Friday, July 11, 2014

                                                    Greek thoughts vs. Bibical thoughts 

The Greek account of creation begins with a golden age, somewhat similar to the Biblical account of the garden of Eden.  The similarity ends there.   The Greek version of the beginning says neither humans or the gods had to do any work.  The earth simply provided food in abundance. 

The Biblical account of creation couldn't be more different.  It shows God working the first six days.  The Hebrew word that describes what God was doing is the Hebrew word mikh.   It means ordinary human work.  God was working six days and resting one.  In Genesis, work was part of paradise. 

As you know, God gave Adam a job before He gave him a family.  God gave Adam a job before there was sin on the earth.  In Christianity, work did not come after some Golden Age.  Work was and is part of God's perfect design for us.  Literally, it was part of paradise!

Have your thoughts about work (particularily on Monday mornings) been more influenced by Greek Culture or Biblical Truth?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What can we learn about ourselves from a piece of liter?

Do you sometimes read something that just sticks with you, without even trying to remember it?  A while back a book I was reading stated that, "Every time we walk past a piece of liter and pick it up, we experience a small moral victory.  Every time we walk past a piece of liter and ignore it, we experience a small moral failure."

After reading that, guess what happens when I see a piece of paper?  I think I've been doing fairly well, picking up more pieces of liter than I've ignored.   Besides helping our planet be a little cleaner, what are the benefits of doing this?

  1.  Develops integrity.  Doing something good that likely no one else notices is a small exercise in character building.
  2. I've found myself paying closer attention to other small details in life.  How's the saying go, "It's the little foxes that spoil the vine?" 
  3. Everything in my life affects everything in my life.  We have such a tendency to compartmentalize our lives.  We say, "this is spiritual and important" or "This is non spiritual and therefore not important."   I can't imagine ignoring several pieces of trash and then walking into church and singing, "I live for you alone, every breath that I take, every moment I'm awake, I give myself to you.!"
I'm not on a crusade to clean up our planet.  However, I pray you will start noticing those little pieces of liter and recognize how your reaction affects you life.     

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making a Difference

When I pick up a newspaper, I must admit the first thing I usually am drawn to is the sports page.  You know how it is in Minnesota!  Depending on the time of year, Twins, Vikings, Wild or Timberwolves receive most of the coverage.

A while back there was a story on the front page (of the sports section, that is) about the Northwestern College Volleyball team.  In the past, I'm not sure if Northwestern College has ever received any coverage to speak of from the Star/Trib.  This story was amazing.  It was about how a college sports team decided they could make a difference. 

They decided to call honor points against their own team.  This is how it works.  When the officials would make a bad call in favor of Northwestern, one of the players would speak up and say that the official got the call wrong and the point should go to the other team.  Can you imagine?  In their first tournament the officials got together and decided what they were doing wasn't fair, so they started ignoring the honor calls.  That must have been quite humorous.  Eventually the NCAA (governing body of college sports) determined it was OK for the players to make the honor calls.

One player said that at first it was difficult to do, but now she says it feels like the right thing to do.  Besides making the front page of Minnesota's biggest sports page, I can only imagine the opportunities the team has had to share about their faith in the Lord.

How can you make that kind of difference in your world?

Monday, August 5, 2013

A few mornings back, I opened our sliding glass door to let the cat out.  It was early morning, still rather dark.  I glanced down at the door something and saw something dark.  I wasn't totally awake or coherent, so I just kept opening the door.

All of a sudden the dark thing (otherwise known as a snake) began to crawl inside the house.  No way is a snake getting inside MY HOUSE!  I won't bore you with details as to how I got rid of the snake, but I did get rid of the snake.

After I regained my composer, I thought to myself, how often do we allow works of darkness to freely crawl into our homes and lives?  Selfishness, criticism, strife, and the like.  Spiritually those things are MORE harmful than if that snake would have made its way into our home.  With the Lord's help I'm not going to let those things into my house.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yesterday I was honored to receive an award from the Redwood Falls Rotary Club.  It is called the "Service above Self" Award.  It was a memorable day with the lunch, trophy, gift for the missions ministry and all the well wishes from community leaders.

That got me to thinking about the ultimate reward.  The day Jesus (hopefully) says to us, "Well done good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful in a few things.  I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord." (Matthew 25: 21)  I can only begin to imagine how significant that will be. 

As Christians, we can be distracted or become weary over the issues we face on this earth.  If we aren't cautious, the temporary things of earth can seem more real than the permanent things of heaven.  Stay focused, realize we are eternal beings who will one day receive eternal rewards.  It will be more than worth the effort!      

Friday, March 22, 2013

When is less more?

There are 66 words in the Lord's Prayer.  There are 179 words in the Ten Commandments.  The Gettysburg Address, that has 282 words.  Then there is cabbage, our government uses  26,911words to regulate the sale of cabbage!     Yes, that is not a typo,  26, 911 words.

Speaking of speaking.  Dale Carnegie once wrote, "Never say anything bad about anyone. Ever." As someone once said,  "just pretend the microphone is always on."  Then you will have no regrets for something you wish you wouldn't have said.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The red glass plate story.  It's one of my all time favorite stories. Here's the short version.  My friend, Bible School teacher and mentor, Bill Kaiser, was eight years old.  His mom took him to the circus and he won one of those cheap prizes you can win by playing the games.  It was a red glass plate and Bill was so proud of it.  It was getting dark,  he and his mother started for home.

Mom told him that he should let her carry the plate so nothing would happen to it.  However, Bill insisted he could carry it just fine .  Just before getting home, Bill tripped on a curb, fell, and the red plate shattered into many pieces.  Bill cried himself to sleep that night.  The next morning he woke up with the idea that maybe he could glue all the pieces back together.  He ran outside just as the neighbor was sweeping up the last of the little bits of glass.

Fast forward, several decades.  Bill is now born again, spirit filled and a full time missionary.  He is visiting a friend in Germany when the friend abruptly gets up.  He returns with an expensive red glass plate.  He tells Bill that the Holy Spirit has prompted his heart to give the plate to Bill.  For the first time in a long time, Bill remembers the red glass plate he broke.  Then the Holy Spirit says to Bill, "Bill,  do you know why you went to Ohio State University and got an engineering degree?"  Bill stumbles in his answer.  Then the Holy Spirit says, "Bill, what kind of engineering did you study?"  Bill answers, "glass engineering."  Again, the Holy Spirit says, "Bill, do you know why you studied glass engineering?"  For the first time in his life Bill understood some of his major life decisions.  He was trying to fix the red glass plate!

The Lord had one concluding comment to Bill that I will save for next time.  Makes me think, do we have any broken red glass plates in our lives?