Oct 31, 2013

You Don't Scare Me

Do you like things that bring fear? Are you easily frightened? Does the thought of things that go bump in the night cause you to hide under your covers? Are you scared by the unknown? Are you afraid of being afraid? Isn’t this what Halloween is all about; doing things that elevate our fears?

Simply put, I don’t like to put myself into situations that produce fear and that includes fear-filled movies, roller coasters or barrel rolls in airplanes. And, as a dad, I made it a point to not intentionally put fear in my children. I wanted them to not be afraid of what may or may not be ‘out there’.

It’s probably why I don’t celebrate Halloween. For me, there is enough ‘horror’ in this life that I don’t need or want to celebrate it. Just watching the average newscast you will find way too much that is overwhelming and painful or frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting and full of fear. No thanks, I’ve had enough and I don’t want to celebrate being afraid.

As a Christian, I’ve come to trust that either the Lord is in control or else He is not; period. So, I don’t allow fear to fill me with what might happen; especially for things that I can’t control like falling down or that an airplane could crash or that I might eat meat that is too rare or having a lightning bolt give me a lethal shock or dying…they don’t scare me!
I also would say that I don’t tend to back down from things that go bump in the night. Yes, I have a ‘healthy fear’ that prevents me from doing stupid things; but I don’t run away. This goes back to the days of my youth when I was told by an older neighbor kid to ‘hit the biggest kid on the other side and take his legs out’. The bigger they were the more I pressed in to taking them out! This was true for football as well as hockey.

My friends, we don’t need to be scared! We can believe the Word of God which tells us over and over again; “Don’t be afraid” and “Do not be terrified or dismayed.  Why? Because “the Lord your God is with you…”

The Apostle John wrote it in the Bible;

 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

I love how the Apostle Paul wrote it in the Bible;

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians15:54-58 NKJV)

Today, this day, step out of the dredges of fear and what may happen. Celebrate life, not death. Stop letting things scare you and start enjoying what IS. Learn to trust in the Lord who is able to keep you from falling and deliver you from death.

 “For You have delivered my soul from deathHave You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God In the light of the living? (Psalm 56:13 NKJV)

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


Oct 24, 2013

At least the rugs are cleaned and house smells fresh

An early morning phone call yesterday had diverted me away from my normal routine and so I was somewhat behind in what I had planned to accomplish; including taking a shower. I skipped ahead on my list of things to do and decided that I would take a shower a bit later in the morning.

When I went down the basement stairs to take a shower, my nose picked up a strong “fresh” scent. My first thought was that Cathy must have installed a new Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil refill in the Family Room. When I looked at the Glade® warmer, I noticed that it was in fact in need of a new refill. “Where was the smell coming from?” I wondered to myself.

Actually, I asked the question out loud but I thought that if I had mentioned it you would have questioned my sanity…

I went into the laundry room next door and was a bit surprised to discover where this now intoxicating scent was coming from. The 2¾ gallon container of liquid laundry detergent that is normally on shelf next to the washing machine was now lying on the bath mat just outside of the shower; perhaps trying to clean itself up!

My deduction is that at some point between when Cathy took her shower at five thirty in the morning and when I was about to take mine at ten o’clock, not only did the large bottle take a jump off the shelf, but it also proceeded to break off the cap and spilled approximately 1½ gallons of gooey, sticky laundry detergent on the carpeting.

Makes me wonder what had happened after she left the room.

I grabbed some old bath towels and began the process of sopping up the liquid detergent; which included repeatedly rinsing the soapy towels in a large bucket of clean water as I kneeled in the liquid goo; spending at least a half hour at this task. I then threw the towels into the washing machine (without detergent I might add), and stepped into the shower.
What I hadn’t expected was my feet slipping as I stepped into the shower; feet that had a film of liquid soap on them. All my ice skating reflexes from playing hockey kicked in and I was able to catch myself before I took a dive. 

After I took my shower, I went up to the third floor closet and grabbed a couple of box fans to bring down to the basement to plug them in to try to dry off the now wet carpet.

Having personally cleaned up so many different messes that were solids, liquids, and other unmentionables over the years, I saw this mess as a mere inconvenience to my schedule that was already way behind.

What helped me with this perspective is realizing that as bad as I have it, there is always someone who has it worse. In fact, earlier in the morning, I had read that International Justice Mission News reported that thirty five (35) enslaved girls (ages 14 to 18 yrs) were rescued from slavery in a thread-making factory in India.

I really didn’t have anything to complain about. It really was a matter of perspective. At least the rugs are cleaned and house smells fresh!

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes on this subject of thinking of things that are good, not focusing on the bad. He wrote to the Church in Philippi:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

I’m not sure where you are at when you are reading this, but it is my sincere hope that you will stop and count your blessings as you too try to clean up a mess in your life. Give it to God and let Him work things together for good (see Romans 8:28).

When you turn to Him, you will find His mercy fresh and new waiting for you. Great is His faithfulness; in that we can place our hope!

Are you ready to get your mess cleaned up? Have you tried to clean up your life with no success? Are you tired of trying to do it your way? Call 1-888-NEED –HIM; someone is waiting to talk with you.

New King James Version (NKJV)  The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



Oct 17, 2013

Please Hurry Back

The phone rang just before dinner. Cathy answered it and said; “Did you want to talk with grandpa? Here he is…” and then quickly handed the phone to me. On the other end was my granddaughter Fallon; her voice sounded sad.

“I miss you grandpa…”; she said sniffing back her tears as my heart sank. We spoke a bit about what she did and what she was going to have for supper. The phone reminded me of when my own children were young and would call me at work.

After a short while Fallon handed the phone back to her mom (my daughter Elizabeth) who explained that all day Fallon had said that she had missed Cathy and I and wanted to talk to me.

Cathy and I had told Fallon and Gavin that we would be gone when they woke up and that soon we would be see them again. But, comforting words only last a short while when you are separated from someone you love and long to be with.

The night before Cathy and I had babysat Fallon and her brother Gavin and we had left their house when the parents came home after Fallon and Gavin had fallen asleep. When they awoke the next morning and we were gone, Fallon became sad because she missed us.

Simply put, Fallon, as much as she loved her family, wanted the next time that we got together to be now and not some distant time in the future (even if it would be in a week). For her she didn’t want to have to be kept waiting too long until we were once again together.

The sadness Fallon felt at our separation is something that Jesus knew that His disciples would feel after He departed this earth until He comes back once again. During the “Last Supper” He said; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3 NKJV)

Jesus told them that He would be gone for a short while and that soon they would see Him again. But, comforting words only last a short while when you are separated from someone you love and long to be with. And His disciples were troubled in their hearts.

As much as I love to spend time with my children, grandchildren, Cathy, and many friends (some whom I’ve yet to meet!), there is still a longing in my heart for the Day when Jesus returns. The day when the injustice in this world comes to an end the scales are balanced.

In the meantime, like Fallon, I let Jesus know that I’d like Him to hurry back because I miss Him; especially because I can’t see Him. And I tell Him:
“I've made up my mind to wait for You now, I don't know the time, don't know the place. But when I say Please don't keep us waiting too long; we’ve no lasting city this side of Heaven. Please don't keep us waiting too long, cause things aren't looking to pretty this side of Heaven….” (From “This Side of Heaven” by Phil Keaggy)



Oct 10, 2013

Live Your Life for a Change

from by Glenn Kaiser

"Live your life for a change
Live your life for a change
You ain't gonna take it with you no how
Live your life for a change
And you won't be ashamed
Live your life for a change right now

Make a difference in this world
Make a difference in this world
Make a difference in this world somehow
Don't just do it for yourself
Put your pride up on the shelf
Make a difference in this world somehow

See your brother and your sister
Your enemy and friend
Your mother and your father
As your family in the end
One day we will answer
For the love we did not send
Live your life for a change
Right now

Live your life for a change
Live your life for a change
Live your life for a change right now
Live your life for a change
And you won't be ashamed
Live your life for a change right now"

© all rights reserved  from Cardboard Box, released 07 June 2011


"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17 NKJV)



Oct 3, 2013

Out to Pasture

I’m getting older; there I said it. My youthfulness is fleeting away and I am coming to terms with my own mortality. I’m not in any way saying that I am ready to hang up my ice skates and put my hockey equipment into storage. Nor am I planning on stopping weight lifting or exercising any time soon. I just know that after almost fifty five years of life this body of mine isn’t any longer a spring chicken.

Actually, this week I have been thinking about dropping down to a less intense level of hockey game that I play in each week. Time to release my agent and let go of my dreams to play in the NHL!

I first noticed a decline this past year when an injury during a hockey game took a very, very long time to heal. The slowness of healing affected my weight lifting during that time period; especially my ability to lift heavier and heavier weights.

I also noticed it when Cathy pointed out that my “drive” wasn’t has strong as it had been for the past thirty two years of our marriage (actually I would say forty six years of drive). Um, yes; everything was still physically working great, praise the Lord; but my drive has been low and it was starting to affect our intimacy. I was becoming ‘content’ with having her go to bed without me; something that I didn’t like to do.

Could it be that my testosterone was lower than my youthful days and that is why it was affecting so many areas of my life? I knew that I was way too young to be put out to pasture or be content with sitting in a rocking chair or going to bed long after she did. I decided to take action and do something about it and went to the local health store.

Long story short, I found something that worked! And, the side benefits are that it also helps with agitation, trouble sleeping, nervousness, ongoing mental and physical fatigue, poor memory or forgetfulness, and skin cancer.

I’m not looking for the ‘Fountain of Youth’, (I’ll let Ponce De Leon continue in that quest) but I do believe that there are things that we can do to make a difference as to how we go through the twilight years of our lives. I should note that in my opinion, my parents are in better health in their eighties than they were in their sixties!

This idea of getting old is nothing new and it isn’t anything that we have to be content to settle for. In the Book of Isaiah chapter 40 we read; Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall”
But Isaiah goes on to tells us that we can be elevated to new heights in every area of our lives when we wait upon the Lord. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31 NKJV)

Psalm 103:5 says; "Who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Life as we know it is short. Go out and grab all that the Lord would have you to do and live your life to the fullest; settling only for His perfect will and purpose for your life!       

New King James Version (NKJV)  The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.