Friday, September 28, 2007

My god

Kathy Griffin received an Emmy award – she may even have been deserving of it. I am not in a position to evaluate that. But in accepting the award, on national television, she said, “…a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.” She then went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off color remark about Christ and proclaim, “This award is my god now!”

Hmm…Two comments. First, if she had said equally derogatory remarks about Allah or against Islam, it would have been world headlines – and the network might even have censored it out. But since it was Jesus Christ, the God of Christianity, she was defaming, it was permissible and not newsworthy. It’s just one more case where all religion is not treated equally in the United States.

But secondly, if I could get a message to Kathy, I would send the following: “So, your award is your god! A man named Isaiah once said:
“All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame…Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save…When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man (woman) who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and
possess my holy mountain.”

Kathy, I just thought you’d like to know. Think about it. Or ask your idol Emmy and see what advice she gives you.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Kindest Word

The kindest word ever said is the unkind word that was never said.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Daily Dose of OJ

I drink a daily dose of OJ. I like OJ. I like what it does for my body and health. I like OJ in my glass - but not in my face. I mean, here we go again - a daily 'in your face' report of OJ Simpson. Enough is enough. I just find him so far out of touch with reality - like justifying what he did by claiming he was just taking back what was his. As if that's how we all ought to live. It would be a rather chaotic world, don't you think?
I have no idea what the court verdict will be for OJ this time around. But I do know this - at some point he will get what's his: "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment..." (Heb. 9:27)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Change Is...

PRINCIPLE: “The thing about change is, change is.”

“Man, things just aren’t what they used to be!” “Everything is so different these days!” “Remember when we used to…I sure miss those times.” Change – it’s a fact of life. We all know change happens, bet few of us find it easy or relish it. We are often comfortable with the way things are or, even more accurately, with the way things used to be. Therefore we often see change as the enemy and fight it rather than manage it or adapt to it. As Charles Kettering wrote, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

For centuries, people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle as, after all, regarded as the greatest of all times and surely could not be wrong! So no one really challenged that belief until nearly 2000 years after Aristotle’s death. In 1589, Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the leaning Tower of Pisa. He went to the top and pushed off a ten-pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same time. But the power of belief in the familiar, conventional and comfortable wisdom was so strong that professors denied what they had seen. They continued to say Aristotle was right, reinforcing the observation by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book, The Prince, that: “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

It is never an issue of if things are going to change – things will always change; it’s an issue of determining our response to change. Will we fear it and fight it, or welcome it, manage it and creatively adapt to it? As Giuseppe Maccini put it, “Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing – advance with it.” Just one example of the rapid rate of change in our world: television. In just my short lifetime, we have gone from the introduction of the black and white TV with pre-recorded programs to cameras mounted on computer monitors which enable us to see – live – the person with whom we are communicating. What sense does it make to fight this great progress? Why not learn to use it in creative and wholesome ways? Imagine the possibilities, for example, in linking up with missionaries, servicemen, or family members in different parts of the world! That’s advancing with change!

Let us prayerfully welcome, manage, and adapt to change – make it our friend and ally. The key is always to maintain our principle and our core values while being flexible with our techniques and methods. Only God, after all, never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That means His character and His heart never waver; but how He works through and among His people and in His world is always changing. Author Henry Blackaby has written, “God is always at work, and our job is to find out what’s He’s up to and join Him.” That is the best approach to change I know. Keep close to Christ and we will not only ride the winds of change – we will create the changes!

Until next blog …unless, of course, things change!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Get Building

No matter what your lot in life may be, build something on it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

No Need for Miracles

PRINCIPLE: “You need not be a miracle worker – just a faithful one.”

Because ‘success’ is often measured by numbers of people attracted to, or raving about, a particular endeavor, it is easy for us to go for the razzle-dazzle. Do the spectacular! Perform the unbelievable! Make a splash! And if we can throw in a few miracles along the way, that would cap it off nicely. Ever thought or felt that way?

Consider John 10:41: “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man [Jesus] was true.” John the Baptist didn’t rely on, and may not have been gifted for, miracles. In fact, while he may have been intriguing to listen to, he might have been boring – the same message over and over again: “Repent!”“I tell you the truth: among those born of women there has not risen anyone grater than John the Baptist.” That’s all he tried to do – lead people to repentance. And he did it faithfully. He was so faithful, in fact, that Jesus later said (Matthew 11:11): Apparently Jesus looked more for faithfulness than flashiness.

So if you have a miracle up your sleeve, feel free to share it! But if not, that’s OK. Just be faithful to your job or calling. Just be faithful in working, teaching, preaching, and modeling Jesus. That’s all Jesus expects. Then maybe, one day, He’ll brag of you.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Perhaps you’ve heard about Kevin Everett, the Buffalo Bills football player. He severely injured his spine in a game last Sunday. After surgery the prognosis was that he might never walk again. But now, because of significant signs of voluntary movement, the prognosis is much better. I was intrigued by two quotes in the newspaper, both from the surgeon who performed the delicate surgery.

Here’s the first one: “Based on our experience, the fact that he’s moving so well, so early after such a catastrophic injury means he will walk again…It’s totally spectacular, totally unexpected.” Wow! Sounds like a miracle, doesn’t it?

Here’s quote #2: “I don’t know if I would call it a miracle. I would call it a spectacular example of what people can do. To me, it’s like putting the first man on the moon of splitting the atom.” Hmm…it reminds me of an old saying: “The trouble with self-made persons is they worship their creator.” I’m grateful for Kevin’s prognosis, and I’m grateful for surgeons with great skill – but I’d like to give credit where credit is due – to the Great Physician. Without Him, there is no healing.