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No Kidd-ing

Grandparents had a kaleidoscope toy that you looked through like Capt. Kidd’s pirate telescope.  At one end were chips of varying shapes and colors which, as you rolled it, changed places like a high-stepping band’s halftime formations. 
 
The corona virus of 2020 goose-stepped across our world.  Each of us, like our toy kaleidoscope, views the crisis through a different lens.  But dread, danger and death pollute everyone, causing many to wonder, “Where is God when we need Him most?”
 
David, the Goliath slayer, wrote, “The Lord is my best Friend and my Shepherd. … He restores and revives my life. Lord, even when Your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness … I’ll never be lonely for You are near. … So why would I fear the future?  … when my life is through, I’ll return to Your glorious presence to be forever with You!”
 
QUESTION … “All kidding aside, what must I do to be saved?” 
 
 
Posted May 14, 2020

Who's Driving The Bus?

In high school we logged many miles in our old school bus.  After we’d been on the road for what seemed forever, some yokel would break the silence, screaming, “Are we there yet?”
 
These days in our quarantined quandary people are asking, “Will we ever see the good, ole days again?  Can we return to yesterday when all our troubles seemed so far away?  Is this our new normal?  What’s next?”  It’s easy to grow impatient, marooned in our Fauci cages.  Or we can proactively probe for a pony buried in this pile of manure.  Well, by George, I found one!
 
A dear friend has lived as the prodigal for most of his colorful, affluent and glamorous life.  Imagine the roller coaster ride his caring, praying family and friends have been on as he soared with the rich-and-famous, but settled into a destructive lifestyle.
 
Would he ever return?  Would his fate ever be learned?  Well, I’m here to tell you that at last he’s raced home back into the arms of his Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he first placed his trust in as a teenager.  As in the ancient story, our prodigal’s Father in heaven is throwing one, honkin’ Welcome Home feast!
 
My wandering friend took the long and winding road, sampling the plastic fruits of fame and fortune, only to find that Father knows best.
 
Who’s driving your bus?  Have you let Jesus take the wheel?
 
 
“…I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life.”  1 Timothy 1:16
 
“I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”  Philippians 1:6
 
“What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”  Matthew 16:26
 
“Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”  Romans 8:34
 
Posted April 30, 2020

Keep Your Distance

“Let’s stay in touch” is often said at the outset of a new friendship or the rekindling of an old one.  Pandemics come with strict, no-touch guidelines for those who are socially active.  We can be only so close to another person, with only so many present in one place.
 
Introverts equate being quarantined to a paid vacation. For them the forced separation of being housebound is like winning the Publishers Clearinghouse whereas the extrovert would happily trade his Costco card to be in a flash mob.
 
How are you coping with this pan-demonium?  What about giving this a try?
 
Don’t worry about anything;
Pray about everything;
Thank God for everything,
Then God's peace will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
I have learned to be content in any circumstance.

Peace and contentment.  What more could you desire?  Shall we let the learning begin?
 
Posted April 15, 2020

Behind the Mask

How the mighty have fallen!  Even global Goliaths have been brought to their knees by a microscopic organism, the baffling coronavirus.   So does size really matter?  We’ve been told on good Authority that faith, no bigger than a tiny mustard seed, can move the Himalayas. 
 
How did this paralyzing, panic-fueled pandemic start?  Will this plague run its course before we incur irreparable damage?  Wall Street’s bull has been gored by Main Street’s bear as currency runs for cover.  Can laid off workers pay their bills?  Will there be enough food and necessities? 
 
The headline-hungry media fan the flames of fear.  Is the situation out of control? Why is God allowing this dismantling of life’s routine freedoms?  What do Mardi Gras, Halloween, the Lone Ranger, Zorro and billions of us have in common?  A flimsy, surgical mask. 
 
If God is wearing one, what’s He doing behind it?  Smiling?  Smirking?  Weeping?  If He removed His mask to dispel your fears and give you hope, what would He say to you?
 
 
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33
 
Posted March 30, 2020

2 B or not 2 B

What are your most “felt” needs? The so-called experts say they are:
 
2 B loved
2 B long
2 B significant
 
Let’s take a quick inventory.
  • Do you feel loved?  Even if you have no living family or friends, know that God loves you lavishly.  Each breath is a gift of His love, the Love that traded His Son’s life for yours.
     
  • Do you have a sense of being connected?  If you’re a Jesus-follower, you’re a member of His Body of believers worldwide.  You may feel like you’re only a toenail in His Body, but you’re of great value.  Need proof?  Tear off your toenail.
     
  • Do you believe your life matters?  Jesus says He knows when a mere sparrow falls, so imagine how precious you are to Him.  You’re worth the life of His Son!
 
2 B loved, 2 B long, 2 B significant.  Everyone has those three needs.
 
How can you encourage the next person you’ll be with?
 

"My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love which shows itself in action.”  1 John 3:18
 
Posted March 14, 2020
The days of whine or roses
Laugh or run away
Based on if I say,
“I will greet the day

And see what God proposes.”
 
I have a choice to make;
Will I see life’s trials
As mud pie or chocolate cake?
Is His promise real or fake?
Am I living for His sake?
 
Here’s what will count;
When I see troubles mount:
Will I trust God like Moses?
It’s my choice to make
In these days of whine or roses.
 
How will you deal with life’s next curve ball?
 
 
 
“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
 
Posted March 1, 2020

There's Hope

The few bookstores that are still open are bulging with self-improvement titles that have certainly paid off for their well-heeled authors.  Their tempting promises include “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” and “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  I get it -- if I have good fortune, these happiness hucksters contend that I myself must make it happen.
 
The late George Carlin got it: “I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said, “If I told you, that would defeat the purpose.” 
 
Hope is a many splendored word.  There’s aspirational hope, as in “I hope I win best-in-show.”  There’s emotional hope, as in “I hope she’ll say ‘yes’ when I propose.”
 
And there’s biblical hope, a well-grounded expectation that relies on God’s promises, as in “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11
 
What are you hoping for?  How sure are you that it will come to pass?
 
 
“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?  My only hope is in You.”  Psalm 39:7
 
Posted February 15, 2020

Almighty Shadow

Standing in a batting cage, your heart starts racing when that faceless pitching machine begins launching SAM (surface-to-me) baseball missiles at your ill-prepared sense of timing.  One after another, here they come, ready or not.
 
Email had a similar effect on me today when it delivered the bad news that yet another friend has cancer.  They say the number of new cases is declining, but if your family has been touched by this dreaded disease, one is one too many.
 
When you hear “shadow,” you’d rather it come from your photographer than your physician.  But best of all, from that Old Testament songwriter:
 
“Whoever goes to the Lord for safety remains under the shadow of the Almighty and can say to Him, ‘You are my defender and protector; You are my God; in You I trust.’  He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.  He will cover you with His wings; you will be safe in His care.”
 
Next time you’re thrown a killer curve, where will you turn for safety?”
 
 
“God says, ‘I will save those who love me and protect those who acknowledge me as Lord. When they call me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them.  I will rescue them and honor them.  I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”  Psalm 91:14-16
 
“Even in my suffering I was comforted because Your promise gave me life.”  Psalm 119:50
 
Posted January 31, 2020

Wise Guy

“Is there any of you who is wise and understanding?”  The setting could be Gasworks Park in Seattle.  The audience is consummately diverse.  Business types wearing “casual Friday.”  Students with backpacks.  A scattering of pup tents, grocery carts and their transient residents.
 
Standing in their midst is a late 20-something man.  The cut of his jib is ordinary.  But his dancing eyes and commanding composure have you waiting for his answer to his question.
 
A few hands go up, likely in sarcasm, implying, “Okay, smart guy.  I s’pose you have a corner on the mental market.  What’s your point?”
 
Our moderator makes room for a long, pregnant pause.  Then continues. “You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom.  But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter and selfish, …  such wisdom does not come down from heaven.”
 
What filters will you trust in 2020 to wisely determine what is real and what isn’t?

 
The wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.”  James 3:16-18
 
Posted January 14, 2020

Beth L'chaim!

“Oh, by gosh, by golly,
It’s time for mistletoe and holly.”
 
This season may be for you, as Dickens wrote, “the best of times.”  You have a job, there’s harmony at home, and you’re in good health.  But sadly for others it’s “the worst of times,” wracked by shattered dreams, plagued by infirmity, with no hope.
 
Long ago a young couple found themselves in a strange, humanly inexplicable dilemma.  He was a typical, hard-working guy, headed for a bland, anonymous existence in a dusty, backwater village.  His heart belonged to a quiet lass, with child and in her early teens, about to be his bride. Hardly candidates for “The Bachelorette.” No honeymooning at a 5-star resort in the Greek islands.  No, they settled for a manger.
 
Surely, this was the worst of times.  But their story gets even worse before it rises to heights loftier than even the best of times.  Stay tuned, world! 
 
Where are you in this epic drama?
 
 
Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:11,12
 
Posted December 31, 2019
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