Archive for October, 2008

Trust

October 30, 2008

How much do we trust?

As I start to think about it, it is amazing how much trust we place in people and things every day of our lives. 

I trust that the chair that I am sitting on will hold me.

I trust that the oatmeal that I ate this morning will not contain poisen.

I trust, at least to a degree, that the drivers around me when I am driving,  will obey the laws of traffic.

I trust that the money that I put into the bank will be there for me to take back out later.

I could go on, but you get the point.

In our dealings with people we allow different measures of trust.  There are some people whom we can trust in some ways, and others whom we will trust in different ways.  It is very important that we learn whom we can trust, and in what ways they can be trusted.

Trust is earned.  Once lost, it is very difficult to restore. 

Are we trustworthy ourselves?

I know that people can, and do, and will; fail,  at least in some ways.

Ultimately, I know that it is God in whom I can truly, and always, trust.

Crossing Borders

October 29, 2008

Here in the United States the majority of the news is dealing with the election and the economy.  However I have read recently with great interest some news about the war on terror.  American military forces have crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, and also from Iraq into Syria, to strike at terrorist targets.  Unfortunately,  there is also the collateral damage of loss of civilian life and damage to communities.

It is good that terrorists are not able to hide in safety across a border which they can cross at any time to make their attacks.  They will certainly be less bold in their continuation of attacks if their place of refuge is no longer safe.

I am concerned about how the Arab world will view these attacks by American military.  We really, really, do not want to make new enemies.  We have enough of those already.  At the same time, we really do want to truly complete the mission of eliminating terrorist attacks.

I hope our government and military know what they are doing.

I pray that they will make the right choices.  I look forward to a day when we will debate with words rather than kill or be killed.

Prayer, Fasting and the Election

October 28, 2008

The election is one week away.  The General Superintendant of the Assemblies of God has encouraged us all to pray and fast, in some way, for the upcoming election.  This call is not an endorsement of any particular candidate, but rather a prayer that God will guide the outcome of the election.  This does not mean  simply the presidency, but all elected offices.   Christians should pray, be informed, and participate by voting.  It is our desire that the individuals that God would want to come to office, according to His plans and purposes,  will indeed come to office. 

Whoever is elected to office one week from today should then receive our support and our prayers.

Winter

October 27, 2008

Tonight it is supposed to get down into the twenties.

I am not ready for winter to be here, but ready or not it is on the way. 

I am originally from Minnesota so you think that I would be used to the cold and the snow. 

I have experienced it…. I don’t like it. 

I do like the seasons,  I like the change, the contrast.  There are even some things that I like about snow and cold.  For example, there is something about the feel of the air on a bitter cold, starlit night… also,  I do enjoy sledding, even at my age.  (I have to organize an outing for the Rangers, or the youth, since it looks odd for a middle age man to go sledding by himself.) 

 I guess that winter is coming.  There is nothing I can do about it, so I might as well figure out how to enjoy it.

Routine or Rut?

October 25, 2008

I am a creature of habit.  I like to follow a routine.  I have a list of things that I do and I find comfort in following the established pattern.  It helps me to get  a lot done and to not feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff.

I sometimes wonder if the routine has become a rut?  Is it time to “hold the course” or time to change the routine?  Perhaps this is merely my version of a midlife crisis?  A while back at a ministers’ conference we were encouraged to change things up a bit, to try something different.  I have been thinking about that, and I wonder different “how?” or “what?” or “why”???

Is different better?  Is different necessary?  Is change good? 

Where do we go from here?  Or do we need to go? 

Is it routine?

Or is it a rut?

I believe very firmly in the ability of God to provide direction as needed.  I need to be open to His guidance.  I need to be willing to change.  I need to be willing to not change.  God will provide the guidance.  I will follow as He leads.

Hope

October 23, 2008

There are many things that I appreciate about being a believer in God, and especially in Jesus Christ.  One of the foremost is that as a believer I never need to lose hope.

If I am faced with a problem I believe that God is bigger than that problem.  That God, if He should chose to do so, could completely remove the problem in a supernatural way.

If that doesn’t happen, then I believe that God can give me wisdom and strength to deal with the problem.  That all things are possible.  That God will make a way.  That God can work through me to solve the problem.

If the problem remains, I know that God will give me the grace to deal with the situation.  That whatever life may throw at me, that God is my strength and my shield.  It will be OK.

Finally, my hope is not anchored in this life, but in the life to come.  That even if this life turns bad and ends ugly, that there is a new life in the future for all who believe in, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, who has said that He has gone to prepare a place for us.

No matter what,  I have hope for the future.

That is a good thing.

Just Say No!

October 22, 2008

Enough already!!  I like free money as much as anyone, but I really don’t think that the government giving away yet more money in the form of stimulus checks is a good idea.  There comes a time when it is necessary to tighten the belt and start being fiscally responsible, and we are way past the time.

Is the national debt simply going to go away?  Do we simply close our eyes and pretend it isn’t there?  If we thought it was bad when financial institutions fell apart because of loan practices, how bad will it be when the U.S. government falls apart financially?  Will we start to make better choices or will we run full speed into the wall?

Will somebody please do something about overspending?  Our government is like the person who has maxed out their credit cards, so they get a new one so they can charge more.  Sooner or later you are going to have to pay the bill.  Congress reminds me of a person who, while driving,  begins to slip on an icy road, and in a panic over steers, and loses control.  They are making a bad situation worse.

We keep adding to the debt.  When and how are we going to pay it back?

Pancake Day

October 21, 2008

For many years now we have had a tradition of making pancakes one day a week for breakfast.  The day has changed from time to time depending on our schedules but it has been a big hit.  “It’s pancake day!” will generally get even the sleepiest teenager out of bed at my house.  (OK, I don’t have teenagers anymore, I know!)  Even Max, our old dog, would get excited, because I would make two little “doggie” pancakes just for him.  (The new dog, Daisy, hasn’t quite caught on yet.)  Today was pancake day and it is a good way to start the day.

It is good to have family traditions. It is good to have things that your family can do together that they enjoy.  Even if it is something as simple as pancake day. It is important to have time together, to share a meal, some conversation, some plans, hopes and dreams, problems or victories.  It is time together and that is a good thing.

Invocation

October 18, 2008

I read with sadness the story about the invocation given recently at a McCain rally in Davenport, Iowa.

The minister basically said that God needed to prove His power by ensuring that John McCain be elected. 

I am a Christian minister, and a supporter of John McCain, but that prayer disturbed me in several ways.            

First, there is the assumption that God is on McCain’s side.  What about all the Christian people who for a wide variety of reasons have chosen to support Obama?  Are we to say that they are fighting against God?  I don’t think that is proper to make that statement.  Both men have claimed a measure of faith and we are not in a position to judge their relationship with God. 

Secondly, we do not know the plan, purpose or will of God for this election.  We may think that we do, but do we, really?  Do we have the mind of God?  Do we have the right to speak for Him in this matter?  That is pretty bold for someone to claim.

Third,  God does not need to prove His power in this way.  God regularly works in the lives of people around the world who can testify to His power to save, to heal, to help in a wide variety of ways.  The final demonstration of the power of God will come on that day when we come before Him, when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

I hope that the people of God will be involved in this election process.  I hope that we will show grace, love and peace to to all of our fellow Americans, regardless of their religious, or political beliefs.

It’s Ain’t Over, Till It’s Over

October 16, 2008

This morning I played my usual morning game of spider solitaire as I waited for my internet to connect and my brain to wake up.  The game did not start out very promising, and it appeared that I would be lucky to get anything cleared off at all.  Then with the last set of cards, the pieces slowly started to come together.  One by one, moves were made, and the game was won.  I was pleasantly surprised and once again reminded that it ain’t over, till it’s over.

Actually, I thought about that last night as I watched the last portion of the final debate.  Certainly, it looks pretty good for Obama right now, but it’s ain’t over yet.

In my own life, I am reminded that I should never give up on the hopes, dreams, and goals that I have in my own heart.  It ain’t over yet.

There may be a time when we need to adjust, change or postpone our goals.  There is a difference between quitting and redirecting, as long as the redirection is a conscious decision, made after careful analasis.

As a marine, we were taught that we should never surrender while we have the means to resist, and that meant, if we were still conscious, we could still resist, using any and every means at our disposal. 

Never quit.

Never give up.

Never.

That’s a pretty good lesson for life.