Archive for May, 2010
Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevys, Fords, Studebakers, and other classic cars from the 50’s were everywhere I looked. These vehicles were not sitting at a car show, but they were part of the everyday traffic in Havana, Cuba. I have made several trips there with Herald of Truth Ministries to work with local preachers and churches. Every time I visit I am astounded at these cars, many of them over fifty years old. Many of them have been worked over, repaired, and restored. I saw restored busses that had been cobbled together from four or five different “junked” vehicles.
The Cubans have a saying for this type of ingenuity: “old things made new.” They take old, discarded, seemingly useless vehicles and use them to create new, functional vehicles. It works. They make “new” vehicles out of old junk. Seemly dead cars are reborn to usefulness. It gave me a new appreciation for the effort and care it takes to restore them. And they are restored for a purpose. They are needed, they are useful, and they accomplish their purpose.
That is exactly what God does with people in this world. People that society might deem worthless are given value in Jesus. The poor in this world are made rich in Christ. In Jesus, the blind see, the lame walk, and the dead are given new life. Hurting people are healed to help others. In Jesus you are made new. New because the bad things you have done are dead and buried. New because you have surrendered to the call of Jesus in your life. New because you have been crucified with Christ and raised to a new life. New because you now have purpose in your life – a reason you are in this world. New because you are now going to live forever.
Repaired restored, made new. Old things made new. If you want to know more about this new life, then look around this site… or leave a comment.
You may have seen “David After Dentist,” the video of a young boy recovering from anesthesia after a trip to the dentist. The Internet video has “gone viral,” as they say, with over 50 million people having watched it.
At one point, David asks, “Is this gonna be forever?” Children don’t realize that anesthesia is only temporary. They don’t have enough experience to have proper perspective on many things. Children don’t know that common illnesses won’t stay with them the rest of their lives. They haven’t had enough headaches or toothaches to realize that these things usually go away with time.
It’s not only children that lack perspective. To one degree or another, we all suffer from that same problem. When we are facing a crisis, it’s hard to know just how important that crisis will turn out to be in the grand scheme of things. What seems so critical today may have been forgotten five years from now.
What if we were to look at things not in terms of years or decades but in terms of eternity? How would that affect our perspective? The highs and lows of life may not seem quite so high nor quite so low. Problems would lose their power. An eternal perspective would certainly change things.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18) Paul was a man who had been beaten, imprisoned, and shipwrecked. Once a mob threw stones at him until they thought he was dead. He lived a very difficult life, yet felt that his hard times couldn’t begin to compare with the eternity that was waiting for him.
Imagine if we could paint a stripe to represent eternity. A stripe with no beginning or end, stretching for miles and miles. If we were to then draw the span of our lives on that never-ending stripe, how big would it be? If we were to make the smallest possible dot, it would be too large. Our lives are nothing compared to eternity.
In another letter, Paul wrote, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) That’s the perspective we need. That’s what can help us handle whatever this life can throw at us. No matter how big it is, no problem is as big as eternity.
Is this gonna be forever? No, it’s not. Unless you’re talking about your relationship with God, whatever it is, it’s not going to be forever. Problems will come and go, but God will be with us forever. If you’re not in a good relationship with Him, I’d love to try and help. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our blog on www.hopeforlife.org.
Well, it’s actually May 19, but we will have been married thirty seven (37!) years. We have two grown children who are married and we love being together with them and our grandchildren. Evidently this is an amazing accomplishment in our society. I hear neighbors, friends, and people we work with express their congratulations at what to most of them is a rare feat. Many of them have never known anyone who has been married that long. Some wonder what the secret is to a long marriage – especially one that is still full of love and joy. So I am going to share the secret of a long and happy marriage.
It is not what you think. This is the point where you expect me to give a glowing tribute to my wife Marsha. I am blessed by her and I did choose well when I asked her to marry me. But she is not the reason why our marriage is so good. And I know that I am not the reason. It is not because we have not had struggles, disappointments, crisis, and trouble. In fact, there have been many times where we could have given up and quit on our marriage. In our society, we would have been just like so many other marriages that did not make it.
Jesus. He is the secret. He is how we survived tough times. He is why we have extended forgiveness to each other when one of us said or did hurtful things. He is why quitting was never an option. He is why our life together is full of joy, peace, hope, and purpose. I am not the most important person in my wife’s life. Jesus is. And she holds second place in my heart. We both chose Jesus long before we chose each other.
He is why we are so happy together and with our kids and grandkids. He is the reason both sets of our parents have been married for over sixty years each. He makes the difference in life, in marriage, in parenting, in work, and in every part of our lives.
He can make the difference for you too. He can give you joy, peace, hope, and purpose in your marriage, with your children, and in every aspect of your life. So if you do not know how to let Jesus into your marriage, and into your life, then leave a comment. Or look around the site.
It was something that happened on a regular basis, at least from the image of the Hebrew language, the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
But this time it was different:
• Both the man and woman had disobeyed God
• They had hidden themselves from God
• God was walking alone
• God must have known why it was different because He is God
Then the question that could be heard throughout the garden, by all of God’s creatures “Where Are You?”
This is how Genesis 3:8-9 reads: “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him ‘where are you’.”
I am struck by the fact that immediately after they disobeyed Him, God still wants to know where they are. And while there are consequences to their action, it is God who makes them clothes (v 21) and even after they left the garden, the man and the woman acknowledge God as the one from who life comes. Gen. 4:1
God is always asking “where are you?”, even after you have sinned against Him.
How many times after the Jews leave Egypt did they say they would do what God has commanded, and didn’t?
How many times in the book of Judges does it say “and the Jews did what was right in their own eyes” and had to have God rescue them by sending judge after judge?
Saul, David and the prophets personally and representationally claimed to follow God and then disobeyed.
And still God called, wanting to know where they were.
It is in Luke 15:4-9, that Jesus tells about the Shepherd who searches until he finds the last sheep and rejoices. It was the Shepherd who did the looking.
It is God who sent His Son to allow us to live with Him (John 3:16) and then read verse 17. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him might be saved.”
It is the final book of the Bible, Revelation, where this idea becomes complete, 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him and dine with him and he with me.”
God, Jesus, take the initiative, they are at the door.
The action of God at the beginning of the world-calling to know where you are; knowing that you have disobeyed Him is the same at the end of the world as He stands at the door waiting for you to open it.
So when God asked you “where are you?” why haven’t you answered?
Do you feel unworthy to open the door?
If you have answered and opened the door, tell me what that felt like.
We hear a lot about identity theft and the various ways you can make your identity more secure. For years, some women have been struggling with feelings of lost identity when they become mothers.
Our culture/society often sends mixed messages both to the working moms and to those who choose to stay home. Because of the way some may perceive the stay-at-home mom, she can feel devalued by not pursuing a career in the corporate world or unappreciated by the largely invisible work of nurturing that isn’t rewarded by a paycheck. On the other hand, those who choose to pursue a career, or must work because of finances, must deal with guilt feelings because they are not available for their children at all times. Satan takes every opportunity to steal our confidence, and in the process robs us of our identity.
The entire identity of a woman is not all about being a mother, but more about being daughters of our Father in Heaven. When we realize that motherhood and nurturing is a great calling of women, and understand who we are in relation to Christ we will have a new kind of identity and a greater self-esteem. Jacqueline Kennedy once made the statement, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”
Those who have children know very well that we are often referred to as “so-n-so’s” mom, which lends to making us feel that we have lost our identity. However, those who are children of the King have a secure “identity.” The most important identity is not how the world views mothers, but how God views them. The Word of God says that because of Jesus Christ our identity is secure. We must rely on God for our true worth, value and identity.