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Away for Too Long

Has it really been two months since I’ve posted anything to this blog?  I logged in this morning to put a few words on a page and was shocked to find that I haven’t posted anything since Christmas!  Of course, I have had a few other outlets; other places to write and share the thoughts running through my head, but I still couldn’t believe it had been that long.  I do have several things brewing and two rough drafts that will be posts soon, so you won’t have to wait much longer to read more of my musings and inspirational / inane babble.

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Losing Sleep Over the Lost

Me and EvieJune 25, 2015 – Evie (our 9-year-old deep thinker) called me into her room last night because she couldn’t sleep. I sat on the edge of her bed as she shared her concerns.

“If the gates to Hell are wide and the way to Heaven is narrow… that means that most of the people on Earth are going to Hell. Right? It makes me sad to think about some of my friends who know about Jesus and just don’t care, but it makes me even sadder to think about all the people in the world who have never heard about Jesus.”

I assured her that her mom and I shared her sentiment.  That’s the reason we pray for the nations, that’s the reason we work with Nehemiah Teams​ and that’s the reason I’m going to Nicaragua next week… to make the name of Jesus known.  Lots of people have never heard the Gospel and it’s our responsibility as Christians to tell them.

I was moved to tears by the compassion of my child, but as I kissed her goodnight and laid down in my own bed I was deeply convicted about my own lack of concern.  And so I leave you with the same questions the Holy Spirit was whispering in my ear as I drifted off to sleep…

“Hey Robert, when is the last time you told someone about what Jesus has done for you?”

“Hey Robert, have you ever lost sleep because one of your friends is on that wide road to Hell?”

“How about a stranger, Robert?  How much do you care about the lost?”

“What are you doing to make the name of Jesus known?”

“Your daughter knows that more people die every day and they need to know about Jesus now, but where is your sense of urgency?”

“I love you, Robert.  I made you, and I love you.  You can’t change the past, but tomorrow is a new day.  Get up in the morning and lead your family to do what I’ve called you to do.”

….zzz

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Don’t Let Yesterday Use Up Today

Don’t Let Yesterday Use Up Today

hymnal

I collect old hymnals. Most are from the early 20th century, but I have a few that date back to the 1800s. I love to admire the covers, all tattered and torn, and the delicate, velvety soft pages.  The musty smell evokes an image of a little country church with wooden benches and hardwood floors and a pot-bellied stove.  In a few of the hymnals you can find page numbers written on the inside cover, now almost faded with time. The strokes are thick and thin, obviously written with a quill and ink. One didn’t just pull out a ballpoint pen and jot these numbers down. These numbers were deliberate, they took some effort; undoubtably a few favorite selections of the singer.

As I thumb through the songs in these hymnals, by mind drifts back across the years and I imagine someone who has long since passed holding this very book and singing some of these same songs that we sing in worship today.  It may have been a father sitting on a church pew with his wife and kids, holding this very book and singing No.48…

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

A bit nostalgic, perhaps, but that’s what we do isn’t it?  In 1940, in an essay titled, “Look Homeward, Americans,” novelist Carson McCullers proposed that nostalgia is a “national trait for Americans…as native to us as the roller coaster or the jukebox.”  Even at my relatively young age I think back on my childhood as a time when summers were longer, the grass was greener, and cartoons were better.  Childhood was Saturday morning breakfast with Grandaddy and Slush Puppies from the Dime Store.

It’s in our nature to look back on the “good ol’ days” with fond feelings and block out the negative memories, but we are often falsely nostalgic.  Every age has had it’s share of problems.  Sure, your grandparents could buy a bottle of coke for a nickel, but they didn’t have running water, or toilet paper, or individually wrapped cheese slices.  They suffered through the Great Depression and two World Wars.  Life wasn’t all roses.  Even in my own family, I’ve come to realize that we’ve had our share of heartaches and trials that I was oblivious to as a child.

There’s an old Cherokee Proverb that says “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”  I’m not saying we should throw it all out.  Nostalgia is what we do.  So keep the fond memories and smell the hymnals every now and then, but don’t make it such a focal point in your life that you can’t appreciate what God is doing today.  Don’t disdain the new because you long for the old.  Life changes, but He “changest not”.  Things will not stay the same, but you can move forward day by day for the glory of God.  As the Apostle Paul said to the church at Philippi,

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 3:13-14

Strain forward.  Press on.  Some say things are getting worse.  I say things have never really been as good as you remember.  But today… This is the day that the Lord has made.  Rejoice and be glad in it.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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You Were Created to Create

CreatedtoCreateEarlier this week I overheard someone say, “It’s difficult to create a purely secular work of art.” The very act of creating something reflects one of the aspects of the nature of God. There are many more, to be sure, but we’ll only deal with one of His attributes here… His creative nature. As the Bible opens in Genesis, the first thing we learn about Elohim is that He creates.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

And what a creative God He is! Just look around you! Scientist have recently discovered a galaxy, now named MACS0647-JD, that is about 13.3 billion light-years away from earth. Meaning, if you could travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles/second), it would still take you 13.3 billion years to get there! The universe is huge! Filled with galaxies and planets, suns and moons, all painted with a beautiful palette of colors. And only a Being greater than the universe itself could have created the universe. What a mighty God we serve!!

Later, in Genesis 1:27, we see that God continued His work.

“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”

For all the glory of the galaxies, and the twinkling of the stars, human beings were the pinnacle of God’s creation, for only we were created in the image of God. We were created to create! Our natural instinct to tell jokes and stories, paint pictures and write songs are all part of being created in God’s image. We can worship God, not only in our singing, but by doing what he has created us to do. You were created to create!

This week, I would encourage you to pick up a pen or paintbrush, tune up that old guitar, or sit down at your computer and write, compose… create! A good book is a good thing, even if it’s not a Bible commentary. So is a great piece of music, or a beautifully designed building, or a fantastic film or play. God made us to be creative just as He is creative, and when we participate in creation, we reflect the very image of God.

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These images are just some of my favorites. Check out more amazing images of God’s handiwork at HubbleSite.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Uncategorized