September 7, 2012
Our Cub Scout troop from our church is taking a weekend camping trip to the beach this weekend. Because my son has to work, I, Papa, will be taking the 7-year-old boy. I have the tent loaded up, sleeping bags, flash lights, munchies, laptop, and wireless card, all necessities for this trip, ready to go. I will be picking him up as soon as he gets home from school and driving 3 and a half hours to the campground.
Because I have to be back for church Sunday morning, we will only be staying the night and most of the day tomorrow. The others will be staying through to Sunday. On the agenda is a beach clean up. cook out, and some fishing. We will have a good bit of free time Saturday, so there is no telling what else we may do. I am trying to decide if I want to take the bikes and or the dog.
Those who know me know that me and kids are a weird mix. I love them and enjoy watching them when they are with others. So now I get to hang out with a bunch of them and get to spend the night in a tent with my own 7-year-old boy. I WILL HAVE FUN!
I am looking forward to fishing and taking the boy to the beach. If I take the dog, I look forward to trying to get her in the water. This is the little white dog and she is not a big fan of swimming, but loves to wade. I look forward to cooking breakfast in the morning. There is nothing like bacon and eggs cooked outside after a night in the tent. I am going to work hard and show the boy how to serve with a smile. I am looking forward to seeing how many strange pictures I can take and post on Facebook.
Last month I did a blog on how God was testing me and how for some reason I was being blessed with being around a bunch of Kids. Well, God is still blessing me. I have got to figure out what I am doing right. Perhaps it is time for a week of rebellion? Just kidding. I am learning patience and I am being given some time to make memories. After the death of my dog this month, God has shown me just how precious time with someone or something you love really is. So I am going to make the most of this. I am going to remember that when I was a kid, I didn’t have a granddad that spent time with me. I am going to make some memories.
So please pray for my patience and pray that I stay focused on the blessing at hand. Pray that I remember to laugh before I scream and only scream if I am having that much fun. Pray that the 3 and a half hour ride down there and back goes quickly. Pray that it doesn’t rain, but if it does, the wi-fi works. Pray that this time next year the 7-year-old boy remembers how much fun we had and wants to do it again.
August 31, 2012
College football season started in my house last night. I am a huge SC Gamecock fan and have been all of my life. Last night they barely won a game that should have been a blow out according to the experts. I really hate it when the experts say stuff like that and I buy into it. In football, anything can happen and usually does especially when you are talking about college ball.
I listen to a lot of experts predict things and I can’t tell you how often they are wrong. For instance, the weather forecaster on TV. They are considered experts in weather and yet they probably only get it right half. I was watching the forecasts for hurricane Isaac and a week before it came close to Florida, they were saying that it would hit Tampa. It made landfall in New Orleans. Just this morning I heard the forecast for my area was to be mostly cloudy and I am sitting in bright sunshine without a cloud in the sky.
Experts in the financial world are not much better. Every time we get a jobs report it is worse than the experts predicted. Stocks go up and down every day despite what they say and those same experts who blame speculators for oil prices going sky-high, never mention the speculators when it drops to record lows. Three years ago many of the experts said that we would be well recovered from the recession we are not still in, and yet unemployment went up in over 30 states just last month.
Experts predicted that in the year 2000 AD on New Years day all computers would freak out and it didn’t happen. Experts said that cars were not going to catch on and flying would never happen. They said that everyone would be flying around instead of driving by now and that a new ice age was coming, but now its global warming. They said salt would kill you, now it won’t, saccharine would kill you, but not really now, red meat was good but now its bad, and that if you would just take this pill or that one you would never get fat.
So far the experts have messed up a lot of predictions. There is one source of predictions that I have found to be really accurate; the Bible. The Old Testament is full of predictions that Jesus would come to earth and die, and He did. In fact almost 1000 years before it happened, great details of the crucifixion were written in Psalm 22. The Bible predicted that the temple in Jerusalem would be totally destroyed and it happened. It predicted that several super powers would fall and gave a time frame to when it would happen, and it did. Very few historians disagree with the historical accuracy of the Bible. It is used as a historical document far more than most would ever guess. What is disputed is the claim to be the word of God and that the God of the Bible is who it claims Him to be. But with all of the weird and far out predictions the Bible has already gotten right, it does make you wonder if it could be right about God too.
In the New Testament there are some really far out claims that when made could never be imagined and today are not far away from being a reality. It says that there will be a time when money will be useless and that no one will be able to buy or sell without a certain mark. When that was written 2000 years ago it was absurd to think about that possibility and even as little as 20 years ago it seemed far-fetched. Yet here we are today with fewer and fewer people using cash and the need to carry cash is almost obsolete. It tells us that Jesus will return to earth one day and when that happens, everyone will see it. Today that is as close to a possibility as ever before with the video phone capability that everyone has.
With so many experts being so wrong so often and the Bible being right so often, why do people doubt the simple things that the Bible claims? Like all humans are sinners. No one has to be taught to lie, it comes natural. It says that all sinners will be judged by God and that we either stand on our own merits or we can stand on the merits of Christ. His death on the cross, also not disputed by historians, is an acceptable sacrifice for our sins and all we have to do is ask for forgiveness. What is disputed is that Christ rose from the grave. It says that God loves us enough to allow His Son to die for us and that if we will live for Him, He will give us eternal life.
Eternal life is something many experts agree that humans have or will have. What form it takes and how we achieve it is what is in question. Some say that we earn it, the Bible says it is a gift. Some say it is a never-ending cycle of coming back as other creatures. Some say that everyone goes to heaven and the Bible says that only those who trust in Christ go. Some say that eternal life will be achieved through modern medicine and this causes those who are rich to spend millions to preserve their corpses in hopes that they can be revived when that time comes. The Bible says that we all die and after that there is judgement. Judged on our own works or on what Christ did for us.
So given the accuracy of the expertise of man and the expertise of God, I will choose to go with God. After all, if last nights game was any indication of the expert’s ability to get it right, I don’t want to risk my soul to that.
August 28, 2012
I can’t remember feeling as crappy, emotionally, as I did yesterday and even some today, since Abby died. I keep thinking, but she was just a dog. But, I loved her and wanted the best for her and spent 12 years of my life taking care of her. Before I forget, thanks to all those who said kind words, I at least know I am not crazy (no wise cracks needed).
I told my neighbor about Abby and he said that he knew how I must feel, because He had said goodbye to several dogs in his 80 years. That really made me think.
Dogs lives are much shorter than ours. It is not uncommon to own several dogs in our lifetime and each one of them we can love and get very attached too. Because I still have another dog, I don’t think I will get another one for a while. But one day, I think I would like too. So why do we put ourselves through this if we know the hurt that comes from losing something we love and know that chances are we will feel that hurt again?
As I was driving to the church this morning I was thinking about this and God gave me a wonderful thought. If I can love a dog as much as I did, how much more do you think I (God) love you? I was a bit overwhelming. But think of the similarities. God knows that we are going to die before He does; He is eternal. God knows that we are totally dependent on Him and His provision. God knows that we are going to get into the trash and occasionally make other messes. But He continually lets others be born and born again and loves us despite us being “just humans”.
He loves us so much that He accepts us and makes a way for us to know Him and His love and expects very little from us. I believe that He knows that pain of death, after all, Jesus died a real physical death for us. And, let’s not forget that Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus. So I am thinking that it is okay feel so sucky about Abby dying. But I get a lifetime of memories and 12 years of experience of loving something who only loved me because I first loved her.
Love is a wonderful thing to experience, especially when it is unconditional. God’s love is unconditional and He knows our pain. But better yet, He knows that death is not the end. As for dogs, I don’t what happens after they die. Something tells me I don’t have to worry, God has that in control too. So I will lean toward thinking Abby is looking out the window of heaven waiting for me to come home, just as she did everyday while she was here.
I am very grateful for God’s love and that He let me in on this little secret; If you give love away, you will never be sorry that you didn’t.
August 2, 2012
As a pastor, I have studied the Bible for almost 20 years now. I have my Masters and worked toward my Doctorate until I got tired of going to school. I have challenged traditional teaching and made it a point to never take someone’s word about the meaning of any one liner quoted by anyone trying to prove a point. I have gotten used to people questioning me and my faith and I understand where they are coming from most of the time because I used to do the same. But I was not satisfied with the fact that logic kept screaming at me that things that have design don’t happen by chance, they happen because of a designer. I never once came across something that I, in seeing it for the first time, like a liquor bottle-shaped like the state of South Carolina, immediately thought that it was a mistake or chance of nature rather than something designed by a designer and then intelligently made it. Call me stupid if you want, but I just never thought like that.
I have on rare occasions gone to the doctor and wanted him to help me figure out what was wrong with my body. Not that there is anything wrong with it as it is, just sometimes I do get sick. When the doctor comes back with the diagnosis, I don’t argue with him and tell him he doesn’t know what he is talking about. I trust him as an educated guy who has studied the human body and how to help it heal. Sure, there are some corrupt doctors who use this knowledge for profit, but overall, their intentions are good and honorable. Somehow, as a pastor and someone who has spent years studying the Bible, I and others like me, are made out to be wackos and manipulators. A wacko I may be, but not a manipulator. I am not profiting from telling someone what the Bible says. I am, like the doctor who trys to help someone who self diagnosis’ himself , only trying to give accurate facts to help that person better understand the Bible.
Yes we all make mistakes. Yes we all have our own beliefs. But there is this thing called absolute truth and there can only be one truth. If you don’t think so, then please answer this one question. Are you absolutely sure that there is no absolute truth? God says that He is truth and that His word is truth. He also tells us that we are not God. I am going to lean toward the God’s side of that argument.
Lately I have had several discussions with people about how they disagree with me and the Bible. When I ask where they get their interpretation of the Bible, they often quote a verse or two and tell me that they read an article on the internet. That is like me saying that I read part of an anatomy book and saw an article online and that is why the doctor is wrong.
We all have friends who know everything. I have a friend who is an expert mechanic. He knows everything about cars. He went to school to be an accountant and works in a firm as an accountant, but he can tell me everything that is wrong with any car. Those stupid mechanics at the dealership often disagree with him. Go figure. Another friend is an expert in football. He can tell you why every team loses their game and what should have been done differently. He knows this because he played little league football when he was 8 years old and has the NFL channel. He did not go to college and rarely even goes to NFL games or college games, and he works as a salesman. My friend who coaches the local high school football team never asks the salesman for advice. Hmmm.
So as you know, our friend, the internet, knows everything too. Like television, if it is on the internet it has to be true.
I don’t suggest making a life or death decision about your health based on what you read on the web. I don’t suggest replacing the whole engine in your car based on the chat room conversation with the guy who is a master mechanic. I don’t suggest making your decision on who God is based on one or two lines quoted by your friend or the internet either.
We can agree to have our differences about what the Bible says about marriage and drinking and gambling and other stuff, but what it says about eternity needs to be considered more seriously. If you mess up in one of those other areas, God still loves you and will forgive you if you ask. If you mess up in whether or not God is who He says He is or if He is real or not, just because you think you or the internet are smarter than Him, that could be a tough one to get around. Don’t let a friend be your doctor if he is an accountant and don’t let the internet friend be your god. Both can cause an irreversible death.
July 27, 2012
I asked you guys to pray for my friends the other day and I am grateful to all who did. I have to give you an update, and at first it seems sad. James died of complications of his illness last night. Because of this, I ask you to continue to praying for his wife and kids. As much as this sucks for them right now, I know that time and God’s grace will allow for things to get better.
James was a Christian. That means now he is better. No more sickness or pain, for him. That sounds great and is true according to what the Bible teaches and in that case I am jealous. But on the other hand, family and friends are left to deal with the sorrow and heart-break of his death. Nothing but time will help that and it is easy to begin to doubt God. That is okay though; God can handle that. He knows what it is like to have someone close die.
God knows that death is an enemy and we are told that the last enemy to be defeated is death. It is a momentary hiccup in the fabric of time that separates what we know and what God knows. Eternity is that close, and wow, in times like this, it is closer than I ever thought. But we are not left to guess what happens after someone dies. For those who believe in this stuff, God says if you have asked Jesus to take your sin penalty for you, you go to heaven. James made that decision several years ago and handed death over to God and accepted the gift of life.
James and I were really getting to know each other in the last year. I thought I knew him, but didn’t. He was really an intense guy who had a wacky past like me. He was funny, while at the same time kept it real. I found out that his faith was stronger than I thought and that was so refreshing.
While we didn’t have enough time with James for my satisfaction, God has promised us an eternity when this life is over. Now, his faith is no longer about what he believes. He has seen it for himself that God is real. He understands what we don’t; the answer to the question, why? He is laughing at our doubts and if I know James, laughing at me and some of the ways I struggled giving answers to things in the Bible that make no sense to us, but now make perfect sense to him. He has seen the beginning of life and knows that there is now no end. He is probably not worried about whether the chairs in the worship center are lined up straight or not. He knows the words to songs that Wanda tries to get us to sing louder and knows the words to songs that only those in heaven can sing. He even knows why that stupid video system doesn’t always work that drives me and Sheila crazy. Somehow I don’t think we will let it bother us as much anymore. (Hey James. Could you at least ask God to let it all work together just once for us?)
There is still a need for prayer. There is still a need for time and for sure, a need for God’s grace. I thank you all for your part. I thank God for the grace and for the time we had with James. I will straighten the chairs this week James, I am sure you have more important things to do.
So long my friend.
May 15, 2012
As a pastor and a Christian, I have heard many criticisms of my faith. I am cool with that, after all, there was a time when I did not believe and offered as bad, if not worse criticisms myself. One of the things I often hear is how cruel and intolerant God and the Christian faith is. I have to admit that most of the harsh things said about Christians are earned by those who call themselves Christians, but God is a different story. He is called cruel and intolerant for a lot of wrong reasons and mostly because people refuse to read the whole Bible and take things in context. I include Christians in this. They are just as bad to quote one liner to point out how bad someone or something is and tell you that you are going to hell. The Bible was never meant to be a book to prove our point by pulling out what fits our argument. It is meant to show how God is God and we are not and that there is morality that matters in this world and those morals are based on who He is and not what we think it should be.
So for a moment I am blogging as if there is no God.
If you disagree with me about anything, you are a scumbag. I make the rules and I am right. Who are you to disagree with me? Nature put me at the top of the food chain and my opinion of what is right is right. Sure, you can have an opinion, but I don’t care what it is and that makes you intolerant because you won’t even try to understand why I am right. I made myself to be the god of this blog and anywhere else I am. My beliefs are right because I believe them.
I, for this blog, now believe in evolution and natural selection. It is good science and it is right. Natural selection is the process by which biological organisms with favorable traits survive and reproduce more successfully than organisms that do not possess such traits, and, conversely, organisms with deleterious traits survive and reproduce less successfully than organisms lacking such deleterious traits. (New World Encyclopedia) Because of this, I must be superior or I would not have survived. Therefore, people who are inferior to me will be or should be dead and cease to exist. This includes homosexuals who cannot reproduce for themselves and therefore must be inferior. They should not survive the evolutionary process and should be dead. Don’t get mad at me, there is no God and I am making the rules. Who are you to try to force your morals on me? You fascist pig. That is real science that backs me up. Only someone who believes in a loving God who provides a way for all of a fallen humanity to be forgiven would ever think that homosexuals have a right to exist on this planet. Real humanists know that evolution is right and never would allow for anything that can’t even reproduce itself to continue to evolve. That would be unscientific and mean that evolution is flawed and cruel. It would mean that weaker things could not continue and have to be replaced by better things, like me.
Okay, back to reality. I do believe in God. Yes, God allows for sin to be punished by death, but at least it is because of a sin of choice rather than being born a certain way that condemns us. Humans are all going to sin. I too have and do still sin. Over time God dealt with sin in different ways. But every time He dealt with sin, He offered a chance to repent first. Read the whole Bible before you challenge me on that one. God never just kills innocent people. God even cares when an animal dies. But nature and evolution, have no conscious or morals and the weak and inadequate will die with no hope. And if there is no God or higher authority, who are you or anyone else to tell me how to live? If there is no God, then I will be God to myself and you can not.
God is love and chose to give a way to be forgiven through the death of His Son. He is holy, we are not. But God made it possible for us to become one with Him. Not through evolution or natural selection, but through redemption. No sin is worse than another. We don’t get to choose what sin is, God does. We don’t get to condemn either, so stop it Christians. We need to remember that we are only going to heaven by the grace of a loving God, not because we are special. And none of us have become perfect in this body. (I am close).
The Bible is a beautiful book of God’s love for a fallen creation and His provision to restore us. He has, does, and will judge sin that is not forgiven, but did, will, and does forgive any and all sin when asked. And there are no bigger sins than another. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
April 11, 2012
I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to people using words that don’t mean what they think it does or perhaps they have no clue what they mean but they are trying to sound smart. I had a professor one time use the word flabbergasted as he was trying to tell us how good it would feel to be healed completely after you met Jesus. I thought the word meant something negative but it was in fact proper use of it because it means to be overcome with astonishment.
There are lots of words that people use because they hear them on TV or in a song or in a conversation. The word surreal is one that I hear a lot and I don’t think it is always used properly. I hear it in about every interview on the news when something happens that people think is special. It may be close, but not what the intent of the word is supposed to be. I have a friend who got in the habit of using the word phenomenal. Everything that was better than normal was phenomenal, but if that was so, then nothing would really be phenomenal.
Lately there is a word used by our president that bothers me. It is not a hard word, but I don’t think he is using it correctly; fair. The word fair means free from bias and so how can you tax someone more than others for any reason and call it fair? Usually it is used when talking about the rich not paying their fair share. But how can anything be fair if there is bias based on income? What about those of us who don’t have minor children? We pay more in taxes than someone who make the same wages who has minor children. Is that fair? And my biggest question of all is who elected anyone for the purpose of telling me how much of my money I need to give them to spend on fairness?
If you want to be fair, perhaps we should use a standard percentage for everyone to pay no matter how much they earn. 20%, and that is not the amount I am suggesting, would be the same percentage for someone who make $10,000 per year or $10,000,000 per year. That would be fair. And forget about deductions for children or houses or anything else, just pay your percentage and it will be fair.
There are very few things in this world that are fair. I find fairness in the Bible. God says that all believers should give 10% of their income. No matter if that is a penny or millions of dollars, 10% is the standard and it is fair. It teaches that everyone is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Everyone will have to either die for their sins or accept Jesus’ death for their sins. That is fair. Anyone can be forgiven, no matter the sin or amount of sins and the fair thing that God requires is that everyone ask to be forgiven believing that Jesus died for our sins. God has no favorites and it is not His will that even one soul perish, but that all should come to know His great love and forgiveness. That is surreal. That is flabbergasting. It is phenomenal. It is fair.
April 6, 2012
Imagine a time when everyone you know turns against you. Maybe you did something that you shouldn’t have. But what if you didn’t? What if you were just misunderstood? What if you were lied about and plotted against? What if everyone you knew left you all alone during the worst time of your life? How would you feel? You may feel a lot like Jesus.
As we get ready to fill our children with more lies about rabbits who bring baskets of eggs and candy, we have to think about the true meaning of Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you thought that you caught a bit of disdain for the Easter Bunny, you are right. At least Santa has a hint of what Christmas is about, but this is pure fantasy and misleading. Easter is the most important holiday for the Christian. It is the single most important part of our belief. Anyone can die, but Jesus was resurrected and that stands alone among all other beliefs. But before you can come back to life, you must die, and Jesus did. It was a painful, humiliating death and everyone who was close to Him left Him and even disowned Him.
Jesus, according to the Bible was a sinless man. He never lied, cheated, or stole, never betrayed a friend, and never turned down helping someone in need. His followers spent three and a half years living with Him and following Him. They were by his side when the blind man received his sight back. They were there when those with leprosy were healed of their disease. They were there when the five thousand were fed with only a few fish and loaves of bread. They saw Him walk on water and calm the storm. They heard Him teach about how He was sent to earth to die for the sins of humanity and that He would rise from the grave.
Just a few days before his arrest and crucifixion Jesus told his followers that one of them would betray him. We all know now that it was Judas and that he sold the information about Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. But what we rarely think about is that if the truth be told, they all betrayed Him. On the day that He was arrested they all began to scatter. They went back to their homes and villages and to their jobs. Some hid and we are told that a few followed from a distance. At one point, one of His closest friends was asked if he wasn’t one of Jesus’ followers and he denied it three times. The last time he not only denied that He knew Jesus, but he cursed Jesus in public and in front of those who had Jesus arrested. Leading up to the day that He was nailed to the cross, most everyone who knew Him, was gone.
The day that Jesus was crucified, he was publicly humiliated in every possible way. The religious crowd laughed at Him and mocked Him. His own people, the Jews, rejoiced that Jesus was dying on a cross instead of the known hardened criminal Barnabas. He even had two convicted criminals hanging beside Him and one laughed at Jesus’ demise. Only a few of his closest family and friends were there and even then they kept their distance.
Even today I feel that Jesus is still being mocked. We have reversed the trend from hiding on the day of his crucifixion to many who claim to know Him hiding the rest of the year. Now that we are all safe, and time has passed, everyone feels safe coming out on Easter for an hour. We just hide the rest of the year in case there is some retaliation. But our coming out on Easter is only under the disguise of wearing new clothes that we call our Easter outfit. We also don’t want to get to close too this horrible injustice so we bring out the Easter Bunny to make us all feel better.
When the world turns against us, we often turn to God. We call on Him to save us from our misfortune and our memories are often short-lived when God answers. But God never forgets us. Even while He was on the cross, He never forgot that without His death, we would have to die. Without His resurrection, we would only rot. When the whole world turns against you, Heaven will not.
November 17, 2011
Rock Hill SC is not tornado alley, but that does not change the fact that a tornado touched down and took the lives of 3 people yesterday. It is hard to imagine that yesterday morning, if you had asked these people, “do you think that you will die in a tornado today?” that they would have done anything other than laugh at you. Yet here we are facing the horrible truth that it happened and they are gone.
As always, I hope that these people knew Jesus as their Savior. I did not know any of them, but that doesn’t change the sorrow I feel because of this tragedy. It does not change that I hope they had eternal security and if that is true, ultimately they are okay now. I pray for the family members that are left to question why this happened and that they will find peace that only comes from God. Again I will continue to pray for them and there are already efforts to reach out and help those who have lost there possessions as well.
Most of us have probably thought about a scenario in which we meet our death. No, I am not being morbid, just blunt. Every time I fly I think about it. Often when I ride my motorcycle on long trips I think about it. But most of the time death is the farthest thing from my mind. And on most days which start off as normal as yesterday did, I don’t think about death at all.
Here is the problem. If we don’t think about death, and most importantly, what happens after we die, we are leaving eternity to chance and that is a chance I had rather not take. Very few people truly think that when you die, that’s it, the switch is off and nothing else happens. But we are confused on what to believe about the many possibilities. Even those who are Christians have some differing thoughts about what happens after death and I find that strange. Maybe we make it too complicated. Here is what the simplicity of the Bible says.
Hebrews 9:27 People die once, and after that they are judged. To be judged, there must be a conscious state after death. To be judged, there must be a standard of judgement. To be judged, there must be a Judge. To be judged, there must be a crime.
The crime, is called sin. An eight year old once gave me this definition of sin and I like it and think it is biblical. Sin is anything that you think, say, or do, that does not please God. The standard of judgement is holiness. God is holy and tells us that we are not. Sins reward is death and death is the vehicle in which we are brought to trial. No one is holy, not among humans. We all sin. One sin means that we are not holy and thus death is imparted. God is our judge, through Jesus Christ as our advocate. If you have accepted the death of Jesus as payment for your sin, He proclaims your penalty paid in full and commutes your death sentence to life in Heaven. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, He says that He does not recognize you as His client and the death penalty is carried out. Not believing in Jesus or God will not stop this trial nor will it get you leniency. Proclaiming that you did not see the speed limit sign does not stop the officer from giving you a ticket.
We are not sure if we will have a tomorrow. Death can sneak up on us in many ways and much too often, when you least expect it. That is why many people carry life insurance, which provides for the family after you are dead. It does not return life to those who die. The only way that can happen is through Jesus Christ. John 14:6 Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me. This is life insurance that helps those who die. It is free and not because of a government mandate. It is free because God loves us and does not want to have to judge us as guilty sinners, but rather forgiven children. To get this insurance all you have to do is ask. Romans 10:13 So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
October 26, 2011
A good friend of mine has been in the hospital for the last few days and thankfully he is about to be released. It was really weird the way it happened and how quickly it turned dangerous. One day he is at the doctor for a minor problem, an infection, and the next day he is in ICU because his blood pressure had bottomed out. I will probably regret saying this, but thank goodness his wife kept nagging at him to go to the emergency room and get checked out. I know that she will not call it nagging, but us guys know what I’m talking about.
Whenever this type thing happens it always causes me to reflect on how short this life is and how quickly we can lose it. My friend is a guy about my age, so young, and relatively healthy and a week ago you would have never thought that he would be in the hospital, much less ICU. We can have someone we love with us today and tomorrow God can take them away. It reminds me of this verse from the Bible: James 4:14 You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. We rarely think of life this way until we are faced with these things.
So, what are you doing to make the most of this life? If you are like me, I often think about selfish things, like watching the football game or going fishing. But I am talking about making the most of life so that others can have it better. We are put here for a reason and somehow I don’t believe it was to be selfish. If so we are only here by mistake and there is no Creator, and if that’s the case, forget everyone, I’m going fishing.
When faced with the possibility of death being near, we often think, is there anything after this? There are very a few choices for what happens after death. If there is no God, no Creator, no Higher being who has any moral fortitude, then we don’t have to worry about what we do in this life. Unless you believe in reincarnation, but even then if there is no judge of what is a good life, then it is just the luck of the draw. With my luck, I would come back as a cricket or a worm being sold in a bait shop. But if we die and that is it, life just ends, we should not worry about doing anything more than what feels good to self. I can’t even make a good argument for being a good husband and father if there is no moral higher being that we have to answer too when we die.
As a pastor I have had to sit in hospital rooms with people who are dying, both young and old. I can’t recall anyone ever saying that they wished they had done more for themselves, but rather the opposite, they wish they had done more for others. Funny how people closest to death think very seriously about what is after death and those of us who seem to be a long way from death seem to be quite selfish thinking. But with what happened to my friend, healthy one day and in ICU the next, we all should be thinking a little more about how close to death we might really be.
I wrote in my blog yesterday that I wished that people would think a little more for themselves about things instead of listening to what others say. I think that holds true for how we think about God. I believe that there is a Creator who loves me and will judge the things that I have done. I believe that He offers forgiveness because He loves me and that He wants me to know Him. I believe that God wants everyone to know Him and that if we just thought logically, we might have reason to think that perhaps there is a God. Just look at the world around us. It has design and purpose and where there is design and purpose there is a designer. Let me leave you with this to think about.
If you had never seen a watch, but found one as you were walking along the beach one day, would you think that the watch formed by accident? After all, the sand contains the minerals needed to make the watch and the force of the ocean and gravity and the occasional asteroid crashing into the beach would create the heat needed to form the glass and if lightening stuck at the right time it would cause an electrical charge that would power the watch, right? Of course not. Although you couldn’t explain it, you would think that someone made it. Perhaps a watch maker. And if you searched, you could find this watchmaker or at least someone who knew him or enough about him to learn what the watch was and how to use it.
I can tell you about my Creator, if you really want to know. Life is not an accident.