Thursday, October 22, 2009

The soul specialist

I dropped my car off at a friend's house tonight. The check engine light came on last week and Kenny is going to check it out. He's an auto mechanic. He understands how cars work and why certain things happen. I wouldn't take my car to video store to have it checked out. That's not a place where they specialize in cars.

So why do people run to all kinds of crazy places when they have spiritual problems? Why don't they head to the church? What's a spiritual problem? How about looking for meaning and purpose in life?

When we are searching for guidance on what to do, we can usually find it and our moral compass in the church. God, the one who created us, specializes in solving these kinds of problems. He knows us because he wrote the manual on human life.

If you have a problem right now, you should think about coming home to god. He will check out your problem and get you back up and running again.


Monday, October 12, 2009

It really is true

I received this email today. I was pretty excited. I never knew there were so many generous Christian people in this world. This woman wants to bless me.

Mrs.Sarah Estroff writing from / Herzog Hospital, Jérusalem, Israël.

Greeting to you in the name of our Lord,

I am the above named person from Israel, I am married to Mr.Braverman Estroff who is an Oil Consultant / Contractor in before his death, due to the crisis between our country and Gaza , We were married for eleven years without a child. Before his death we were both born again Christian and we worship in Glorious chapel church of God. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ( $12.5 million U.S. dollars)in a trunk box with a Finance company in Italy, Presently the fund is still with the finance company.
Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer. But I pray to God to heal me so that I will be alive and see his work done as my late husband instructed me.Having known my condition I decided to contact you for your urgent assistance, so that you will help me contact the finance company were the consignment box is been deposited by my late husband. on how the consignment will be realised and transferred to your country were we can invest the fund in a good manna and also for me to get my self
well treated and make sure that i invest the fund on what my late husband has instructed me before his death.

For your information the finance company is not aware of the real content of the consignment box, because the consignment was deposited as family belongings in a truck box for safe keeping by my late husband .
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money, This is why I am taking this decision,I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going, I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. My Dear, please I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the finance company for you to communicate with them and claim the consignment box by all means which no one in the finance company management is aware of the contents of consignment box as money, as the consignment was deposited as confidential family valuables, for security reasons. I want you to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian and whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply for more details and may God be with you. I will like that you get back to me with further details on Regards, Your sister in Christ, Mrs Sarah Estroff.

Don't laugh. I know it isn't real. There have been scams like this going on for a long time. That's why we say "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." It's the same reason why so many people have a hard time accepting Christ's offer. Jesus said that if you come to him and confess your sins, they will be forgiven. There's more. If you accept Christ you will not die but have eternal life in him forever.

Sounds too good to be true. Many of us have grown up with the idea that unless we do x, y and z we will not go to heaven. We know we aren't perfect so God will punish us. Even though the Bible proposes that grace is the order of the day we feel like we have to do something to earn God's grace. To have it as a free gift just doesn't make sense. It isn't believable. Yet that is what the Bible promises.

The apostle John says, "For God so love the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but rather that the whole world might be saved through him." John 3:16- 17

That is God's promise. The one who created us and has blessed us also says these words. They may sound too good to be true but when you consider the source there is no doubt that you can trust them. You see that is the key. The truth is not in what is said, it is in who is saying it.

I don't know this Sarah at all. She could be legitimate but I cannot trust her. I do know god and he has proven to be trustworthy time and time again. So when he makes a promise you can believe it, I do and I hope you will too.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Time to give thanks

When was the last time you simply lifted up the things you were thankful for in your life We get so busy that we forget to do it. In the Gospels there is a story about Jesus healing ten men. They were all excited and they went away so happy. The point of the story was that only one came back to thank Jesus for their healing.

So tonight let's all take a few minutes to give thanks for some of the blessings we enjoy. I'll go first.

I give thanks for the warm furnished home I live in on this cold rainy night.
I give thanks for the health of my family. All three girls, Lori and I are healthy and well.
I give thanks for my work at the church. It is a blessing to me because it allows me to serve.
I give thanks for the food we had tonight. so many people go to bed hungry.
I give thanks for this computer which allows me to do my work and connect with my friends.
I give thanks for my mom, who's case of terminal cancer is being held at bay by the grace of God.
I give thanks for my friend, George, who has found new love and a new life.
I give thanks for having a little money in the bank and all the bills being paid.
I give thanks for a car that runs.
I give thanks for my kitty, Misty. I love to play with her.
I give thanks for this country I live in where I have so much freedom and opportunity.

How's that for a start. Now it's your turn. Have fun with it.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Be a blessing

I was walking by the outpatient blood draw center at the hospital when I ran into her. She looked frazzled. I didn't really know her too well. She was the friendly face behind the counter at my favorite sandwich shop. So this was a very a-typical encounter.

When I asked her if she was alright she told me that the just found out her seventeen year old daughter was 6 1/2 months pregnant. Wow! Talk about a bombshell. This woman was now dealing with what it would mean for her daughter and herself. She wasn't angry or depressed. She was simply trying to regain her composure in light of the world altering news.

The funny thing is that many of us have been hit with announcements that take our nice little world by surprise. We think we have it all figured out. We have all our ducks lined up in a row. Then life happens.

Upstairs in the same hospital was a friend of mine in the community who was battling cancer. She was pretty beat up by the cancer and the treatment and all that was happening. A few months early she was all excited about her move to a new home. She and her husband had made the decision to go and this is where they were going to retire. Then life happened.

I remember another friend of mine saying that if he didn't have faith he would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. He is right. The good news is that our faith sustains us in these turbulent times. When the storms of life come it buoys us up and helps us stay afloat. No one ever knows when those moments are going to come but we all know they will come. The knowledge that we are not alone, that God cares and he will walk through this with us is a tremendous comfort.

I take it a step further. My faith tells me that God will not only be with me, he will send people to visit and encourage me. I think that's why I happened to bump into they young woman at the hospital today. It wasn't an accident. She needed God today and I gave him a human face. I came with his encouraging word.

The truth is that is what we are all called to do. When we bump into someone it isn't an accident. It is God directing our steps. So be an encouragement to all you meet and let the holy spirit work through you. You will be someone's blessing today.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Billy Graham's first tent meeting

Sixty years ago a young man from North Carolina got his start in a ministry that would touch the whole world. His name was Billy Graham. It all begin in earnest with the tent meetings in Los Angeles in the summer of 1949. The Christ for Greater Los Angeles Committee sponsored a tent evangelistic campaign in 1949, led by Graham. The dramatic events of these meetings first brought Graham to the attention of the general public of the United States.

Wheaton college has put together a collection of items of interest from those meetings, including some photographs and audio sermons. You can check them out at the following address. Just cut and paste it into your browser window.

Check it out and enjoy.


Every day is a new day

I confess. I am a Detroit Tigers fan. Of course many of you already know that. As a matter of fact I was at the Norwich Free Academy Band Classic on Saturday night and ten minutes after I arrived and said hello to a few people there was an air gram alert saying "To Cal Lord: Go Tigers!"

Well the sad news is that this year's team was in first place all season long and then lost it in the final days. Today they are tied for first place and have to play one more game to determine who wins the division and goes on to play the New york Yankees in round one of the playoffs.

In analyzing the team, Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press, called them a flawed team. He said they had some good qualities but it was the flaws that stood out. Actually, he begins his article with a quote from a conversation that took place before the game:

On the eve of the biggest — and maybe best — game of his career, Ryan Raburn got a little pep talk from Leyland.

No, not Jim Leyland, the team's manager.

Patrick Leyland.

“Leyland’s son, he came in and told me I was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts against (John Danks), and go get him,” Raburn said. “So I was like, ‘It can’t get no worse. So just drop in and have fun.'"

That’s an odd motivational speech. Hey, I just want to point out: You have STUNK against this guy. I mean, stats don’t lie. He is thrilled you’re in the lineup. He called his family and friends and told them to watch the game. But, hey, go get him!

And yet, Raburn smacked two home runs. So maybe Patrick Leyland has a future as a manager.

In a way, maybe this is what all the Tigers needed to hear after dropping three in a row: You’ve been lousy, so admit it and forget it. But Raburn’s performance, which was essential to the Tigers’ victory, also showcased why this team (however flawed) is so fascinating right now.

Anybody can be the hero for the Tigers. This is what makes baseball different from most sports: The worst player on the team can be the best player in a game.

As I was reading this article I was struck by how often the same thing is true for us in our Christian walk. Not the stinking part, but the fact that on any given day anyone can be a hero for God. You and I possess the ability to do wonderful things for God. If we offer ourselves to Him, we can make some one's day with a smile or with some act of kindness.

Many of us feel that we can't contribute much to someone else's needs but that's not true. By being a friend or by giving someone a hand, we brighten their day. A phone call or a note can bring an encouraging word. Although a visit from the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol is what most people think about when they think of a life changing blessing, it usually isn't the big things that bring us the most joy. It is the small things done by people who care about us that make the most difference in our lives.

The other point I love is the simple fact that we need to let go of the past. The fact that we messed up yesterday has nothing to do with what we are doing today. It has no hold over us if we don't let it. So give it to God and forget about it. Every day is a new day. Life is too short to dwell on it and we have work to do.

So get out there and make something happen. Be a blessing to someone.