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?        

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Do you know the Bible verse that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he?" It's Proverbs 23:7, the first part of the verse. I've heard it a lot, but I think I've often misinterpreted it. It's been something like this. "What a man (or woman) thinks in his mind, so is he."

Notice it doesn't say, "What we think," but, "as we think." Also, the verse doesn't say anything about the mind, but mentions our heart.

It's not what we consciously think in our mind, but the type or pattern of thoughts that are deeply embedded in us that determines who we are. We can, to a point, control our conscious thought process, but for the rest, we need help beyond our ability.

Remember the Bill Kaiser Red Glass Plate story?