Christmas Is About People

hope-2Tears started welling up as I heard my sister tell me about a friend of hers that committed suicide this week. Yes, the week before Christmas this thirty-two year young woman with three precious girls took her own life. I could feel my heart bursting for those innocent little girls. The mayhem that this decision made will echo for a lifetime in the lives of those closest to this woman. Questions like “Why?”, “How did it come to this?”, “Why didn’t we see this coming?”, and dozens of other questions will be asked.

Christmas is a difficult time for many people. Unfortunately, too many of us see Christmas as sending out the “perfect Christmas card,” putting up the “perfect Christmas decorations,” making certain the Christmas desserts appear perfect on that decorative plate for the upcoming Christmas party, and other mainly trivial items surrounding Christmas.

Continue reading “Christmas Is About People”

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“Hey – I Need Your Help…”

Serve2“Hey – I need your help,” he says to me as I walk by him and a few of his co-workers in the hallway.

I think to myself ‘I do have a name’ as I cringe and try to continue walking.

“You see, my PC has not been functioning properly ever since the new updates have been rolled out across the network,” says Joe Smith (name for anonymous employee). “You aren’t busy are you?”

Of course not, I just walk around the workplace all day.

“This has really been bugging me and has really hampered my productivity for the past week.”

If it has been this bad, why didn’t you call the help desk??

“I’ll just let you work on this and will be back in a bit to check on you.”

Hey buddy – don’t you realize I have a bunch of other things to do today?

Continue reading ““Hey – I Need Your Help…””

God, a Rock, and a Bear

During this calendar year of 2012, I have been reading the Psalms unlike I ever have before. My plan since the start of the year has been to read the same Psalm two days in a row and meditate on that Psalm. In addition, I have been reading the Treasury of David by Charles Spurgeon concerning each Psalm. Not only did Spurgeon comment on each verse in this literary treasure, he culled commentaries as far back as the 1500’s and included thoughts and comments from authors unheard of today. Talk about phenomenal insight!

Recently, I have noticed how dependent David was upon God. I find this fascinating because here you have a very successful man (even from a young age), who did not rely on his own strength, money, status, or fame. He truly poured out his heart to God on a regular basis and made known his dependence on God. It was as if David truly did believe that God was the only one who could see him through.

So many Christians today (including myself), rely on so many things other than God. Continue reading “God, a Rock, and a Bear”

A Bad Man Takes a Good Turn

Charles Colson recently died and went to heaven. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Colson, he was famous (or infamous) for being a Watergate operative under Richard Nixon, served time in prison for his part in Watergate, and then founded Prison Fellowship shortly after his stint in prison (see recent story published by World Magazine here).

What a great tale of a life that was headed one direction and then turned about-face and headed completely the other direction! It reminds me of a person who is unsaved. He is heading one direction (hell) and then meets Jesus and is born again. He is now saved and heading the other direction (heaven).

The Word of God plainly states that if a person is truly a Christian, their life will change:

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 

Continue reading “A Bad Man Takes a Good Turn”

His Enemy, His Life

When does one know when you should fight against someone or for  someone? Well, too often, we fight against those whom we should not – our spouses, our children, our parents, our co-workers, fellow church members, and so on.

Under the Old Testament law, God had established what we call the “eye for an eye”  law. In other words, if someone has wronged you, then they deserve the same thing back. And then Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) came and upped the ante. He taught something contrary to what our old nature wants to do. Read below:

Matthew 5:43-44
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

What Jesus taught here is what I call “graduate-level” Christianity. Continue reading “His Enemy, His Life”

A Burning Bridge To Safety

I recently read that great verse in Proverbs 24 which states, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:…” One of the thoughts that my wife and I strive to ingrain in our children is that of not giving up.

Our two youngest boys have been playing baseball this summer. Due to the generosity of some people at our church, they are able to play in a summer league for most of the summer. Although our boys have never played baseball in a team setting and are learning many fundamentals of the game, one thing they have been learning all of their life is to not give up. Whether it be in a wrestling match, a baseball game, or that of the most challenging class they are taking at school, I want them to learn to give it their all right through to the end. So many young people today will not run as hard as they can to first base when they hit the ball to the pitcher – they give up. Too many young people when falling behind in a certain class or in a certain grade – they give up.

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Spirit, Soul, & Body – part II

In Spirit, Soul, & Body – part 1, we looked at the idea of balance and order.  Balanced lives are what many of us strive for. And although that is the goal many of us have, we don’t even know (or realize) that we are triune beings. That is, we are comprised of spirit, soul, and body (see part 1 in this series). Without that knowledge, we lead imbalanced and far too often, frustrated lives.

Let’s again look at the key verse in the Bible that lays out the triune makeup of mankind:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 5:23

Now, remember how I stated at the start of the series how important order is? It is just as important in this verse. God states everything with a purpose and HOW He states it is with a purpose. Spiritsoulbody – this order shows me an order of importance.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “Does that mean my body is not important?No, that is not what I am saying at all; what I am saying though is that as we strive to be blameless in these areas, we ought to be balanced in the order God has placed emphasis on.

 

Continue reading “Spirit, Soul, & Body – part II”