The Massage

I have always tried to be aware of my testimony as a Christian and have tried to avoid doing anything that was questionable .  So it was with a heighten degree of caution, when I found myself with a tight lower back pain after over-doing it at the gym, that I pondered the suggestion that I get a massage at a nearby establishment.  I was told it was inexpensive and relaxing and I keep all my clothes on.

There! There was the key to making my decision!!!  I had no desire to place Continue reading

But Lord, What About This Man?

Do you ever look around at others, perceiving them to have it all together, having the perfect faux Facebook family (my ____________________ is the most wonderful/beautiful/talented/smartest/   spiritual _____________________ in the world, y’all!!) and think to yourself, “Lord, How come I can’t have anything close to that?”

Or perhaps it may be when the Lord confronts you with a particular sin and you look around to point to others, who you think may have committed the same sin and say, “Yeah but, what about Johnny?”  Continue reading

The Sound Of A Bridge

erin-spring-bridge

It’s funny the things your brain remembers.

I was remembering when I was a young boy, we lived in Lamont, CA.  Each summer, we would drive back to Lindsay, OK to vacation with my grandfather on his farm.  This would have been in about 1957 or so.

We would leave Friday evening after Dad got off work.  One of the reasons for leaving at that time was our car did not have Continue reading

The Pharisees Sin

pharisee_crucify_himI have always considered myself a common man.  Just one of the millions that goes to work everyday, pays their bills, and tries to live respectably.  Nothing special, not good looking or athletic or talented.  Just a regular guy.

I have a dislike for those that I have come in contact with who seemed to feel superior to the regular guys.  Now there are those who are good looking or athletic or talented and still are a regular guy, but there are some who come across as self righteous, being defined as having an attitude of being totally correct or morally superior, usually unfounded. Continue reading

A Cautious Look At Love

Fsherlock_300rank Sinatra made the song “The Second Time Around”, written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, popular.  The first verse says, ” Love is lovlier the second time around.  Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground.  It’s the second time you hear your song sung.  Makes you think, perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young.”

I have stated if it is the Lord’s will, I would like to love again.  My experience with Terrie was so wonderful to me, that I would like that to happen again.  But the question behind the desire is does God want that to happen?  The honest answer is, Continue reading

A Goulash Life

onepot_american_goulash1

For those who know me, you know I don’t know how to cook!  Eating I can do!  Grill a steak or make a few breakfast items or microwave a frozen dinner – yes.  Creating a meal  – no!

So it was with interest, that I listened to a co-worker describe making goulash for his family.  He started with the basics- ground beef, elbow macaroni, water, chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes – sauce and diced, and seasonings.  As he was adding ingredients, the household non-cooks were suggesting additional ingredients found in the cabinets.  He said when the suggestions ended, he had a pot filled with multiple items that he allowed to cook slowly, blending the various flavors that each item brought to the pot.  And when it  reached the right time, they enjoyed all that was in the cookware.

That same week, I taught a Sunday school lessons from the Book of Esther, that highlighted influences that were applied to create the outcome that saved the Jewish race and eventually maintain the blood line of Jesus Christ.

Somehow in my simple mind, I married these two events to create a metaphor of my life and I suspect of your life as well.

That is, God adds people into our life to add flavor.  They help us to be seasoned: they may be our neighbors or may be a stranger.  People who have helped us, or challenged us.  Some people have hurt us.  Some brought healing to us.  Some complained about us and others encouraged us.  Some hated us and yet, by God’s grace, some loved us.

Again, not being a cook, I can only speculate that each item of the recipe had a purpose and was to be added in the proper sequence and at the proper time.  I can see protein and fiber.  I see some things would yield vitamins, some items would add a  particular flavor.  Water would be a blending agent.  Some items would bring a pleasing aroma and comfort.  Some recipes may add a bay leaf, which would be in the pot for a time and then removed before the goulash was served.

Our immediate family would be our first ingredients with their character and interest, then add extended family, school friends, co-workers, church members, etc.  Where we lived and how much or how little money our family had made for some of our ingredients.  Illnesses, diseases, and deaths adds to the pot.

And the most amazing thing of all – just how the Lord created us.  Our gender, race, personality type, abilities and talents, appearance, weight,  height, at what point in history we were born, our language or languages we can speak, our strong points and our weaknesses.  All of these things were beyond our control and therefore, we must yield to be the unique individual the God created.

There are some things we control in our pot of goulash called life.  We can determine to be kindly affectionate toward one another with brotherly love (see Romans 12:10-21).  We can look not only at our own interests, but also to the interest of others (see Philippians 2:4).  And we can give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18).  There are so many items from the Scriptures that would enrich our pot.

What is your influence in the lives of those around you?  Is it to strengthen or encourage?  Is it to show kindness to the less fortunate?  What is your purpose?  Does it bring honor to the Lord?  Think about it.  Bon Appetit !!

Suitable For Him

Tholding-hands_300he second Christmas has passed and I have mixed emotions.  Yesterday, I had many reminders of where I was emotionally one year ago.  That time was very raw and painful.  This year, there was a respectful awareness, but I had some joy and happiness, at the same time.

I think the joy and happiness was due to the Lord continuing to work in my life and to graciously bless me in at least two ways: First, in “Good Tidings of Great Joy“, I     described re-focusing on the true subject of why we celebrate Christmas.  Secondly, in “Trust and Obey“, I mentioned I had gone on a Continue reading

Good Tidings Of Great Joy!

I would like to confess something.  For the last ten to fifteen years, I’ve have found very little joy in Christmas.  I know as a Christian, I should take great joy in celebrating this time of year the world acknowledges the birth of Jesus Christ.  But I had lost focus and the meaning of what we were doing.

As I was growing up, Christmas was never like the Norman Rockwell paintings, the Hallmark Channel movies, it was much more Continue reading

Following, Not Fighting – round two

boxing-ring-corner_300The Lord had been gracious to me when I was diagnosed with oral cancer the first time.  I had the best oral cancer surgeons in America work on me by removing a portion of my tongue and rebuilding it with a skin graft in a way that I could still speak and eat and remain close to a normal existence.   I was told if I could go five years without getting cancer again, I would be considered healed.

I was so grateful to the Lord for He had shown Himself mightily Continue reading