Thursday, December 25, 2008

Energy Bunny Arrested - Charged with Battery

“I suppose you know what this is about”, commented the Human Resources Director as he and my boss walked me into a conference room adjacent to where I had been working during the day.

“Yes, I think I do”, I responded, feeling a touch of emotional pain as I realized that my job of thirteen years was probably over. My boss was feeling it, too.

As the Director worked through the paperwork, the conversation grew a little more relaxed. I realized this was not directly about me, but about the automotive world in general. Too much profit from trusting something that would prove not true in the end – “wealth in borrowed money”. When that was no longer available, the product no longer sold. Disciplines relating to products made for borrowing buyers, also had to slow down. Not many are ready for this. My own emotions also betrayed me. Though I congratulated myself for being on a “higher road”, I was going to miss the luxury more than I realized.

I remembered seeing signs of this deteriorating market, and warned myself by keeping “packed up”. I was able to take the right attitude, that, “every good and perfect gift comes from above”. Or, as Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord took away.” If the current situation demonstrated flaws, it was not adequately representing Him.

Even a cup from fellow employees, given in fun, seemed prophetic. "Energy Bunny Arrested - Charged with Battery"! (One of my roles had been to recycle batteries!)

It was a whole lot like someone who allowed his subconscious mind to trick him into believing that he was facing a flashing yellow light, when it was really RED, (not a “flashing red”, as in light traffic!) He turned left when traffic cleared, and suddenly realized what he had just done! He was shocked! He realized that he had not deliberately disobeyed the law, but had just forgotten the reason for traffic control. He was embarrassed, fearful, surprised and upset, realizing that it was God who had protected him from both a severe accident and/or a severe traffic fine.

People who normally enjoy the thrill of high places, do not do as well when the floor is glass underneath their feet.

All of life that “walks the heights”, so to speak, is temporary and fleeting. We, in fact, are the change agents, not the world we live in. We are the salt and light. We do not have a “continuing city” here on earth. That is yet to come. Our trust needs to be in Him!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wrong Freeway

Returning to Michigan from Indiana one evening, I contacted a friend, and was surprised to find out that he also was traveling north. He asked, “Where are you?” I replied, “I am just leaving Indianapolis.” He asked which exit, so I told him. He then said, “I think I am just a little ahead of you, so if you have a few minutes, we can have a cup of coffee together.”

Excited at the opportunity of having a chat with someone of like faith, we shared information on what types of vehicles we were driving, and agreed on a possible meeting place. I did not recognize the place, however, and was even more puzzled when he suggested driving five miles to a nearby town that I knew was not close to the freeway.

Wanting to be seen as considerate, I still agreed to meet him, even though messages were popping up in my mind like “low battery” warnings on a portable computer! These messages indicated that we might actually be talking of different places.

Indecisiveness caused by too much pride to admit that I didn’t know Indiana that well, and uneasiness to challenge his credibility, resulted in my procrastination!

Having made a promise I did not know if I could keep, I shut off the phone. As I grew quiet, it suddenly dawned on me what was wrong – we were on different freeways!

I quickly called him back, and admitted the mistake. He indicated that it was a good thing that I called, because he was about to stop someone that looked like me!

God had given this inner “sixth-sense”, or discernment, so to speak, because he loved me. That love, richly demonstrated in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, was mine to grasp, and utilize in the discernment I had been given.

Such an inner sense is available to us as a resource, as we carefully walk in fellowship with our Creator.

I thought to myself, “If God does this much to make sure we keep on track – why, then, are we so negligent preserving such a wonderful gift? We don’t really realize how important it is that we understand the nature of what God has done, and wants to do.” (Hebrews 2:3.)

If it were not for constant course corrections, travel to the moon and distant planets would not be possible! An old saying is, “Water always finds a way.” Why, then, are we not careful about guarding against leaks?

There is an old hymn that speaks volumes to me:

“A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify!
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky!”

It is not that we save ourselves, but having seen that glorious salvation, we need to heed the apostle Paul, who tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12 KJV)

In view of that, determined, persistent, aggressive action proves faith rather than disproves it, being built on the solid foundation of God’s initiative.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


“I am really going to enjoy this vacation! No machinery to repair, no supplies to replenish, no one’s duties to relieve! I am just going to vegetate for a while!”

After the seven hour drive, we unloaded everything, and settled in. I sat down on the recliner in order to enjoy a new book I had brought with me.

Someone in our group had repaired a leaky dishwasher in our host’s condominium on their last visit, and asked how it was working. Unfortunately, it was still leaking.

Frustrated, he asked for the manual for the dishwasher, and came over to where I was reading, and put it in front of me, saying, “I can’t find anything here about the cause of leaks, have a look to see if you can.”

I was on vacation, enjoying my reading. I wasn’t in the mood to repair a dishwasher. However, the incident was brewing a storm! Between the low pressure system my nagging conscience had created, and the lighting bolts of suspicion that I might have an answer, I finally looked at the manual a little, put it down, and went into the kitchen.

He described how he had completely cleaned everything, installed a new seal, and made sure that everything was tight, but it was still leaking out of a vent!

When I saw some lint hanging out of the vent, I asked for a screwdriver and took it apart. I really didn’t know what I would find there, but I thought that it was worth a try.

Inside I found it full of lint. (Lint in a dishwasher?) Then my mind filled with insight, “That lint is acting like a wick, gathering steam from the inside, and carrying it to the outside.”

We cleaned it out thoroughly, and replaced it, and there were no more leaks, anywhere!

I had spent my childhood on a mission station in Africa. Even though we did have electricity, I was much more familiar with kerosene lanterns, (we called them paraffin lanterns), and knew how the flame would burn the liquid, and draw more from the reservoir beneath, keeping the light burning.

God knew the need of our host, and it was draining her. God knew the purpose of the one attempting to repair the dishwasher, and it was frustrating him. God knew my experience, and decided that I had too much to offer for far too little investment, and wasn’t going to let me get by without it!

A brand new dishwasher is really no better than a completely refurbished dishwasher that works, though we tend to think so. It is in understanding how it all works. I was one who understood that particular aspect, (although please don’t ask me to refurbish a control panel!) A new, identical model, could easily have developed the same problem in a few short months, and wasted the price of a new dishwasher!

The Bible says that “Wisdom is better than Rubies”, and also says that, "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life." (Proverbs 8:11, and 22:4) Money is just a medium of exchange. If the exchange can happen without money – it is even better!

Ah, but there is something else to consider. If I had not been helpful in the very kind of ideas that bring about a willingness to trade money for dishwashers that save hours of kitchen work, I could easily have found myself in a place where I needed the help the money could not buy myself. "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." (Proverbs 21:13)

Are there any storms in your life that can be calmed by helpful insight?

We rarely think about it, but insightful ideas tend to change the course of history – why wouldn’t they help with a dishwasher?

Ideas can be compared to a “Word”. God sent His “Word” into the world – the greatest “Idea” of all. Nothing will ever be the same again! His name is Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Meeting

Background Psalm 105:36-45

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. (Psalm 105:42)


HE STARED AT THE MEMO I had just given him. It was from the manager, announcing a meeting, (arranged on the spur of the moment,) which would occur in less than a half an hour! My friend was to have a proposal ready for it.

He complained, “There is no way that I am going to be able to have everything ready for this meeting!” As he walked out of the door, notebook in hand, he said, “You had better pray!”

I just knew that God would answer! Knowing there were problems, but that God had often met my own needs when I acknowledged my weakness, I promised to pray for him.

And, pray I did! “God, I acknowledge all that is happening here that is not necessarily Your way of doing things, but would You show Who You really are, and be merciful! Please help him, dear Lord! Amen.”

Sometime later he came into the office and looked at me in disbelief, and said, “Are you psychic or something?” I responded, “No! Why?”

The most important person in the meeting had not turned up at all! He had completely forgotten about the meeting!

God loves to answer prayer because of Who He is! He keeps His promises, He wants us to rely on Him!

- Paul Wilson

God always remembers His promises, do you? Get caught up on at least one today!

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

The Name Plate

Background Acts 4:1-20

For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)


THE DESK PHONE RANG. It was someone wanting me to redo an employee’s office name-plate. It was the employee’s birthday, and some were wanting to have a little fun by changing the name and title, jokingly making it appear “official”.

I had just been given the responsibility of making new nameplates for the people in our office building. Names and titles can be a way to show honor for years of hard work and investment, as well as to make it easier to find people.

The Lord had shown me, however, that honor had become too important to me, proving I had to straighten out my priorities. (Proverbs 23:1-7.) I had asked His forgiveness, and now determined to do His will. The name-plates had become an opportunity to give honor where it was really due.

The more I thought about it, I realized I couldn’t change the name plate “just for fun”, so asked to be released from the task.

The Lord, you see, had just brought healing to my own spirit as I had forgiven. I could not, then, in good conscience, cheapen His work.

Sure, I was ridiculed, “Awe, come on, what’s the harm in a little fun!” Sure, I felt intimidated.
But forgiveness demonstrates the Source of the Greatest Love of all!

- Paul Wilson

If you have truly heard His voice, you’ll know how to use yours!

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

Do you (really) Believe?

Background John 11:1-16

and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. (John 11:15)


“THAT’S NOT THE WAY TO DRIVE A TRUCK,” I said, with thirteen-year-old arrogance, as the little girl pressed the pedals in kiddie-car fashion. “That’s the brake, and that’s the clutch,” I said, really wanting to be at the wheel myself! I didn’t know that much, nor could I drive. “I know more than you do, I should sit there,” I thought.

In spite of her immaturity, she knew things I was not accepting! It was her daddy’s new red truck, not mine! She was his daughter. She did not trust me, so would not move!

Is that what is happening between Jesus and his disciples, as they learn of Lazarus’ sickness? He knew things that they did not accept or believe. Their comments revealed it as they prepared to go to Bethany. They could not understand Jesus.

Jesus, however, knew that what was happening to his friend, Lazarus, would bring glory to God and Himself. It verified Who God was, and pointed forward to the cross, and the plan of Redemption.

Sometimes we experience the disruption of the temporal, so that God can reveal the eternal. Do you feel what Thomas and the others feel? Have you complained, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Follow Him expectantly, a surprise awaits you!

- Paul Wilson

Accept and follow Christ obediently today. You will really believe!

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

Fasting - Who Me?

Background Isaiah 58:1–12


. . . the kind of fasting I have chosen: . . . spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed (Isaiah 58:6,10)

THE PHONE RANG. “Can you please come! My husband has just had all of his teeth removed. He had to be taken to the hospital to stop the bleeding. He is home now, but in lots of pain.”

I groaned. I had just been to the dentist myself to have a molar removed! A long needle; a dentist getting tired while trying to break the root from my jaw; packing coming out; anesthetic all gone! I was a mess!

Someone was wanting me to visit them! I began to realize, “God may be at work. He may be calling me to His kind of fasting!”

“His kind of fasting!” The thought shocked me! What does this have to do with fasting? Lord, I only fast in emergencies, like having my tooth out!”

Quietly I listened, “You’ll be alright, just go!” My jaw throbbing, I went, with pain pills! We all experienced the comfort of the Holy Spirit as we prayed together.

Back home again, my pain subsiding without pills, I mused, “Is this what Isaiah meant?” Christ met my own need in the midst of ministering to someone else’s need!

Jesus testified to this at a well in Samaria when offered food, saying, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” (John 4:32)

- Paul Wilson

Using Who, What, Why, When and Where, write out the needs, (spiritual or physical), of a neighbor then respond accordingly.

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

But, I am Frightened!

Background Proverbs 1:1-19 KJV


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7)

Teachers look for teachable moments. True teachers are also teachable themselves.

A deep reverence for Who God is, generally fosters trust among those we lead. Personal confidence is not always the best indicator of being adequately prepared to speak, or to lead someone to the Lord. Faith, however, is.

When just a teenager, my parents were missionaries in South Africa. In those days we pumped water for irrigation from a stream to a cement reservoir. During dry times, someone had to start the pump. This became my dad’s assignment for me.

I was apprehensive, but still wanted to do it. My dad carefully demonstrated how to hold the spring-loaded handle on the heavy flywheel. Having experienced this himself, he warned that if the engine backfired, it could cause injury. That lesson helped prepare me for years in a machine shop.

We do our best sharing when faith appears weak. Walking by faith in Him, we can hold someone else’s hand to lead them to Christ!

An older priest named Eli remembered this. When Samuel said Eli had called, he wisely told him to let the Lord to speak, with a willingness to listen.

It took imprisonment for Paul and Silas to discern a jail keeper’s fear, and lead he and his family to the Lord.

—Paul Wilson

Record God’s dealings with your own heart, and you will have a ready arsenal for your witnessing experiences.

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

But, Lord, aren't you interested in Safety?

Background Romans 8:1-11


Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

A screeching sound drowned out taped music. It was the brakes on my trusty, old station-wagon!

Forty-five minutes from home, I remembered my promise to the Lord to bring my spending habits under control, thus modeling the Christian walk before my children. I had been responding to scripture and testimonies, believing that God could supply my needs!

“But, Lord, aren’t You interested in safety?” I whined to the Lord as I drove into the service area. My wallet sported all of $50.00!

“$350.00 to repair your brakes,” the manager said.

Discouraged, I drove home cautiously, complaining: “But, God is interested! I am doing His will!”

Then I remembered Abraham putting his son on an altar, (Genesis 22). Finally, in humility I drove the car to the back of the property, and put it on blocks! (We lived in the country.) I could “sacrifice” one car temporarily.

Several weeks went by. A friend stopped by, deeply distressed about his family’s spiritual condition. “Pray for my children,” he said. We prayed, acknowledging a bigger law at work than we could imagine. We both confessed our need to cooperate with the “law of His Spirit” at work in our families.

As he walked out of the door, he handed me a check, saying, “Put this towards another car!”

- Paul Wilson

What decision can you make today that reflects trust in the living God? If you are His, He is yours!

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

Where's the Plug?

Background Ezekiel 37:1–14

Where's the Plug?

This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: . . . you will come to life. (Ezekiel 37:5)

I EAGERLY ANTICIPATE SPRING! I love it when bare branches sprout tiny buds, anticipating a rainbow burst of colors, which then blanket an entire landscape. God assures the seasons! Summer does follow winter!

It seems different, however, when an accident occurs. One surgeon, however, shared a word of hope. After surgery, television captured the amazing moment when the amputee coordinated the prosthesis to pick up an ice tray and carefully place it in the freezer! Tiny motors were responding to the same nerves that had triggered the arm prior to the amputation, making it act much as the original arm.

But dead bones? That is even worse! Amazingly, God tells his prophet to speak to them, that they might live! What? Speak to dry bones – lifeless, full hopelessness and despair? What could that possibly do? But don’t forget Who God is, and what He sees!

A little girl I knew, knowing only the fun and security of her bathtub at home, brought things down to size. Accompanying her parents to the ocean for the first time, she breathlessly asked, “Daddy, where’s the plug?”

Hidden in what could have been a note of despair, was hope. Surely there’s a plug! Our adult minds forget that no problem is too big for God! He has the plug!

—Paul Wilson

Write down a word picture of the “dry bones” in your life. Write down what He would have you say to them.

© 2008 by Wesleyan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Wesleyan Publishing House.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Bridge

A few years ago my son brought home a High School project, with instructions to build a bridge out of toothpicks. It could be of any outward dimensions, but had to use the “triangle” as the basis of the design.

It was a huge project! In the end, each student’s project would be tested by the amount of weight it could bear until it broke.

What intrigued me was that it underlined two basic truths in my thinking. The first was that children are the “weapons” that defend a family legacy, whether good or bad. (The Bible says “arrows” in Psalm 127:3-4.) Jesus declared that this was meant to demonstrate the works of God – who is basically good! (John 9:3.) My son was learning to see the wonder of God's creation, and could carry that vision to others.

The second was that the concept of three is not only found in the Bible, (Ecclesiastes 4:12), but is demonstrated in the building trade, and architecture, just to name two. Just a quick glance into the structure of a steel building is enough to convince one of that. Also, think of a “three-legged stool”.

What I had not seen before, however, was its relationship to living out the Christian life. In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, Jesus tells us to give, pray and fast in secret. In my study on the subject, it finally dawned on me that this was no accident! To be a whole Christian, all three components need to be active – in total dependence on the living God.

Naturally I questioned times when only “one” or “two” of the components were mentioned. However, it also occurred to me that each speak of an attitude – a “giving” attitude; a “praying” attitude; and a “fasting” attitude. If that is the case, giving can be in a praying and fasting attitude; praying can be in a giving and fasting attitude, and finally fasting can be in a giving and praying attitude.

You probably say, “Huh?” “You are nuts, who can figure that out.” Think about it, I would love to hear your response.

It just increased the wonder of the Great God, and the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and just how easy it is to be proud when it is totally unreasonable!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Openness or Secrecy

Interesting, isn't it, how people respond to being “on display”. Some “eat it up”, others detest it!

Some of my most embarrassing memories of childhood were etched in home movies that my parents and siblings just loved to see! At the time they were photographed, I was secretly intent on convincing everyone that “I” was indeed worth noticing! However, when the old movie cam caught me at my own game, I was less than impressed!

Others I have known have been the exact opposite. My paternal grandfather, for example, was a joyful person, and thoroughly enjoyed a good laugh. Ironically, when his picture was taken, he always made sure to frown! I have often wondered why. I also wonder how he “really” felt when seeing his own picture. Did he say, “Now that is how a person is supposed to act!”

Funny, isn't it, how at times we find ourselves as being “unknown, unappreciated, or maybe even dis-trusted”. At that time we feel an urgent need to make some kind of a “statement.” Then it backfires! At that time we find that people know more about us than we give them credit for. Such was the case with Moses in Exodus 2:14.

How does a person get beyond this kind of “friction” in our goal of our super-sonic mission in life?Is this what Jesus was talking about when he said we should be:

1. “Giv-ers” without focusing on benefits;
2. “Pray-ers” without focusing on reputation;
3. “Do-without-ers” while pretending to be joyful.

. . . so that God the Father can be openly reward with the satisfaction we crave. (Matthew 6)

Monday, August 4, 2008

What goes around comes around!

I have often used a three-point outline in public speaking:

1) Life is a Test - that is, Life tests our values, etc.
2) Life is a Tryst - an old term for a "date" - or appointment
3) Life is a Trust - what I do with it really does matter.

I have used it often enough for church services, funerals, that I can pretty well quote it.

However, what I haven't always been aware of, is that it really is true - even with the principles themselves! For example,

1) If life really is a test, then things will happen to prove it;
2) If life really is a date, then there are things that we alone can do, in the framework we have;
3) If life really is a trust, then there will be a product.

Here I have it - for sure - and it lines up with the "Laws of the Harvest", so to speak - I am actually going to try to do a periodic blog. (I don't promise I'll do it everyday - but I'll do it often enough to keep from getting my blog cancelled, or taken off of someone's RSS feed just because I "don't do 'nothin'"!)

1) I have often thought it was a good idea. Well, what if someone actually believes you, and helps you do it? Then . . . ya gotta do it, right?
2) If ideas are based on the stuff the universe is made of - then just perhaps I have a specific "date", or appointment to meet to share it with the people I know and care about.
3) Have you ever considered how much of life is impacted just because of a simple idea?

Welcome to my blog . . . I'd love to hear your take on this . . .