Wednesday, December 30, 2009


“Who me?”

I was a teenager, sitting alone on the back deck of a tour boat, on the Wisconsin river. It was long before young people earned extra funds for college, selling pens, and memorabilia, taking tour groups around to see the Dells. A seasoned guide both piloted the boat, and spoke of scenes along the beautiful river, which had left its mark on the sandstone of the area.

Using both his past knowledge, love of people, and imagination, he also told fascinating stories of different cultures. I found myself dreaming of piloting such a boat one day.

All of a sudden, I heard someone say, “Hey, you! You in the pink shirt! Come here and guide this boat, while I explain some things about this area of the Dells!”

I was shocked that someone might know what I was thinking, and said, “Who, me?” “Yes, you!”

I soon found myself keeping the boat, filled with approximately 150 tourists, between the banks of the Wisconsin River.

Nathanael also found himself in such a situation. We have the record of when Jesus started calling his disciples in John 1. When Jesus decided to go to Galilee, he found Philip and told him, “Follow me.” Philip, from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter, then found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael asked Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip told him to “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael was surprised and said, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Why should it surprise us that God both knows about us, and loves to acknowledge our love for Him? Jacob is awakened by shock, after successfully negotiating the “birth-right” of the family, when he sees a vision of angels on a ladder. Religious leaders are shocked that Jesus could accurately pinpoint their thoughts, as they plan to trap him, when he is actually trying to love them.

As a young person, I got a lot of joy out of pleasing my parents, (when I actually did!) Why not our Heavenly Father? Have we allowed the present world system to bring us a flawed sense of accomplishment and/or condemnation, that does not do justice to a loving Heavenly Father, one that would give His own Son for our salvation? Thus we tend to align ourselves with a world system that is harder and harder to keep up with?

Perhaps we would also be surprised if we knew how much actions of integrity were actually observed, acknowledged, and rewarded.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


“Forty dollars? For that little part? Is that the whole wiring harness for the front turn signal?” The dealership parts clerk had surprised me.

“If the socket is rusted out, and the wiring alright, this is all you need”, he replied.

“I didn’t think it would be that much.” I told him my reasons for believing it should be 20% of the price. He smiled and said he was grateful that he wasn’t making payments on a new car, and that the 2003 model that I had was really a good car.

He then went on to show other things that were going on in the economy across the United States. He spoke of some their own dealership had also experienced.

Imagine this, I finally decided it was worthwhile to be friendly – after all, he had exactly what I wanted! It was just more than I wanted to pay. I paid the bill, grateful I could keep the car safe, and again thanked the Lord I wasn’t making high car payments!

Its amazing how poor, crippled, lame and blind we are at times, when the Lord throws us a banquet! Just look at the banquet of insight He gave to the group at the chief Pharisees’ house in Luke 14:1-14. (I know, I am picking up on his instruction to them – but I am amazed at His insight!)

Psalm 115:4,8 came to mind where it says that those who make idols are like them, and so are those that trust in them. (See especially verse 8.) “Yes, Lord,” I remonstrated, “I know.”

I am not very respectful when I can’t have my way! It seemed like my mother was with me telling me that I needed to enjoy the “humble pie”, whatever that means.

It occurred to me that I may have been subconsciously contributing to our 21st century problem. With a focus on the material, we have become so used to it, we forget Who provides the blessing in the first place.

The scripture is not against material things, but against a wrong view of them. A widow was provided oil; a student prophet experienced a floating axe head; the Israelites had the most nutritious wafers ever, called manna.

As I meditated, I began to realize that things like this drain spiritual stamina. It is so easy to become like my culture! When I do, it expects me to return the favor, and reproduce it, at its own price!

The gift of my most priceless possession, “integrity of heart” was being drained. I wasn’t happy to find the leak! I had worked thirteen years for an automotive supplier where it was against company policy to accept bribes for needed items and services, but I had still been bribed into feeling that automobiles were one of the main blessings of our culture. Where did that come from but my own heart? I am seeing every day that there is big blessing in realizing their ultimate cost as well.

Paul told Timothy, (and us), "As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


My diary records that it was June 1st, 1970. We had been feverishly caring for the details of leaving Vryheid, Natal, South Africa, because furlough was due.

Last minute visits; farewell gatherings; taking our dog, Lassie, to someone to care for it while we were on furlough; (a hard time for us); sending off the last payment of a debt in South Africa I had been trying to pay off for two years, and so on.

All of a sudden a sense of urgency flooded over me concerning our impending trip, with all of the belongings we had to our name . . . what if it rains!

My emotions went into a whirl, beyond my personal control!

On an open pick-up truck, there is little hope for protection. In the midst of this sense of self-condemnation and fear, I went to a local shop and bought a plastic drop cloth – all I could afford. On the morning of departure, I secured it over the back of the truck, hopeful that this would help protect from the rain that was already beginning to fall. We packed under the cover of a large garage door, and left the loaded truck there, while our neighbors fed us breakfast.

The rain stopped. We began the trip in dry weather.

However, as we drove, the wind began to tear at the plastic. Soon portions of it were in shreds. The worst of my fears began to dominate my emotions . . . if it rained again, we were almost totally unprotected! I began to pray with our little family, that the Lord would get us through the storm. My head was beginning to pound with the stress.

It was black overhead, and in front of us. All of a sudden the pavement turned wet, and we began to see other vehicles coming towards us with windshield wipers on. There was no sign of rain on our windshield, but we were driving on wet pavement! After about a half-an-hour of driving, the storm completely cleared, and we were in sunshine. God had literally made a way through the storm!

Coincidental? If it was, it was perfectly timed! Miracle? Maybe, but others have experienced similar things. I would rather think that it was one of those bonuses that go along with being a child of God, in the ministry and spread of God’s Word, the Gospel. Unfortunately, I had found myself attempting to serve two masters – again – something Jesus warned against in Luke 16:13.

2 Timothy 2:9 says that the Word of God is not bound. If I happen to be the one bearing the Good News of that Word to someone – that Word has no chains or storm that will overcome it.

Do I mean to say that there will be no trouble in the Christian life? No! Otherwise the apostle Paul would not have suffered. But, whatever God felt Paul needed in his mission was safe, right along with him, unless God deemed it otherwise.

We had been the messengers of God’s Word and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. God was going to take care of that Word.

Just this morning – 39 years later – I received an e-mail from a couple who were saved during that time in South Africa. They are thinking of coming to the U.S.A. to visit us. Friends come and go – but friends of Jesus – disciples – are forever!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It was getting dark and raining again, as we traveled on dirt road towards Mt. Frere, from Pondoland, South Africa. As we went around the hairpin curve, close to the bottom of the valley of a large mountain range, I suddenly realized I had gotten too close to the shoulder, where the muddy gravel had piled up. Before I knew it, the VW mini van was bogged down to the chassis!

We were stuck – even with chains on!

Our emotions were unruly as we assessed the situation. We had a newborn, Mark David, in the middle of a vast area unreached by the Gospel. We were miles from any town. We had been on a “holiday” visit with the missionaries at Good Hope Mission in Pondoland.

It had been a relaxing visit. Our hosts did everything to make our stay comfortable. As it neared time for us to leave, it began to rain, showing no signs of letting up. (We had thought we were going to miss the rainy season!)

The Good News of the Gospel seeks out the lost, but I, as a young husband and father was now the one needing to be found!

I was proud of the way I kept my word, so made the decision to go on to the next stop in our “holiday tour”, so we could get back to our home base. Unfortunately it was even against the advice of the resident missionaries.

However, they were kind enough to loan me a set of chains, as we set out to make the trip over the rugged mountains. (We had notified the missionaries at our destination of our intent.)

Between two mountain ranges, it can get very dark very quickly. Being miles from the nearest town, and rainy conditions, there was no traffic. We did see one car in about three hours, who cautiously passed us on higher ground. We asked them to let someone know our plight.

To mock our feelings, the only thing we could get on our short-wave radio was SABC, and a radio program called “The Creaking Door” – not really the best listening for our situation! (Plus, there was no public cell phone service in 1967!)

It was lonely, and it was frightening!

Hope dawned when I saw a set of headlights appear on the winding road ahead. It was the missionary from the other station, who had sensed we were in trouble. Several came with blankets, medical supplies, shovels, and anything else they could think of – not knowing if we were completely down an embankment or not!

They dug us out, and we followed them safely to the mission station!

This enforced the truth that “lostness” is not cured by merely keeping sheep in a sheep pen. Lostness is in the nature of sheep. (Isaiah 53:6) They need a shepherd. People need spiritual leadership – always! A missionary cannot corral his sheep while he takes a little holiday on the beach! People cannot be cured spiritually merely by getting together in a church, obeying a set of rules, and living happily ever after. Lostness is a universal condition that can be helped by that, but it is not the cure. Sheep always need a shepherd, and a shepherd needs to care for his sheep, even when he needs a holiday!

I was stuck in mud, because sheep get stuck in the mud of life! A part of the Good News of the Gospel is found in the simple truth that all authority is ordained by God, for the reward of those do well, and the punishment of those who do evil. (1 Peter 2:14)

My reputation with God as a shepherd was in question. God had alerted the local missionary to my flaw as he tried to keep both me (and my parishioners at home) from being stuck in the mud! (I could have humbled myself and waited long enough to place a phone call on the local “trunk” to someone to care for our responsibilities, but I was too proud to admit I was the one that was “lost”!) (Psalm 23:3)

As I share my life in this blog, there are some areas that can only be cured by remembering the nature of sheep, and the need of the Good Shepherd, Himself. He has given us His Word, hidden as treasure, in the Bible.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Having faith in God, I was convinced that the intersection was safe. The traffic light and walking sign were in my favor, and traffic was stopped – at least so I thought! All of a sudden the metallic grey Ford Escape started moving towards me. I thought, "What is he doing, trying to intimidate me into getting out of his way?" (I had previously experienced this while walking!) Only as he drove right into me, did I realize he was determined to make a right hand turn on red as traffic, (all but me), cleared, but that He did not see me.

"This can't be happening to me! Am I going to make it? Will he ever see me?"

The car nudged right into me. I fell on to the hood of the car. The slap of my hands on the hood startled the driver. He realized what was happening, and was horror-struck, realizing that he could have killed me, or severely injured me! As I safely walked away, he profusely apologized. Then he drove on.

The sheer irony of it all came through when I sensed both anger and sorrow for him all at the same time. I had seen the sheer horror written all over his face. He had not intended to run over me! He apologized profusely, through his closed window!

I had to forgive him, you see, because just a few weeks earlier I had accidentally run a red light myself, forgetting that the light at our corner is usually flashing when I leave for work, but not during the day! I had it coming! I had accidentally disobeyed a known law, and he had done the same. Was I going to forgive? You bet! Otherwise I wouldn't be qualified to be forgiven for my incident. Thank God I am still alive!

Faith is much more than declaring trust in Jesus in order to go to heaven. Thank God for that wonderful news. But faith governs our everyday experience. By implication I can assume that the eternal world will be much more than hanging out with angels and playing a harp for thousands of years!

A gentile centurion once trusted Jesus, a Jew, so much that he told him he had to just speak a word, and his servant would be healed. Jesus marveled at that, saying to those around, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:9) Since he, himself, was under authority, he saw that Jesus was no different in his relationship to God. (Luke 7:8)

Jesus used this as an example of faith as it related to healing. He gave a mere word, (at a distance), and the servant was healed. We may safely conclude that there is protection in faith. For example, the apostle Paul used the protection of a shield from fiery darts as an example of faith as it related to quenching the fiery and injurious darts of the enemy. (Ephesians 6:16)

Since ordinances of man are given by God for punishment of evildoers, and the praise of those that do well, (1 Peter 2:13-14), we can safely assume that we can have “faith” in that, as we patiently walk in obedience. (Hebrews 10:36)

Monday, August 31, 2009


“That’s funny”, came the voice amidst two or three giggles, as I stood in the mailroom sorting out binder-clips into three convenient size groups so that employees and administrative assistants could easily find what they needed.

More giggles and teasing came as she continued, “This is an absolute no-brainer!” I smiled, knowingly, and continued to sort them, grateful that I could laugh with her – this time! (Psalm 4:7)

In the midst of downsizing, after employees were laid off, we had been cleaning out desks, and recycling office supplies. The bin of unsorted binder clips was full and overflowing, plus the supply of new ones was getting low, and I would have to order new ones. I had procrastinated enough, I knew it was time to deal with them.

I was like a marathoner who had purposely run half of his course, knowing that he had no choice but to return, or call his wife to come and get him!

Knowing full well that the administrative assistant was a kind person, but who could be quite demanding when placed on a mission for her boss, I thought to myself, “If she is not that busy, she won’t be able to help herself – she’ll start to help!”

Sure enough, in a few moments she began to sort them with me, and laughing all the while. Soon she took a handful of the tiniest ones, and as she started to walk away, turned and said, “You know, this cracks me up! It’s a no-brainer! Sorting binder clips! It’s so different from financial “experts”, and the president of the company, haggling over budget, yet strangely similar! I really need to tell those number crunchers down there in the office to come down here and sort binder clips for a while! It would be so therapeutical!”

I thought, “You are right, the real issue is not the budget restraints, but whether you have resources or not. If you have the resources, and they need to be exchanged for what you really need, it is a no-brainer!” The real issue is not budget, but whether you have resources or not!

Knowing Jesus’ ability to command, a man in a crowd cried out to Him one day, telling him to make his brother share an inheritance with him. Jesus, knowing that neither sibling would want to do without, and that dividing it would make matters worse, said, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Then he continued, saying, “. . .Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:13-15 ESV)

James 4:1-3 indicates that passions are the problem – passions related to covetousness.

I thought my lesson was over, but some months later I found myself as a volunteer, sorting plastic-ware into packets in a “soup kitchen”. There had been too much waste. The person in charge said, “I am embarrassed to ask you, but do you mind doing this?”

As I said, “No, I don’t”, I realized that when you are serving others in love, and handling resources wisely, it deals a death blow to passions and covetousness! The Bible says that covetousness is really idolatry. (Colossians 3:5) I concluded that idolatry is a 21st century problem!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


A huge gust of wind caught the # 10 envelopes. They went flying on to the snow, and on to the road. Frantically I clutched the ones in hand, and tried to retrieve the rest.

Fear of the situation made it worse. It was the job I had been hired for. It was late on a winter day. Payroll and Vendor checks had to go out. I also was responsible to be back to close the telephone switchboard for the day. I didn’t need to jeopardize my job!

“It’s not my fault”, I whined to myself, cautiously making it a prayer. I had hoped for something different. After all, I was being paid for having things like this under control. I wasn’t doing too well!

An old leadership axiom came to my mind, “I had not planned to fail. I had failed to plan.” When I finally calmed down, I revisited that thought, and read it with new understanding. “Planning doesn’t, in itself, guarantee success, but facilitates a good response.” Situations are a part of life. Wisdom anticipates the worst, and plans accordingly. Our best planning will not always avert the entire crisis.

When caught in a windstorm, you don’t save the shingles that are already lying loose on the roof, about to fly off – you nail the ones that have one or two nails still intact, and then do all you can to protect the vulnerable ones. This has nothing to do with the difference in value, but it has everything to do with the windstorm, and preparedness.

It reminds me of the mother who left an older sibling in charge of younger children while she walked to a nearby grocery store. When she returned, she noticed all of the children playing with baby skunks. Anxious to avoid a stinking situation she cried, “Run!” They all grabbed a baby skunk and ran – not exactly what the mother had planned. She had known about skunks, but her children had not.

My job wasn’t perfect, my surroundings were not perfect, and neither was I!

I remember a pole barn in an Indiana town that had been built over a rapidly decaying building. It seemed odd to me until I realized there just was not room to build it alongside. Nor did they have sufficient time before winter to relocate all that was in the building. They reassessed their goals, and built around and over it.

I get the impression that God occasionally sends a crisis our way, that we might learn our helplessness, and His adequacy! As we obey Him, the “cup of life” that we have been given can be turned into a blessing for another. God’s strength shines in our weakness, and our own “cup of life”, to use a metaphor, is filled to overflowing with “new wine”!

Peter, strengthen your brethren – live a larger life, dependent upon Him! Luke 22:32

“Be watchful, strengthen the things that remain.” Revelation 3:2

Saturday, April 4, 2009


“Do it again!” So, I did it again!

“Do it again!” Like any obedient grandfather, I did it again, and again, and again!

My youngest granddaughter was sitting at the piano keyboard. I was sitting at the computer, entering music notation. I had just allowed the computer to play the composition.

Until that moment, she had been acting like she perceived her grandpa to be – all over the keyboard – using all of the sounds, but making no logical “sense”!

I have purposely been doing this, not only as a kindness to others in our musical team at the church, but also as a personal discipline in adding “virtue to my faith”, (2 Peter 1:5), in an area of natural weakness – sight reading.

Earlier in the morning, I had been studying the biblical record of Palm Sunday. The spontaneous response of the crowd was to get excited over a donkey, what palm branches could be used for, and to use their vocal chords in praise!

The simple spontaneity of the moment was worth more to God, than all the success of all the highly organized religious structures of the day.

I realized something this morning – all of my dogged determination to get something right, is counterproductive unless it can capture the heart of a child!

The Psalmist said, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2 ESV) Jesus added his own commentary, “Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise?” (Matthew 21:16 ESV)

Monday, March 16, 2009

An Innocent Lamb

God meant what He said! But most importantly, we see it by what he actually did when –

1. He sent Jesus, God’s own innocent Lamb, knowing that we could trust Him!
2. This instilled desires within us, to be like Him in situations we encountered!
3. Change then began to come all around, as well as in our relationships!
4. Simple service kept us on track, when natural passion ran low!
5. Victory became a possibility, even though at times very costly and painful!
6. Humility became very appropriate, when finally recognizing justice!
7. The needs of others began to inspire true kindness!
8. Spiritual fruitfulness came, in the atmosphere of authentic love!

A personal reflection on the meaning of 2 Peter 1:3-11

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trunk Lids and Flash Drives

It was one of those mornings!

I went to the garage on my way to work, wanting to make the “finish line” of my day as delightful as the start. Suddenly, I remembered that I had forgotten to take the project with me that I had intended to do that very day! It was on a small flash drive, still plugged into my computer in the house! I ran back inside, retrieved it, and got back in the car.

By now I was running late, so I began to “multi-task”. I pushed the garage door opener just before I started the car, only to have another frantic thought that I had not pushed the garage door opener! Would you believe it, I then actually pushed it again, as I started to back out. Horrified, I realized that the garage door was now headed for the top of my car! The awful screech revealed that the last move was totally futile!

Personal regrets, fear of failure, how others view us, narrow time constraints, are all arch-enemies of life. Ironically, none of them are really in our sphere of control. Like supersonic planes, we struggle getting through our own “sound barrier”. The wiser we become, the more determined we become, yet more susceptible to failure.

Passion and precision are crucial – but we take great risks when things we cannot control blur the picture! Why would we risk those for external proofs of the same? Jesus once let a dear friend die, when he could have healed him right on the spot. When he finally arrived on the scene, he was severely criticized! His spirit demonstrated the true meaning of excellence, as he raised him from the dead! (See the story in John 11:1-45.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Buyer's Remorse

“That is not what I wanted”, I grumbled in buyer’s remorse, as I opened the new cassette tape duplicator after getting home from a thirty mile round trip each way! It was crushed on one side!
I was not happy! It was the third trip I had made in a week, to buy one! The first one was reasonable in price, but inferior in quality, so I returned it.

We lived in the country. The nearest store was a fifteen minute trip. Others were significantly more.

I had found joy in duplicating tapes of our church services to share with those who were unable to come. God had blessed it before, and there were those who were happy to help underwrite this ministry. However, the task was getting larger, and I wanted to do it faster.

I wrapped up the flawed equipment, (on a Saturday evening), and drove the thirty miles again, praying that I would get there in time, and also searching out my motives. I finally arrived five minutes before closing time. They exchanged it without a problem.

“Why did you put me through all of this for a silly tape duplicator”, I grumbled to the Lord, acting no better than Jonah did after Ninevah had repented! Read Jonah 4:1-4.

A deep consciousness of God’s Word was clear, “I wanted you to get one that would last the longest, and do the best job for my ministry through you.”

I had seen the need so clearly that I had forgotten that there was much more at stake than I realized. There was the design; the manufacturing process; the shipping, and the marketing! In fact, with so many factors, it was amazing that I did as well as I did.

A little embarrassed, I realized that I had forgotten that this was not merely “my” ministry – it was God’s! Had I not been praying? Had I not been using tapes as a ministry and encouragement to those in need? Did not all of this prove it was His ministry? Why wouldn’t he want others to do it right, too? Maybe they didn’t know they were serving the Lord? Maybe if they realized that, they would do a better job?

Could this not apply to any activity of our lives that we are trying to do for the Lord? 1 Corinthians 3:9.

The flaws I had encountered proved that Someone else owned what I was doing, and wanted to make sure it was worthy of His Support.

I remembered that what I do for others, I really do for the Lord. If there are troubles along the way, maybe He is helping others do His job the way it should be done as well.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


“That’s better”, I thought, as I listened to the song I had just recorded. I had listened to it with my new “noise-cancelling” headphones! The highs were clear as the sound of a knife on crystalline glass; the lows like the rumble of distant thunder; clarity was superb!

The manufacturer had used “active noise control”, (ANC). Positive (+) sound waves from the outside are played as negative (–) “anti-noise” sounds in my ears, allowing only the pure sounds from the recording to reach my ears.

“That’s it!”, I thought, when I reflected on it, in light of Jesus’ instruction on banquets. What does a banquet have to do with recording? Simply that I was preparing this for others to listen to! That’s what makes it like a banquet! He had told them to be discerning. (Luke 14:12-14.)

Later in the day, while out and about in my car, I began to comprehend it! It was one of those “aha” moments. “You’ve got to deal with the noise to truly hear music”. I grinned to myself mischievously, “This means you’ve got to put on your ‘Jesus’ headphones, when you record and share!”

I then absent-mindedly I walked into a local coffee shop to meet a friend. Suddenly, reality settled in . . . !

“Not again,” I thought. “When will they ever start remembering my senior discount!” I had just purchased tea and a bagel, and they had charged me full price – again!

I know, I know, that sounds really petty. But I told myself that I honestly try not to be demanding while I remind them of my age, pointing to my bald head!

(Oh, by the way, I recently heard of someone who had decided to make the best of his bald head experience, by having a small tattoo of a person with a lawnmower placed at his hair line!)

I chose not to say anything. As I did, however, a twinge of false guilt came over me, because I felt I needed every discount I could get! After all, that is a quarter! Four purchases later I could have another tea and a bagel free! “A stitch in time saves nine!” (See Stitch-in-Time)

That feeling followed me for a while, until I remembered that the waitress may not have had very many good experiences with white-headed men and women like me that day. With new understanding, I began to pray that she would have a good day, and would experience more joy in her job.

Later I even bought a pop and a Danish for a person who had just lost his job. It also hit me why I had lost my joy when condemning the forgetful waitress. She had viewed me as wealthy, and not really needing a discount.

She was discerning! Jesus was right!

From God’s perspective I was claiming sight – when blind; I was claiming agility – when lame; I was claiming health – while deformed; I was claiming wealth – when I was poor.

That is what Jesus was getting at! It was what He saw in my heart when I grumbled about my discount! (Matthew 6:4.)

Is not this a reason why our “marketplace” strategy should be guarded?

Let’s keep the “noise” out of our banquets!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Virus

The “made-from-scratch” lasagna just did not appeal to me. I was not, however, going to let this golden opportunity go! After all, it was New Year’s! The more I ate, the more I knew I should not have started at all!

All of my body’s resources were being used for purposes I did not understand. Digesting food was not a part of that agenda!

All of it ended up a waste, (if you know what I mean!). I apparently had fallen prey to viral flu!

Generally speaking, I don’t have that much trouble with bacteria. I rarely get a cold. I discovered, however, that viruses are different. I wasn’t ready for this one!

Viruses “use” living cells for their own reproductive work. They have their own agenda, apart from the normal routines of the body. They are not even cells – but rather “messages” wrapped in a deceptive protein coat. They “program” your body to serve their own subversive interests. Like thieves, they steal every resource available for their destructive agenda, whether you are healthy or not.

After draining my body of all available resources, I felt like a rag doll that had been given to a puppy to play with! It took several days to recuperate.

Bible history illustrates how Israel, apparently weary of a “law approach” to life under the leadership of judges, thought that life under a monarch would be better. It looked as if things would be better with this type of government. After patiently warning them of the consequences of such a move, God chose a suitable, gifted young leader, named Saul. However, the experience of being king soon went “to his head”.

Saul’s influence, or the “message” of his immature approach to life, like a “virus”, misled the entire nation. His heart was seen as he even usurped Samuel’s place in a worship experience prior to a significant battle.

God, in his jealous love for Israel, instructed Samuel to seek for a man to replace him who would have a shepherd’s heart like His own. This young man’s name was David. He was more interested in having God’s approval than simply being “in control”.

Life is full of “messages”. We all need to ask ourselves which of them best aligns us with the message of the One who serves higher interests above our own.

Perhaps I would have done better with the “flu”, had I not been so determined to have my own way, such as being alert to what was happening in my body! The flu and a ravenous appetite did not go together! I survived, and I hope I am wiser for the experience.

I hope I am wise enough to apply the principle in other areas of life as well!