

"What's that?" I wondered, seeing something in the road ahead of me.

"Tree!" I exclaimed as I slammed on the brakes.

I travel that same road to work everyday. Most days the road is bare. I don't even think about the possibility that TODAY there might be something just over the hill or around the bend that might be impeding my progress. Life is a lot like that.

I have a friend at work named Sandy. She lost her father a few weeks ago to an unexpected heart attack. What heart attack IS expected, right? The point I am trying to make is, we never know when a life-changing event will happen to us or to a friend.

When I was driving through the darkness Thursday morning I was not expecting to find a big ol' oak tree sprawling across the road. But I was prepared. I was watchful. There are a lot of deer moving around in the pre-dawn light so I was watching for them. And I had seen fallen trees in that area before. I might have been surprised, but I was also prepared.

I wonder if my friend can say the same about herself and her faith? Is SHE prepared for when it is her time to meet Jesus? Are any of us prepared?

So I went to ask my friend these questions and started off by asking if things had gotten back to normal yet after the funeral.

"Not really. Mom's going through dad's stuff, his personal stuff, like his razor, his toothbrush. She holds each one and then she cries. Not good.

Then my friend began talking about how much work she had piled up on her desk and that she was so behind and how she couldn't talk anymore because of all the work she had to do. Isn't that a perfect example of most of us before we come to faith in Christ. Even AFTER we come to believe we still can busy ourselves so much that God takes a back seat in our lives. That os NOT where He should be riding.

Each of our days is numbered. To spend ANY of those days separated from God is only preparing ourselves for eternal separation from Him.

"5 A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." - Job 14:5

"1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death - they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new but by evening it is dry and withered.

12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:1-6, 12

Are we mindful of the days we have left here on earth? Are using those days to seek after worldly goals and desires? Or are we loving and serving others as God commanded us to do? May we never fall into the trap this world and Satan have set for us. It leads to death.

May we be proclaimed of His truth and love. May we continue reaching out to the lost and the hurting. And may we always be prepared for the things on the road ahead of us in this life. If we are prepared, if we number our days, we will be better prepared to honor God with our lives no matter what comes our way. And in so doing, proclaim the name of Christ. All honor and power and glory

A Tree Fell On The Road 
Teach Us To Number Our Days - Billy Graham

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In Plain Sight

Do you like mysteries? Do you enjoy trying to figure out "who dun it" or searching for hidden clues? I sure do.

Maybe that's why I like watching movies like National Treasure or Indiana Jones. The looks on the faces of the people as they discover the hidden treasure is amazing.

Are you one of those people? If you are, then you should enjoy this. Look at the picture to the left. What do you see?

"Well, it's a wagon wheel, Bob."

"Look closer. What is at the center of the wheel?

"A hub?"

"Yes, a hub. Dictionary.com defines a hub as, "the central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axle, and from which the spokes radiate."

"Speaking of spokes, those spindly thing "radiating" out from the hub . . . did you count them? How many are there?

"Twelve."

"Hmm. Interesting. What do the spokes attach to?"

"I don't know. The outside of the wheel."

 "That's called the rim. Do you have a Bible? Go get it and open it to the Book of Luke."

We've seen all of the clues of this little mystery in the dialog above. But we still need the final key, God's Word, and unlock our treasure."
"12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:

14 Simon (whom he named Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), 16 Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him)." - Luke 5: 12-16
 
Now, with the Gospel in mind, look at the wheel picture again. Biblically, what does the rim represent. It's the Gospel! It's the Holy Spirit!
 
The hub rotates around the axle. The axle is God. The hub is Jesus Christ. The spokes are disciples and the rim, well, that's the Holy Spirit. It surrounds us disciples and interacts between the entire wheel and the world, the earth, the unsaved.

As long as you have your Bibles out, turn to Genesis 22. The story of Abraham and Isaac actually a New Testament story, hidden in plain sight. Can you find the hidden meaning in the Old Testament text as it reveals to us a New Testament story? Examine the clues. Solve the mystery.

May the Wheel In The Sky keep on turning.

Finding The Treasure - National Treasure
Wheel In The Sky - Journey

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Free?

Do you like free stuff? I think just about everyone does. I've got a few things I never would have bought otherwise, but when I found out they were free . . . YEAH!

This week at work we all got an e-mail. We're remodeling our office and there was free stuff in the garage. I could almost hear the trampling of hooves as people ran to get their free stuff. I say I could almost hear, because I too was rumbling to the garage - sticky notes and a Sharpie in hand.

I was able to snag  three base cabinets and four countertops. Yes! Then I found out they had to be moved during this past weekend. The rainy weekend. And where was I going to put everything? I had no idea. Sometimes free stuff comes at a cost.

We just celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, if you prefer. Jesus came back from the dead after dying for our sins on Good Friday. God offers free stuff to all those who choose to believe. Free forgiveness of sins, free salvation, free indwelling of the Holy Spirit, free eternal life. And by "free" I mean WE don't have t pay for it. Jesus already took care of the bill.

Of course there ARE some costs. We Christians get picked on quite a bit. Some us get persecuted - mainly in other countries. Sometimes we even get killed for our faith. But even those costs can't compare with all the free stuff.

What did we do to deserve all this? Well, God called us. He chose us, but, just complicate things, He gave us free will. We don't have to accept His offer. We can decline it. But why?

The pastor at our church told us on Good Friday that we have a choice between two cups. One cup we can drink. It is filled with living water. The other cup is filled with God's wrath. We don't get to drink that one. It gets poured out on us for not having chosen to believe in the One True God.

Have you chosen with cup you will partake of? I have. God's living water tastes SO good. I encourage you chose that one. The cup of God's wrath is NOT good. But it's your choice - life or death. Have you made your choice?

"37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)" - John 7:37-39

This I Believe - Hillsong Worship
Resurrecting - Elevation Worship

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Do The Work

Sometimes things don't go exactly like we think they will. Something unexpected comes up, new obstacles appear in our way. Seemingly overnight, relationships can change right before our eyes. Sometimes our lives get filled with so many distractions that we lose focus on the very thing we were trying to get accomplished in the first place.

A lot of behind the scenes stuff has been happening with my Tiny Home. Ordering materials, paperwork, forming an L.L.C., should we become a non-profit organization? Lots of questions. Answers are slow in coming.

After one frustrating day at work and then, coming home, and not being able to work on the Tiny House . .  again . . . I was getting frustrated. When I get frustrated, which isn't very often, I usually pick up my Bible and I read. Once again, God removed my frustrations as He spoke to me though His Word. Wow!

I was reading in 1st Chronicles. Not the most exciting book in the Bible. But this is what I read - David speaking to his son Solomon. Was God speaking to me as well this week when I read these words? I say YES!

"“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” - 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

I am building a home. A Tiny House. It is going to be used as "a sanctuary" for displaced teens, homeless, and people who just need a place to stay.

"Be strong and do the work." I think God wants me to forget all the extraneous stuff and just focus on building the house. He'll take care of the rest.

Yesterday was Good Friday - the day we remember Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Jesus did what HIS Father told Him. Jesus completed the work. And when He was done, hanging there on the cross, He said THIS to His Father.

"30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:30

Jesus obeyed His Father. He finished the work His Father had given Him to do. Can we say the same thing? Have we completed the work that God wanted us to do?

When I get to the end of my life I want to have completed what God wanted me to do here. If God wants me to build a house for Him to use, I'm going to build Him a house. I want to be able to say, "It is finished" just like Jesus did after He finished the job His Father had for HIM.

May each of us be able to say . . .

"Tetelestai!"

It is finished.
 
It Is Finished - An Animation feat. song by Caitelen Schneeberger

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Are You Sick Of It?

You know that feeling you get when you think you're coming down with something? That little twinge in the back of your throat, the little muscle aches and the occasional cough? Yeah, well I had that two days a go. Now, I'm sick.

Sickness usually starts by us coming into contact with some nasty thing that grows with us, making us weaker as it gradually takes over our entire lives. It drains us of who we are supposed to be and breaks down our resistance. Yuck. I'm sick. Somebody get me a doctor! LOL!

Do you ever get sick of being sick? Most people do. When people get sick of something they will often take steps to get rid if it. We'll go the emergency room. We'll make an appointment with our doctor. We'll even take a vacation somewhere sunny when we're sick of winter.

What are you sick of? I'm sick of politics and news casts. If I never saw another slanted news cast, pushing some agenda, I'd be fine. If I never heard another politician arguing something, not because of their beliefs, but because it's against what another politician wants. I'm sick of it!

What about our sin? Are we sick of that? Or do we not complain all that much that it hangs around? God back and read paragraph two only substitute the word "sin" for "sickness."

"28And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Mark 2:17

Jesus offers some excellent advice when we get sick of things in this life. Here's His prescription. Will we take it?

"28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30

The following two songs, from different ends of the Christian music spectrum, both deliver the same message. The first is a little head-banging rock from Skillet. Here's some of the lyrics.
Are you sick of it?
Raise your hands
Get rid of it
While there's a fighting chance
Are you over it?
Bored to death?
Have you had enough regret?
Take a stand, raise your hands

Do you see what the song says? When we get sick of all the stress and worldly situations in life we should raise our hands to God and . . . get rid of it. Give it to God! :)

The second song is a lot more calming and is ALL scripture. Quite a change in music style but both songs deliver the same message.

Sick Of It - Skillet
Come To Me - Aaron Shust

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Parable of The Forgetful Servant

What was I going to write about today? Oh, yeah. Forgetfulness.

Do you get distracted as you go through the day? I sure do. I'll be planning to do something in the morning and by the time bedtime rolls around it is still undone - put off for another day. Is that forgetfulness? Is that senility creeping in? Is it A.D.D.?

What was I writing about? Oh yeah.

Do you have that problem? Forgetfulness? Or is it really procrastination looking for a scapegoat?

I was in Menard's this past weekend, picking up supplies for my Tiny House. I found some 4'x8' sheets of fiberglass paneling which we WAY in the back corner of the building. When I was in live I suddenly thought, "I grabbed seven sheets, not six." so I went ALL the way back and put one sheet back in the pile.

Returning to the checkout line the checker said, "How many sheets of that paneling do you have?"

"Six!" I replied.

"I only see five sir."

I counter them. He was right. I had him charge me for six, left my cart there, and walked ALL the way to the back of the store, picked up the one sheet(the same one I had placed there just 10 minutes before) and returned to the front. Sigh.

I can start out the day with the best intentions of reading my Bible in the morning but I get distracted by Facebook or answering e-mails and before I know it, it's time for work. No time for God in my life I guess. At least that's what I say when I am beating myself up.

God needs to be a priority in my life. Period. He should come before ALL things. God should come before Facebook, before work, before my favorite TV show, before my friends, before family. God should be number one, not last on the aggenda.

So, how can we make that happen? How can we arrange our priorities so that God is always first in our hearts and in our minds? I am writing a few verses to keep with me during the day. Not in my wallet, not closed in a book. To carry with me. Here they are.

"And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” - Luke 10:27

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:14-15

Father, let us always be mindful of you. Let us never forget to take time out of each day to praise you, to thank you for our every breath, and may each of us never forget your sacrifice, grace and mercy that was given to the whole world . . . on the cross. Amen.

Ode To Forgetfulness

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Parable of The Kreg Jig

Today's story is one of provision. God's provision - and how He sometimes gives us things we never even knew we needed. Or, as in the example for today, God provided something I never even knew existed.

Do you know what a Kreg Jig is? I didn't either, until about a month ago. I had gone nearly 63 years in my life without hearing the term "Kreg Jig", then, suddenly, I was hearing it at least once a week!

As you may or may not know, I am building a Tiny Home. I haven't gotten very far. I have a trailer. That's it. I have watched numerous videos of Tiny Home designs so, when I saw another one pop up on Facebook, I watched it. At the end of the video I was invited to the person's web page for more designs and DIY ideas. That link was the beginning of God's provision.

I began looking at all the furniture ideas, being interested in space-saving furniture ideas. At the bottom of each post was a list of materials and tools needed for the project. Nice. Hmm. Kreg Jig. What's that? So I clicked on the convenient link supplied. Ohhhh!!! So THAT'S a Kreg Jig! Cool!!

A week later a young friend at work came into my cube to show me a picture of some furniture she and her boyfriend had made. She handed me her phone with the picture of a very nice entertainment center on it.

"Cool!! How did you make the top?"

"We used a Kreg Jig."

"What!? That's the second time I've heard that term this week!"

Fast forward to last weekend. My wife and I were in Michigan visiting family when my sister, right out of the blue, asked, "Do you know what a Kreg Jig is?"

"What!?!"

I told her the story of my friend and the web page."

"Wow! That's amazing," she replied. Would you like one? I have two and I was hoping you might like one."

What do you think I said?

Do you think God plays a role in our daily lives? I sure do! Arranging, conducting and orchestrating things that happen in it, that will help us bring glory to His name. I have never used a Kreg Jig but I get the feeling God wants me to. And so He has provided.

What is the "Kreg Jig" in YOUR life? How has God provided for YOU? What gifts has He given YOU? Are you using them for HIS ultimate glory?

Father, I pray that our every thought, our every deed be done to bring glory to your name. When we rise in the morning, glory be to God. When we go to work, let us work in a way that reflects who YOU are. Let us love others in ways that remind people of you. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of The Lord!

"28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Open Concept Tiny House - Ana White
How To Build A Wood Tabletop - Ana White

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Men!!

Last weekend, when the men folk in my family were going out to play a round of disc golf, my grandson was invited to come along.

"Oh boy!!" my grandson shouted. "The men!!!"

He was excited to be included in with all of the tall boys in our family, perhaps thinking that by doing so that HE was an adult - at age 4 1/2. He was SO excited about coming along he kept repeating, "The men!!"

When we are children, we can't wait to grow up and become adults, largely because we can't wait to do what ever we want. Then, when we are finally old, it's just the opposite. We would gladly trade everything we have just to be young and energetic again.

Have you ever heard about a guy named Josiah? He was the king of Israel . . . when he was eight years old.

"22 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." - 2 Kings 22:1-2

Everybody grows old eventually. However, emotionally and spiritually, some people "never grow up" while others have to grow up before they are ready. It all depends on the circumstances.

God wants us to grow up to be mature Christians. He doesn't want us "drinking milk" our entire lives, but spiritual meat!

"12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." - Hebrews 5:12-14

Did you go see The Shack movie? Why? Many say it's a wonderful Christian movie. It might be a good piece of fiction crafted into a warm and fuzzy movie but it confuses Christians and twists the truth of God's Word.

God wants us all to grow up and to be mature in our faith. We are to be eaters of spiritual meat, not candy disguised as Christianity.

I had a young adult ask me today how to recognize God's will in her life. The answer is easy. Read His Word and you will know it wen you see it.

Do you know how to recognize a counterfeit 20 dollar bill? Hold it up next to a REAL 20 and the false one stands out like a sore thumb.

We need to spend time reading the Bible. We need to memorize scripture so it will be in our minds when we need it. Follow the example of the Bereans in Acts 17. They were meat eaters, fully grown men and women, desiring to know the truth, desiring to be mature in their faith.

"10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." - Acts 17:10-11

May God's Holy Spirit grow us in our faith, strengthening us, teaching us, until we no longer need to drink spiritual milk. May we be able to discern truth from lies and fact from fiction. In so doing we will be standing tall in God's eyes. Lord, help us be "the men!" And be "the women!" Help us grow tall and strong in your faith so we may honor you with our wisdom of what is right and our knowledge of what is true. May we bring glory to your name, not confusion. Amen.

Chariots of Frisbee - Aaron Mills

Monday, April 3, 2017

Of Fathers and Sons

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful weekend in Michigan, visiting my side of our family. It was my mother's 90th birthday. Quite the cause for celebration!

Before we left home, I packed some clothes to wear. I packed the Compassion tee shirt you see me wearing in the picture standing next to my dad. I packed it specifically because of this photo of me and my father. Dad is no longer with us here on earth but I wanted to honor him this weekend - a time he always loved - with his family.

The men in our family went disc golfing on Saturday. I have played disc golf all of my adult life. Usually in these family contests I somehow manage to eek out wins over my closest competitors - my brother and my son.

This year however, my son beat me and quite handily too. Was I disappointed? No. I actually felt proud. There are times when we pass things on to the next generation and this weekend, for me anyway, was one of those times.

I'd like you to read a passage of scripture from 1st Chronicles 17 - God's Promise To David to hand down something to HIS son. This is God speaking to David through the prophet Nathan.

"11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.”’” - 1 Chronicles 17:11-14

Passing things on to the next generation is something to be valued. Treasured. It is an honor bestowed upon fathers - the command of God to teach our children. It brings us great joy when we see our children growing and ultimately surpassing us. What a challenge and an honor!

Before my wife and I left for the return trip home my grandson asked me to teach him to play paper football. My grandson was asking to learn something! Men, never pass up an opportunity to teach something to your child . . . or grandchild. Especially if they are willing.

And let us teach them in such a way that they will remember life's lessons for the rest of their lives. Just as our fathers taught us and their fathers taught them. And let us teach them with honor and in truth. In so doing we will honor our Father in heaven. And so may it be . . . with ALL Fathers and Sons.

Fishing With Father - A River Runs Through ItWhat Is That?
The Parable of The Lost Son - Luke 15

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sometimes We Need Bumpers

"In this life you will have trouble," - Jesus, John 16:33

Boy, ain't THAT the truth!

Sometimes life can feel pretty overwhelming. So how do we cope with all the bad things that keep coming at us? Hmm. How about bumpers!

When I was a Big Brother, my Little and I went bowling. He insisted on using the bumpers. Made it more fun he said. Ha! I lost. I tried bowling straight and true - not using any bumpers. My Little Brother bounced his ball not once, not twice, but three times off the bumpers. And he'd get a strike!

Do you remember in the first Star Wars movie when Luke Skywalker was battling Darth Vader? A couple minutes into the following video Darth Vader stops battling Luke personally and just keeps throwing hurtful things at him. Eventually, it was more than Luke could handle and he falls. Luke could have used some bumpers during that battle and on his way down. And so it can be with us.

Darth vs. Luke

In the world we live in, we are battling all of life's struggles and events. Satan (Darth Vader) keeps throwing all kinds of things at us, hoping WE will fall. And sometimes we do. Where's the bumpers to keep us out of the gutter?

How do we battle such a powerful, dark "force" in our lives? How can we overcome when life's struggles and tragedies are thrown at us?

We keep reading. The verse at the top of this post is only a partial verse. Jesus continues on with theses encouraging words for us. And gives us hope!

"but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Those words should bring great hope to the believer and non-believer alike. Great joy too. With Jesus, we can overcome anything!

Here are some other words from God that also have an encouraging ring to them.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

No matter what we are going through, no matter what obstacles we face in life. we can overcome them through our faith in Jesus. That's huge!

Don't be afraid to lean on Jesus as you walk through this life. He WANTS you to do that! Sometimes a talk with Jesus, or a talk with one of His children, can be all we need to help us in times of trouble

In this life we WILL have trouble, but fear not, we can overcome our troubles - with Jesus.

Come To Jesus - Chris Rice

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Age

I turned another year older yesterday. I don't feel any different. I'm still a kid, trapped in an old man's body. Older and wiser maybe but most importantly, still alive!! LOL!

Birthdays are causes for celebration all around the world. It is a time for the giving of gifts. Usually, when we celebrate our birthdays, we receive gifts. Not where I work. I shelled out $36 yesterday for some stale Wal-Mart cookies and a grape.

The really good gifts though are the ones that come without a price tag. One year my sister gave me a picture of the two of us as kids. It was so unexpected and wonderful I got up and left the room - my eyes filled with tears. I love my sister. That's why the gift was special.

Today my tastes have aged. It used to be that I thought gifts were all about me. What was I going to get? Would mom and dad really get me the bike I wanted? (Doubtful. I was undeserving.) Yet grace did abound in our family . . . and it still does. :)

These days birthday gifts take intangible forms. They have no shape. Yet they are as gift-like as a piece of cake or a box with a ribbon on it. Perhaps it's a friend delivering a hug or a thoughtful message on Facebook.

As my body has aged so has my thoughts about gifts. The best gifts are the ones from the heart. But for the Christian the best gifts are the ones that WE get to give to others.

Monday night I saw a Facebook post from a young friend of mine. She was not having the best of days.

"Who can I trust? I always seem to get hurt."

This was my reply.

"Jesus! He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. He already loves you unconditionally. What are you waiting for?"

My friend came back with this:

"Oh, well he has let me down too."

Me: "I don't think so. If you think God has disappointed you, you don't really know Him."

Friend: "Yeah... I haven't gone to church ever since high school. I have stopped knowing God."

Me: "I'd love to re-introduce you two."

Friend: "OK" 

How's that for a birthday gift? God provided me with a very special gift - the opportunity to speak into the life of a young soul about Jesus - a gift she can receive that will never disappoint, if she truly receives it. God's gift is free and everlasting. One size fits all! And Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving!! :)

We are all finite beings. Someday we ALL will stop aging. But what happens after that is up to us . . . and God. If you don't KNOW Jesus, please, get to know Him today. Please pray for my young friend. That she might meet with Him and come to know Him . . . and the gift He offers for ALL of His children.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." - James 1:17

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." - 1 Peter 4:10

The Gift - Jim Brickman
When I'm Sixty-Four -The Beatles

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Chain

My wife and I had our grandson over for a sleep-over Saturday night. Boy, did he keep us busy! My wife and I will sleep well tonight. LOL!

"Hey, Grandpa! When can we go downstairs and look at your cars?"

"Hey, Grandma! I'm hungry. Can I eat some Cheetos?"

"Hey Grandpa! What's in THIS box? Can I take it out?"

Grand kids are like sponges, desiring to absorb all knowledge and truth. So what are we feeding them? What are they eating? Exactly what we feed them.

I saw a video this weekend of a baby perfectly mimicking every move Sylvester Stallone was making in the Rocky movie. Amazing. Kids are so incredibly perceptive and absorbent. They pick up on everything and can even catch us, their parents, in lies and inconsistencies.

So, what are we teaching our children?

At lunch yesterday our daughter-in-law was talking about how she would never put her kid into a public school. Sitting across the table from her was our daughter - a public school teacher. People come down on both sides of this topic. Where do YOU stand? More importantly, where does God stand?

Yesterday our pastor spoke about why our church doesn't have a youth group. It was simple reasoning. It's because discipling our children is OUR job as parents, not somebody else's.

The key "teaching" verse in scripture is, "Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not part from it." - Proverbs 22:6

That verse doesn't say who should be doing the training but I am assuming the writer was talking to us parents. My question is, what is "the way they should go?" I think "the way" is God's way, not our way.

"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." - John 14:6

If Jesus is the way, are we making sure our children are learning HIS way? Are we teaching them the things they should know that are of God, not of man? Or are we turning our children over to people who may or may not be teaching them the right things? These are all good questions.

There is a chain of responsibility God is implying to us in that verse from proverbs. We ALL should be teaching our children. Each generation, training up our children. We should never break that chain. That is one thing that helps keep us together.

So, as we walk through this world for the short time we are given, let us think long term for our children . . . and their children. Let us establish a firm foundation of faith in their lives so, that when they are old, it will not depart from them. And may the chain of teaching our children the ways of The Lord remain unbroken for generations to come.

Never brake the, never break the chain.
Chain, keep us together. - Fleetwood Mac

The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Baby Imitates Rocky

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Israel

(This is not Israel, but another face from El Salvador)
This is a true story about a young man named Israel. It was shared with me by a friend who works for Compassion International - "a Christian humanitarian and child sponsorship organization."

Israel had a rough life growing up in El Salvador, turning worse when he tried to untangle his kite from some power lines . . . with a metal pole.

He spend two years in the hospital recovering from his electrical injuries - his hand disfigured and walking with a limp - marking the path the electricity took through his body on its way to the ground. Israel was lucky yo be alive.

With his physical injuries he was picked on in school by the other kids, eventually falling in with a gang simply because, even if they did bad things, nobody else loved him and they welcomed him. Israel would have been totally lost if it weren't for a local pastor who took a chance.

After several attempts to get Israel to attend the Compassion school he finally decided he needed to try something different - confronting the gang's leader - making it known that he wanted Israel. He did this over and over again until the gang leader finally relented.

So Israel began to learn at the Compassion school, and he learned well. His mentor discipled him and taught him to control and conquer his fears. Israel became a Christian. His self esteem grew. He graduated high school and got a job. Are you ready for this? His job was as an electrical engineer. He had conquered his fear through the love of a stranger. Just one of Compassion's many success stories.

As I heard my friend tell this story I couldn't help but think of ANOTHER Israel - the nation. I just finished reading the book of 2nd Kings this week. 1st and 2nd Kings are filled with stories of kings who "did not do what was right in the eyes of The Lord." They worshiped other gods. They sacrificed their children to them. They practiced sorcery & worshiped the constellations. All these things are detestable in the eyes of God.

Does any of that sound familiar? We are no different today.

Like Israel the boy, we too are damaged.  Lonely, lost and enslaved by the worst gang leader of them all - Satan - we are in need of someone to save us from the world in which we live. His name is Jesus.

Chapter 22 from the Book of 2nd Kings tells the story of Josiah. He was eight years old when he became king. He did what was right in the eyes of The Lord. When he was in his mid 20's the Book of The Law was found. He read it and repented immediately, tearing his robes, and crying. He knew that the people had not been obeying God. He sent some men to hear the word of the Lord through the prophetess Huldah. This is what the Lord said.

"15 Then she said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me, 16 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants - all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read -  17 because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’”’ 18 But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard - 19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. 20 “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king." - 2 Kings 22:15-20

God sees and hears those who are repentant and seek Him. Just like God sent the pastor for the child Israel, He sent Jesus into this world to save us. We have to make a decision. King Josiah read God's Word and made his decision and God honored him for that. Each of us must do the same.

Pray for people of courage, willing to confront evil. Let us "tear our clothes" as we use mercy, grace and love as our weapons in this war against the evil one. Let us stand firm for our Lord and King in the truth of His Word. And let our love be the proof that we are His and that we are saved.

The Proof of Your Love - For King And Country
From Darkness To Light - Compassion In India

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Commands of Jesus: Walk It

Many of the commands  Jesus gave us require us to think before we act. There's a reason for that. And the reason is . . . us. We humans always tend to "react" rather than respond like we should. Road rage is a perfect example of what I'm writing about today.

Have you ever slowed down when somebody was tailgating you? Just to annoy them? I have. How about when the freeway is narrowing down to one lane up ahead and "that one guy" tries to pass as many cars as he can before he gets to the encroaching orange barrels. Do you speed up so he can't get ahead of you? Guilty. I'd like to say I don't do that anymore since placing my faith in Christ, but I still do.

That speaks to our inherent human nature to sin. If we would only THINK before we react.

The verse that follows is known as The Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

"12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." - Matthew 7:12

That's an amazing command and one, if we all followed it, would be living on an incredibly peaceful planet. Do we don't follow it so we fight, we war, we rage.

I'd like you to keep reading after verse 12 for a bit. We hear another command from Jesus. It is very similar to the first one we just read only it comes with help. And a warning.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14

Read both of those passages together (which is how they appear in the Bible).

I think Jesus is trying to tell us something here. That the nice things we "do unto others" are very difficult things to do. A very narrow road. Yet, we are commanded to walk it. We are commanded, but not many will be able to do it.

So how can we do it? How can we stay on the narrow road when our thoughts are on everything happening around us? The key I think is to not focus on the path, but rather, the destination. The path is just the means to get there. Block out everything else.

The next time someone cuts you off on the road, instead of getting mad, focus on your destination. We are all on a road to go some place. That's why we are on the road. Our purpose is to stay on the road and to arrive at our destination. Next time, take the road that has less cars on it and your journey will be much more enjoyable . . . and successful!

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
And sorry I could not travel both 
And be one traveler, long I stood 
And looked down one as far as I could 
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim, 
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that the passing there 
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay 
In leaves no step had trodden black. 
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way, 
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost, 1920

The Road Less Traveled - George Strait

Monday, March 20, 2017

Desires of Your Heart

When you are alone, what is it that you think about?  Maybe you're driving in your car or you are sitting in the living room late at night all by yourself, what do you think about? What are your inner most desires? Do they have to do with yourself? Or with God?

Here are five Bible verses. Read them through and then think about their meaning.

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments." - John 14:15

"30 He must increase, but I must decrease." - John 3:30

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” - Luke 10:27

"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:8

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35

After reading those five verses, what is it do you think that God wants from us? What should be OUR desire? God wants us to love Him and to love others. That's pretty simple. And in our loving others, God will be made known. So what should be the desire of our hearts?

Should the desires of our hearts have anything to do with us? Read that last verse over again. The one about loving God and loving others. Are WE in there anywhere?

Now read this verse.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4

If our desire is to love God and to love others, God WILL give us the desires of our hearts. And that is to love and to be loved.

I volunteer at a food pantry each month. I have gotten quite close with many of those who come for food. I love them. In volunteering, people demonstrate their love for others, by becoming less.

A woman standing in line looked sad yesterday so I asked her how she was. She said, "It's been a rough week."


"What's wrong?" I asked. She proceeded to tell me how her last remaining child in the area had moved to Colorado and that she was left all alone.

How should I have responded do you think? What could I have done to demonstrate my love for God in this situation? Well, I asked her, "May I pray for you?" She nodded.

The "desire of my heart" was to love others and to love God. I demonstrated my love for God by obeying His commands. I showed my love for my friend by praying for her and taking her to God in prayer. And in return God gave me the desires of my heart - to be loved by my friend and to be loved by my God.

Has God given you the desires of your heart? He will. As long as your desires have nothing to do with you and have everything to do with Him. HE must increase. WE must decrease.

How will we love each other today? How will we demonstrate that love so that God gets the glory? If we can do that, God will give us exactly what we want. And that is an amazing feeling.

 
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Nichole Nordeman

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Life Lessons

Life is like a classroom. God is the teacher and we are the students. The class we are all taking is called "Life - And How To Survive It." It seems like there is an endless opportunity to learn valuable lessons - seemingly everyday. Why just yesterday at work . . .

Before we get to today's lesson, let's digest some background information. The office I work at is being renovated. Yesterday the water service to the building was shut off to the fire protection sprinkler system could be modified. We knew that ahead of time. Most of us that is.

A friend of mine there at work usually fills up his Chicago Bears cup at the drinking fountain and he was doing so yesterday as I walked by. He held the cup and pressed the button . . .

"Wow!!"

The air that had gotten into the pipes shot a stream of water out of the drinking fountain all the way up to the ceiling! The 10-foot ceiling. We both laughed. That was the days lesson. When air gets into the water system, under pressure, watch out!

Lessons are taught with the intention they be learned. So, did I learn the air in the waterline lesson? You be the judge.

The reason I was passing my friend at the drinking fountain was because I was on my way to the bathroom. I entered one of the stalls and did my business. When I was done I reached down to flush the toilet and . . .

Being as old as I am I have gotten pretty good at learning life's lesson. I have learned that, unless you learn a lesson, you are bound to repeat it. So, did I learn my lesson?

Just before I flushed I remembered my friend at the drinking fountain. I stepped to the side and THEN flushed the toilet. Smart man! The incredible air-assisted flush was something to behold. And I gratefully beheld it from a distance.

There are many lessons available to be learned everyday. Most of them have been recorded in the book of Proverbs so we don't have to learn them on our own. The hard way.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” - Proverbs 1:7

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” - Proverbs 14:12

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
- Proverbs 30:5

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” - Proverbs 16:3

There are many lessons that we need to learn in this life. Some of them are critical. Some, not so much. But the most important lesson we can learn is that God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son do die for the lessons we did not learn (the sins we have committed).

God loves us whether we learn our lessons or not. But I think He rejoices when He sees us learn our lessons because that means we are growing. And that, after all, is why we are here, isn't it? The learn life's lessons and to grow to become more like Jesus.

Read His Word. Read His teachings. Learn. Grow. And praise God from whom all blessings flow.

You Love Me Anyway - Sidewalk Prophets
Proverbs Chapters 1-5 - Pastor Chuck Smith

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Void

I saw this picture over the weekend. Do you know what this is? I'll give you a couple of hints. First of all, it's huge! The hole is over 3/4 of a mile across.

Second, it's man made. The spiral walls are actually roads. It is 1,722 feet deep and is located in Russia. It's a diamond mine.

There are holes like this all around the world. Once created, and stripped of all the diamonds, they are abandoned. Just a giant hole, waiting to be filled.

I feel like that sometimes. Used up, striped of all of my "good stuff" and abandoned. Left for dead. Do you ever feel like that? I think we're all like that to some degree. So, how can we change that? What can fill us up? How can we get rid of the hole?

Some say that we have a giant God-sized hole in our hearts. YouTube has many sermons about our God-shaped hole. How do they know for sure? There's nothing that tells me that in the Bible. Is it true? I think not. If we had an actual hole in our hearts . . . we'd be dead!

Perhaps it's a figurative hole then - a void maybe . . . or an unfillable emptiness. Or, and this is what I believe, perhaps WE are the hole.

There is definitely something missing in us humans though. And we spend our entire lives trying to fill it. Some try filling the void with drugs. Others fill it with work. Some try alcohol. Others try gambling, over eating or porn. Try as we might, we still can't fill it.

I have a theory.

I do believe we all have something missing in our lives. His name is Jesus. We all try to ignore Him but He can be pretty persistent. And He IS God after all. But He gave us free will and therein lies the problem.

But for those of us who have chosen to believe . . . something wonderful begins to happen. The void begins to lessen. It actually begins to shrink. The void gets filled up with stuff. All kinds of stuff. And we are the ones who chose what it gets filled with.

There is an old mariner's saying that goes, "One bad apple spoils the whole barrel." What do we fill our barrels with? Choose reading the Bible over watch television. Choose worshiping over gossip. Choose listening to uplifting music over watching the news. Garbage in, garbage out. Keep the garbage out!

As we walk through this place let us be careful what we chose to fill ourselves with. We don't want to become an empty hole or a landfill, full of trash and waste. Let us seek to be rich soil where things can grow. Let is be pure, with no room for darkness. Let us fill our void . . . with love.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." - Philippians 4:8-9

World's Biggest Diamond Mine
16 Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Monday, March 13, 2017

Black Ops


Church on Sunday was interesting. We had a lesson about the return of Jesus and what would be the signs of His coming. One of those signs sat right in the row in front of me.

"3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." - 2 Timothy 3:1-4

Just as our pastor was about to begin the service, a family of five came in and sat in the row in front of me. A nice looking family. Dad was in a suit, mom wore a pretty dress and their three boys were . . . present.

It was a tough morning for many, what with the time change and all. People had to get up an hour earlier than normal. But three boys!?! A+ for the parents I thought. The boys did pretty good, sitting through the 90-minute service but at the end, when we stood for the final song, I discovered the secret of their "success."

The one boy directly in front of me was playing video games. Everybody stood to sing but he was embattled in some digital conflict in front of me and remained seated. I looked down at his screen and guess what I saw? Two flashing words that spoke volumes about playing video games in church.

"Level: Failed"

Turning my attention towards the words on the screen, I smiled. Guess what song we were about to sing? I can't make this stuff up my friends. After reading to words "Level: Failed" on the boys iPad I looked up to read the words, "Victory in Jesus" on the screen in front of the church. Video game = fail. Jesus = Victory.

I give the parent some credit for getting their children to church. It's getting harder and harder to do these days with all of the distractions that are offered. But to allow him to play a video game in church, well, I wonder if they weren't caving in to the devil's schemes.

I can't judge though because I have done similar things. Although not in church, I have turned on Paw Patrol and let my cranky grandson stare, mouth open, at the screen in my own home. It was for MY convenience and well being that I allowed my grandchild to watch a TV show instead of spending some time playing with him instead. But I was busy. Too busy?

Level: Failed.

We do that more than we know. And we do it to ourselves.

How many times have I gone on Facebook or turned on the television just "to do something mindless"  while my Bible sits there . . . all alone.

The distractions that are available to us every moment of our lives are part of Satan's plan to keep us away from God. Technology and social media can be good things, but if left unchecked, they can play a central role in Satan's schemes. They are Satan's "black ops" in his battle plan against our God.

In this country there is a crime called aiding and abetting. As an example, if you and your friends are robbing a bank, and you are just driving the car, and one of your friends shoots someone, you can be charge with aiding and abetting in a felony murder charge. Are we guilty of aiding abetting the enemy (Satan) by complying with his wishes as he battles our King?

As I examine the distractions in MY life, what steps can I take to eliminate them? The battle is being waged right now. How can we fight it? What will be our weapons? We have none. God will fight for us! But we CAN dress for battle . . .

"But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him." - 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10

And our weapons?
 
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:5-11

We are in a battle my brothers and sisters. Let's get after it. Hooah!!

Black Ops TV Commercial
Victory In Jesus - The Singing Contractors