Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The story is told about a woman who called her husband on his car phone as he was on his way home from work and she said, “Honey, you need to be careful. I just saw on the news that there’s some nut driving the wrong way on the Interstate.” Her husband said, “There’s not just one nut, there’s hundreds of them!”
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like trying to do God’s will makes you go the wrong way down the road? All the traffic’s coming the other way. Have you ever thought, “If everybody’s going this way, it’s so hard to go against the flow. Would God really mind if I just turned around for a little while?”
An article in The London Times a couple of years ago reported that there are currently about 200 million Christians in over 60 countries who are being persecuted for their faith. Because we have freedom in the United States to worship God, those of us who live here sometimes we forget just how many people in this world live under oppression – by Communist authorities or Muslim authorities, or authorities who simply oppose God and the people who follow God.
And even if you don’t face governmental oppression, there are no doubt many of you who live with oppression – in your home, in your workplace or at your school – oppressed by a family member or boss or teacher who makes it difficult on you as a Christian. More and more, we all are living in an anti-God culture. We live in an environment that makes it difficult at times for us to stand up for God.
We must remember the words of Paul: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
No matter which way the crowd around you is flowing, may you have the courage to travel the direction that God would have you to travel.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The rules at a particular university were such that if the professor were not present in the classroom by 15 minutes past the hour, the class was considered a "walk" and the students were free to leave -- with no penalties for missing a class. The rooms were equipped with the type wall clocks which "jumped" ahead each minute, in a very noticeable fashion. These clocks were also not of the most sophisticated construction. Some enterprising student discovered that if one were to hit the clock with chalkboard erasers, it would cause the clock to "jump" ahead one minute.
So, it became almost daily routine for these students to take target practice at the clock (as it would have it, this particular professor was not the most punctual). A few well-aimed erasers, and lo, 15 minutes were passed, and class dismissed itself.
When the day for the next exam rolled around, the professor strolled into the room, passed out the exams, and told them "You have one hour to complete it."
The professor then proceeded to collect the erasers from around the room and gleefully took aim at the clock. When he had successfully "jumped" the clock forward one hour, he closed the class and collected the exam papers.
We'll all been in situations where we would like for time to jump ahead and move faster than it does. But, as we get older, we become aware than time is moving quite fast enough on its own, without any help!
"My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle..." (Job 2:6)
"Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away....They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey." (Job 9:25-26)
"For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:14b)
The Bible speaks often about how quickly life passes, not to depress us, but to bring us to the realization that we had better be preparing now for the eternity that lies beyond this life.
If you find yourself watching the clock at work today, wishing the time would pass faster, be careful! It will be gone before you know it.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The following story comes from Robert Norris (via Reader's Digest):
"My brother and I arrived at boot camp together. On the first morning, our unit was dragged out of bed by our drill sergeant and made to assemble outside. 'My name's Sergeant Jackson,' he snarled. 'Is there anyone here who thinks he can whip me?'
"My six-foot-three, 280-pound brother raised his hand and said, 'Yes, sir, I do.'
"Our sergeant grabbed him by the arm and led him out in front of the group. 'Men,' he said, 'this is my new assistant. Now, is there anyone here who thinks he can whip both of us?'"
That humorous story reminds me of our relationship with God. As we look out at the world, our pride and our sense of independence may cause us to feel that we can take on anything life has to throw at us. But life will let us know very quickly that we are no match. The trials of life have a way of beating us down and causing us to feel helpless at times.
But God stands by our side and suddenly our confidence is renewed, because there truly is no one or nothing strong enough to defeat us both.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
"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." (I John 4:4)
"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afarid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
May you find your confidence this day not in your own strength, but in the strength of the One who stands by your side.