Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It’s one of those unique days loaded with expectations. For the husband, “Is a bunch flowers good enough? Do they have to be fancy or can I get some off ramp roses?”
“Will the kids make breakfast in bed for momma?” They will of course burn the toast, spill the eggs and of course, momma will have to clean up the kitchen when they are done with their display of affection. There will be the pretend smile, “Ohh, just what I wanted,” when she sees the salad tongs or the coupon book for ‘Hugs and room cleaning.’
My father once bought a rototiller for my mother for Mother’s Day. So I come from a long line of sensitive men! I bought two hanging baskets early and gave them to Jeanette last Saturday. Not bad. It showed that I wasn’t a last minute shopper, . . . I’m sure she enjoyed that. I lost whatever points I got when the words, “got it out of the way early” slipped from my lips. Oh well, I told her we wouldn’t go out because of the crowds tomorrow. I would just cook her an awesome steak dinner after church. Not one of those cheap steaks that had marks on it from where the jockey was hitting it, . . but a really nice cut! So Jeanette says: “Do you want me to go buy the steak? I said, “Yes, and pick up some of those little red potatoes and some fresh beans.” None of those canned beans for my sweetheart! If I clang the pans around and keep asking where such and such is she will probably tell me to get out of the kitchen and go watch TV. Woops, all the sudden Mother’s Day has turned into Father’s Day. Pretty pathetic isn’t it.
Men, sons, daughters, . . . no matter what, at any given point of the year, a Mom should know that she is loved, respected and appreciated. If you need a day to remind you then you are already behind the curve.
Tomorrow . . .Everyone in Church! See you there.
Two minutes and 35 seconds! Every day the sun is hanging around just a little longer. It was dark at 5 am 2 weeks ago and now I see the pending light of the new day. The front windows in our house face the northeast, and since the sun today will rise at 64 degrees (on the compass dial, not the temperature) I will enjoy seeing, not the sun, but the change of light in the sky as the darkness cowers to the west!
A lot of young people don’t even realize that there is another 5:00 on the clock! It is by far my favorite 5 of the two. I’ve never been a clock watcher . . .waiting to go home because the day is finally done. Doing the Fred Flintstone thing at the quarry sliding down the dinosaur when the whistle blows. For him, the Yabba-Dabba-Do-Time didn’t start till work was done. I guess I love my job too much.
Everyday a new opportunity, to finish what didn’t get finished . . . to start something new, to meet with a new family, to work on a new message. I love the optimism of the “New Day”. I realize some of the jobs you have are tough and wear you down, I would probably watch the clock more if I had that job too. But . . .(I know you aren’t suppose to start a sentence with “but”, but it is such a powerful word . . .a new angle on an existing quandary) . . .But, lets find a way to bless someone at work. To be the positive encouraging one, the problem solver instead of the cause . . . or contributor. The wise voice of Christian wisdom in a sea of dysfunction, . . . and ultimately to find peace knowing that there is righteousness in being the provider (or one of the providers) in the family.
Look at the list in this scripture out of Galatians 5. Is there one or more of the fruits of the spirit that you have difficulty enacting at work. Let’s focus on those today! And may your Yabba-Dabba-Do-Time start at the beginning of the day, not just at the end! But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law!
When Hungarian professor Erno Rubik invented his “cube” in 1974 he originally called it the “magic cube.” It has more than 43 quintillion possible configurations. (that’s even more than our national debt.) The official speed record is 5.25 seconds by a kid from the Netherlands at the Zonhoven open. There are scores of these conventions and competitions worldwide every year. Here are some current records: -With just feet 25.14 seconds -Blind folded 21.17 seconds -using chopsticks 38 seconds -with oven mitts . . .well . . he is still working on it.
I don’t know it the Rubik’s cube nerd is just a really smart “Star wars” nerd, . .and do they all play “magic” in the evening at the convention? . or do they just sit around drinking Red Bull, talking about algorithms and black holes, and share stories about being stuffed into lockers in Junior High!
It might sound like I’m mocking them but not really. It’s actually kind of amazing. I might think I’m clever, but the guy with the oven mitts will still probably beat me!
Wow, 43 quintillion possible color combinations in 5.25 seconds. At the hand of the master those colors are put back into order.
Speaking of out or order:
Isn’t it much easier: to get lost , than to get found? – to lose your reputation then to build it. – to yell or hit your kid in anger than to earn their trust and love. -to quit rather than to endure -to burn a bridge rather than to patiently build one, -to plan a life of fidelity, only to give in to one dangerous sexual sin.
It’s a good thing that in the hands of the Master we can all be made right and put back into order.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and wary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint Isaiah 40
Have an awesome rest of the week. See you Sunday.
(And dads; I know your wife is not your mother, but get her something anyway!)
There is an old saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs!” Now that would be a sight. The cats would all land on their feet and run off to get out of the rain. The dogs would get up, lick whatever hurts and then they would go search for their master seeking a head scratch from the very one who just threw them out of the plane in the first place. Short of really big rain drops, I have never seen anything too peculiar fall from the sky. (Not counting of course my college buddy Cash Lowe who attempted to leap from a second story roof into a tree our freshman year.) The bible has many references to things falling out of the sky: -Fire and brimstone -Rain for 40 days and 40 nights -One third of the stars swept by the tail of the red dragon -100 pound hailstones (really, look it up) -Manna in the wilderness -A star Wormwood -The great dragon, called Satan -hurled down -The audible voice of God “Behold my Son in whom I am well pleased” – (E-mail me any I forgot)
Most of the things falling are being rejected /ejected from Heaven, . .or are being brought to a humble and servant type position by God. Sometimes it is just an act of providence . . .Something good “out of thin air!” A little “grace like rain” . . A baby in a manger . . The Holy Spirit at Pentecost, . . A morsel brought to a starving Elijah by a crow. Praises going up, Blessings coming down. Curses from man going up, . .God’s wrath and discipline coming down. The desperate prayer sent up in the night, . .The oil of His Spirit coming down. A blood stained, guilt covered body coming down off the cross, The glorified Savior ascending up-ward!
Lift up your eyes and look to the Heaven who created all of these, He who brings out the starry host. One by one he calls them each by name Because of his great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40
The best part of that scripture is his promise to Abraham, that his seed would number the stars, and all the nations would be blessed. If He has a name for each star and knows if one is missing, He most certainly knows you and the depth of your sorrow, the joys of your heart, . . and if you are missing.
Boy am I disappointed. I read some “true statistics” on the internet and after further research determined that they held no truth. I did for a moment find fascination that the camel could go 3 months without water, and that at any given time 7% of the world is drunk. Turns out that a camel can go 3 months without water, . .it is just that the last 11 weeks of that, he is dead! I’m not sure about the drunk statistic. . . . I know for sure that there are those who are doing their best to make it so.
I guess just because it is in print or it is endorsed by a celebrity, many people will say “it must be so!” And then they will back up their new found statement or presupposition with something like, ” It’s the gospel truth!” Then, they live their life like there is no truth to the Gospel. Hmmmm. At least they are recognizing the authority of the scripture. The apostle Paul spoke to the Berean Church in the book of Acts. After he left, it says that the Bereans went and studied the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true! Pretty wise group of people.
Don’t ever let a fancy smile in fancy clothes on the body of a beautiful actress or a talented athlete (or even a famous climatologist) tell you something and for that reason alone, assume it is the gospel truth. It is always prudent to check out the story from different sources that lack a dog in the fight. I have an old book on my shelf by Josh McDowell titled, “Don’t check your brains at the door.” We all need to be thinkers. Even when I preach, go home and read some more, check my words out. Wise or gullible. . . It’s a big world out there, full of scrupulous people who want to take your money, . . your vote, . . the hearts of your children, . .your freedom to worship, . .your standard of righteousness, and ultimately your soul.
The decision is yours. Let’s choose wisdom.
Ok, one more fact. “If you laid everyone end to end that ever fell asleep in Church . . .they would be a lot more comfortable!”
Q. Where does grace become a bad thing?
-When you give a homeless man 5 dollars and he uses it for his addiction?
-When you fill up a gas tank for someone who claims they can’t find a job but really haven’t looked for years?
-When your child is grounded for their very bad behavior but gets released from the sentence early because they had plans on going to the beach with a friend?
-A wife is caught cheating on the husband . .again, and he forgives her one more “last time”?
-When a co-worker gossips about you in a very hurtful way behind your back. They now know that you saw the email too, but haven’t apologized. You continue to treat them with a respect and kindness that they don’t deserve?
-A wife hides the cuts and bruises of her husband’s violence to her but she continues to make excuses for his behavior and stands by him. No police are called or charges pressed?
-A neighbor comes in and shoots a husband and wife in cold blood with a deer rifle while the teenage son and junior high daughter are in the next room . . . only to enter and watch their parents bleed and die before them. A few years later the son visits the man in prison and forgives him?
We can all have an opinion on what is excess grace. Every story I told is from someone I know. Grace . . too much grace? . .boundaries, . .no boundaries, .. a hatchet of bitterness never buried but drawn like a familiar friend every time the unforgiven offender is near.
Each story will have its own correct answer. One thing I do know is that the Lord’s mercy on me is more than undeserved, . . . but treasured!
May the Lord’s grace cause us to ever grow in our dispersal of the same!
It was good to see everyone at Church this morning. We had some pictures and an update on Sudan African Mission. Pretty exciting things going on there. Took a nap this afternoon, (candle at both ends and all), but was looking forward to getting back to Church for the traditional service. I led music and Anthony McFeters brought the message from Jonah.
So I’m driving to church in my wife’s little convertible MGB. First time out of the garage this year. As I was driving I looked in the rearview mirror and noticed that I had a big smile on my face! Nothing like some good European motor noise, sunshine and wind. I was working through the gears like I was on the course at Monte Carlo. Of course every time a 7,000 lb pick up drove past me I realized my insignificance. At 2000 lbs, this car would slide under one of those trucks like a midnight opossum! As I was driving, I was actually thinking about life insurance and did I have enough? . . did I have too much? (that’s a different article). All I know is that wind, noise, sunshine, and a little danger feels good to me. That’s why people jump out of airplanes, climb tall mountains and eat really spicy food. It’s risk and reward. What is really awesome is when we risk worldly things to gain spiritual reward. Taking a pledge of household holiness for the sake of the family, becoming a first fruit tither when you are not sure where it’s going to come from, taking part in a ministry that will certainly stretch you! I’m not Just talking about “Thelma and Louise”-ing it off of some cliff, but a risk that will bring honor to the name of our Lord. Now that’s risky business . . Nothing more fun than that!
I just returned from the Men’s Retreat at Son Lodge. Thanks Jeff and Anthony for putting it together. A guy named Jesse brought us the messages. He and his family are missionary’s in Africa. Sat around and talked a lot with all the guys. It was a pretty interesting bunch. Did you know one of the men was a “roady” for some big rock concerts years back and once sat and smoked a cigar with Steve Miller! And, yes there’s more, . . he spoke on the phone with Peter Frampton. That probably won’t get him into heaven, but it will give him an interesting story to tell there.
I saw the stars of “Leverage” at an antique show, and had Dan Fouts from Chargers fame throw a really hard pass to me. (no I didn’t catch it). Not even close to being as cool as the cigar story is it? Sorry, that’s all I got.
I suppose if our claim to fame is only knowing someone famous we had better find our esteem in something else, like knowing we are a child of God created in his image. That’s good enough for me!
Enjoy the sunshine but don’t forget Church in the morning. That’s right Men, . . get up and get your family there. It’s a good place to be!
The final words of Christ before his ascension were to “go into all the world, make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to teach them all that I commanded.” There are an awful lot of churches in America (ours included) that can get caught up in the Sunday “gathering” and forsake the other 6 days when we are actually in the mission field. It’s kind of like the football coach giving a 20 minute pre-game pep talk . . .then all the players leave and go home. But it really was a good pep talk! If we are going to take the words of Christ seriously . . we are going to have to be in the game! Many people will come to the new building and have little or no previous church experience. There is a tremendous fear for many people in visiting a church for the first time. Did you know that over half of first time visitors have already done a “drive by” of the church a few days before? They pull into the parking lot, . . figure out where the main door is, . . and stop for second to see how they feel. Crazy isn’t it, but it is true! It kind of like Indiana Jones pausing and looking into the secret cave before he moves the spider webs aside with one hand and enters to find the treasure. You see, he remembers that last cave with the shooting arrows, the poison darts and of course that big 10 ton bowling ball rock that chased him out of the cave! Church can be a scary place. Maybe you will be that sincere smile that helps the visitor find a parking spot. Perhaps you will be the greeter with a “glad to see you this morning”. Maybe you will be down front after the service to pray with someone who came with a heavy heart. On Tuesday you might team up with someone and deliver fresh baked pies to our visitors and say “thanks for coming Sunday. Do you have any questions?” . . . Do you need something less confrontational? Perhaps you will help in the kitchen making Sunday brunch for the “next steps” after church info class with one of the pastors. (Pulled pork, tater tots and soup. I can taste it now!) Maybe you . . . you get the picture. There are about 30 more ministry opportunities that might say to the pre-Christian . . . “This church thing might be alright. I think we will come again next Sunday! Maybe even Tuesday for open Gym night!
Lots to think about. And Yes . . .”You can make a difference!”