Unlike Any Other

CBS announcer Verne Lundquist, stationed in the TV tower at No. 16, made the call that day. That day was April 10, 2005. In case you are not a golf or sports fan and haven’t seen that shot by Tiger Woods on No. 16 on Sunday afternoon at The Masters on April 10, 2005 you can see it and read about it at the link above. The Masters is known as a Tradition Unlike Any Other and this is one of the most famous shots in that event. Since this year is the 10th anniversary of that shot it has been getting a lot of air time the past couple of weeks.

I didn’t see that shot when it happened…or when I expected. I do remember that day and night though.

This Tradition Has Been Part of My Life

The Masters has been one of my favorite annual traditions for many years. For me, it marks the official beginning of spring. I often watched it with my father growing up and in later years when he could no longer play so it brings back good memories of spending time with him. I forced my children to watch it as they were growing up if they watched anything on Masters Sunday. They probably didn’t like it very much at the time but I think they have all come to appreciate it, if for no other reason, they know what it means to me.

I remember that Sunday for a different reason…

On this particular Sunday evening Sharin was working 2nd shift in the blood bank at the hospital and I had gone to church with the kids. I had a deacons meeting after church so I had set the VCR, yes it was a VCR back then, to record the rest of the golf tournament and I planned to watch it when I got home.

After church, Sarah and Amy went to Dairy Queen, the traditional after church place to go eat and visit. Rachel and Thomas wanted to go too but I made them wait at the church for me. I wanted to get home to see how The Masters ended and I had to be at the airport for a 5:30 flight the next morning so I still needed to pack for that trip too. I was just about to sit down and watch the end of the Masters…

Then, the phone rang…

It was a little after 9:00 and I received one of those phone calls a parent never wants to receive. It was Amy, telling me she and her sister Sarah, had been in an accident. Amy was 14 and Sarah 17 at the time. Her voice was a little shaky because she was understandably shaken up and worried about her sister still trapped in the car on the side of a hill. She wanted me to get there as soon as I could. I am pretty sure I yelled at Rachel and Thomas, 10 and 9 at the time, to get to the car and to pray for their sisters and we hit the road.

A Stretch of Road Unlike Any Other

The section of Highway or Route 21 between Hillsboro, where we lived, and DeSoto, where we went to church, is a 2 lane stretch of road called “Blood Alley”known as one of the most dangerous in Missouri. As we neared the accident site traffic was backed up as it was stopped in both directions due to the accident. I got as far as we could and parked the car and told Rachel and Thomas to stay in the car. I didn’t know what I would see when I got to the accident.

Church Family – Unlike Any Other

Our church family from First Baptist Church DeSoto was already in motion doing what a church family does – taking care of its family members when they are in need and we were in need. Sharin had called William, our Minister of Music, and he was on his way from DeSoto to pick up Thomas and Rachel and take care of them for us. Pastor Jeremy was on his way to Jefferson Memorial, where Sharin was working and waiting and where Amy would be going soon. After Amy was checked out he drove Sharin, Amy, Tyler and Gene, our Youth Pastor, to St. John’s Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, the destination of Sarah’s Air Evac helicopter ride.

An Accident, Unfortunately, Like Many Others

Upon reaching the scene I first saw Amy, who was understandably shaken up, upset, and worried about Sarah who was still in the car. The car was sitting precariously on the side of the hill facing back toward DeSoto, where they were coming from. It was being supported by cables attached to the fire truck parked on the road to keep it from rolling further down the hill. The paramedics were working to get her out of the car.

Rachel & Thomas looking at Sarah's Mitsubishi Mirage
Rachel & Thomas looking at Sarah’s Mitsubishi Mirage

I talked to Sarah briefly in the ambulance before she was taken up the road a short distance to a helipad for her flight to the hospital. She was worried she had done something wrong. I assured her she had done nothing wrong. There was nothing else she could have done. She told me and Sharin, who was on the phone with me at the time, she was sorry and she was going to be fine.

I talked to the officers and learned they were hit head on by a drunk driver who was in their lane as they came over a hill. We would learn later he was in the process of trying to pass 4 cars at once and, obviously, didn’t make it. There was nothing Sarah could have done as there is no shoulder on the road, just a hillside.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence in our society 

After both ambulances left I made my way back to the car and talked to William and made sure he had Rachel and Thomas and began the drive to the hospital where Sarah was headed, about 45 minutes away. I’m sure I broke some speed limits to get there. I also had to call Ramon, my boss at the time, along the way and let him know I would not be able to fly out to California the next day for work as had been planned. I was blessed to work for someone who was very understanding and supportive. He told me to do whatever I needed to do to take care of my family and not worry about work.

I don’t remember much more about that drive except I was doing a lot of praying.

At the Hospital

When I arrived at the emergency room or shortly thereafter I was greeted by several of Sarah’s friends and two former youth pastors, Jimmy and Jeremy. The church was there. This was just a small indication of the impact both Sarah and Amy had made, up to that point in their lives, on those around them.

When Pastor Jeremy arrived I remember him telling Sarah that God was watching over her and the reason she was still here is He still had big plans for her life. I believe that was true then and is still true today. They stayed with us praying and waiting most of the night while Sarah was in the first of many surgeries. I don’t know what we would have done without their support.

The Church – His Hands and Feet

In the following days and weeks we had meals prepared and delivered and prayers prayed and delivered for all of us as we walked through this ordeal. Russ and Chris built a wheelchair ramp for our house so we would be able to roll Sarah in when we got her home. To say we were blessed and cared for by our church family is an understatement.

I realize this happens in churches across the country every day. Maybe some of you reading this don’t. Some think of a big building with a steeple as the church. That is a false belief. 

Until you are on the receiving end of this kind of love you never really know what it means. It is overwhelming and humbling. We will be forever grateful for how our church wrapped its arms around us.

We also had Sharin’s mother, Rennie, with us for a few weeks after the accident. Ronnie, Sharin’s brother, made the 12 hour trip to bring her up. She helped with everything around the house as I was going back and forth to the hospital. Sharin only left the hospital twice during the two weeks Sarah was there. She can be strong-willed at times. That might be where our children get that trait from.

Meanwhile…back to The Masters

I am not sure when I saw that shot on No. 16 at the 2005 Masters and the remaining holes and playoff won by Tiger Woods but I am sure I did at some point. The next few weeks were quite busy.

I can tell you whenever I do see that shot replayed I am reminded of something that has nothing to do with golf or the Masters. Those memories do help remind me of what is important. I wish I could say they made me a better person but I am still working on that. I am a work in progress.

I can also tell you we all (except for Sharin) made it to The Masters for the first time in 2007 and Sharin did finally make it this year and got to experience it with Amy.

Masters-Mon_CX7430038

Priorities change…

The Masters is called a Tradition Unlike Any Other. At the same time it IS just a golf tournament. It ranks far below Serving a God Unlike Any Other and being part of two Families Unlike Any Other. I expect I will continue my annual tradition, probably like millions of others, of watching a golf tournament in Augusta in April called The Masters. However, when they do replay that shot, and they will, my thoughts will go elsewhere. Now you know where.

I thank God for my many blessings every day. I hope by sharing this experience and some of the blessings in my life it might remind you of some of yours and you will count yours every day too…

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

P.S. If you want to know more about the accident and recovery from Sarah’s perspective you can read more at the links below on her blog. She wrote about it as only she can do in a series of blog posts last year that are very well done in my opinion.

Be Careful What You Pray For

April 10, 2005

The Hospital

Hospital Life Lessons

A Change of Heart

 

 

2014 Year In Review

As another year begins I wanted to write to thank all who have stopped by and read, commented, and shared any of the words I have posted here on this blog in 2014 so here it is…Thank You!

I do appreciate your time and input and hope to be able to post something that might interest you in 2015 too.

As the old year becomes new it is always good to look back to see what interested most readers last year, what worked and what didn’t. That information is always useful to me and it is a factor in what I choose to write about in the future. It would be silly and foolish for me not to consider this information. I am silly from time to time but try not to be foolish when I can avoid it.

Based on total number of views here are the top five most popular Peculiar Perspective posts of 2014.

Watch Your Back – Published 11/22/14

In case you missed it there were some interesting events in the October 21st school board meeting. Here is how it was reported in the local papers.

An Enterprise third grade teacher remains on 20-day suspension after the Enterprise Board of Education voted unanimously...Read more here Watch Your Back

YOU Are Not Alone – Published 12/01/14

A little over a week ago I published a post called Watch Your Back. In that post I asked for feedback both positive and negative as feedback is the only way I know whether my thoughts and observations have any validity or not. I mentioned I would be happy to post a follow up if feedback indicated I was on the wrong path. Well, this is that post…Read more here YOU Are Not Alone

Partly Cloudy – Published 01/29/14

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Mayor’s State of the City luncheon last week. I am grateful for that opportunity to visit with friends both old and new, enjoy a good meal, and learn about the state of Enterprise, The City of Progress, through a presentation by Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell.

In case you were not able to attend or did not see the reports in the Enterprise Ledger Friday and Sunday, the state of Enterprise is very good. Read more here Partly Cloudy

Confused Yet Confident – Published 03/04/14

It has been 18 days since the announcement the 9th grade would be moving to the high school next year and one week since the school board meeting, and then the post-board meeting. I attended both and am still confused as to why now. Read more here Confused Yet Confident

Why I Don’t Have A Fish On My Car – Published 08/08/14

I don’t have a fish emblem on my car and probably never will. I have nothing against fish or what the Christian fish emblem represents nor am I judging or condemning anyone who does have one on their car. I am a… Read more here Why I Don’t Have A Fish On My Car

Reading and Writing in 2014

The post that generated the most blog comments was Reading and Writing in 2014 published on 01/16/14.

As a follow-up to this particular post I had mixed results. I did meet the writing goal of 500 words a day for most of the 31 days of the writing challenge but that did not translate into an ongoing practice throughout the rest of the year. I would like to get back into that routine and actually create one that I can continue this year.

For the reading goal that one lapsed also but I did get 25 books read in 2014 which is about the same as 2013 so I am still reading and learning and still believe this is critical for anyone to continue to grow and improve themselves. I think a book every other week is a pretty good pace and goal and hope to meet that again this year.

Fewer Posts

I did have fewer posts in 2014 than 2013, 29 versus 38, even though the blog was active the entire year versus only about 9 months in 2013. Although I did have fewer posts they were viewed more times than the posts in 2013, an increase of about 60%. This information has helped me come to the realization that one blog a week is too ambitious for me. I am going to cut that in half this year and shoot for one every two weeks or twice a month.

Where was it viewed from?

It is always interesting to me to see the different countries where this blog was viewed from. In 2014 it was viewed in 56 different countries. Of course the United States was the primary location but coming in second was Brazil, which was a surprise, and then Canada was third. It was also viewed in India, Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Mali, Ghana, Pakistan, Angola, New Zealand, France, Germany, Poland, Indonesia and South Africa, among others.

That still boggles my mind but just shows the potential reach of anything posted online, whether it be in a blog, in a Facebook or Twitter post or any other social media platform. Once Publish, Send, or Post is clicked those words are permanent and this is a good reminder or caution for anyone in the techno-social world we live in today.

Thanks again for your support and taking the time to stop by last year and may 2015 be your best year yet! I hope you choose to stop by here again from time to time. If you want to make sure you are notified when a new post is published, enter your email address in the sidebar to the right and you will get an email. You will not get added to any other email lists if you choose to do this.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 1/03/2015

George Bailey or Bill Gates?

Are you rich?

In one of the most beloved movies of all times “It’s A Wonderful Life” ***spoiler alert*** Harry Bailey, George’s brother, says George is the richest man in town because of the life he has lived and the friends he has.

Forbes Magazine says Bill Gates the richest man in the world.

These are obviously two very different definitions and examples of being rich. Which one do you align more closely with and which would you like to be if you had the chance to choose?

If you are honest you would probably say, like me, I could be George Bailey with Bill Gates’ money, but could you really?

Matt Ham explores exactly what it means to be rich in his new book, Redefine Rich. Redefine-Rich-front-667x1024He might just help you redefine what rich means for you. Through personal stories and experiences from his life, he reminds us of some important life principles.

How do you define rich? Does the world’s definition of riches leave you feeling empty?

Redefine Rich will help you ponder these questions and will either give you a new perspective or remind you of one you once had that has slipped away.

Books don’t always have to reveal something new in order to be entertaining and enlightening. Often they are just reminders of something we already knew or help validate what we already know. If you can identify with any of the experiences or stories the author describes it can be life altering for you. Redefine Rich can be just such a book for you.

Matt digs deeper than the surface question of “Are you rich?” to “Are you living richly?” which is a question you may have never considered.

There are many passages from the book I have highlighted in my Kindle Notes. Here are just a couple.

“This book isn’t about finances. This book isn’t about death. There are many books on both subjects. This book is about our choice. A choice to live richly.”

“Can we all live a life abounding in desirable qualities? Can we all live richly? If so, what would that look like?”

As the author says, this book isn’t for everyone but his ground rules are.

1. You can live a rich life.
2. It will not happen by accident.

The thing about books is, as the old saying goes, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” Covers can be nice, pretty, disturbing or awful but you can only judge a book by what is inside the covers and you can only do that by opening it and reading it. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Redefine Rich and open it and read it. I believe you will be richer for making that decision.

This could be considered another spoiler of sorts but if you have read this far probably not,

“A great, wonderful life has everything to do with being rich, and being rich has very little to do with money.”

You can also check out Matt’s blog here http://mattham.com/blog/

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

 

Right Thinking

Thoughts Banner 2From the title of this post you might think this was a political book expounding on the virtues of how right thinking, in the political realm of thought, is powerful. Let me put that thought to rest for you. It’s not.

What the author does provide in “You & Your Thoughts: The Power of Right Thinking” is much more powerful than any political thought ever…and there have been some powerful political ideas or thoughts.

Enough about, or not about, politics.

From the Foreword, “Many Christians are trudging through life without any compass, unaware of the transcendent yet everyday practicality of the timeless truths of God’s Word. Rediscovering a life of confidence and hope is what this book is all about.”

In this updated version, the original was published in 1977, a few minor changes have been made to bring the text up to date, but all the original ideas of Dr. Radmacher have been retained. The purpose of this book is to “allow Christians to use their minds to lift up the name of Jesus, advance the Gospel, and boldly proclaim God’s free grace.” I believe this book will help all who read it make progress toward that goal.

As Dr. Radmacher explains, using the computer related example of GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out – our minds function very similarly. Just as computer programmers understand this truth and do their best to keep the garbage out, we should do the same for the computer God has given us, our minds…but do we?

This book will remind you of the importance of not allowing garbage into your mind and will go one step further in encouraging you to put the Word of God into your mind and heart instead.

You may be thinking, I don’t have time to memorize scripture. Regarding that thought the author poses a few convicting questions.

“Do we Christians have time to eat daily, but no time to get into the Word? Do we have time to read the newspaper every day, but not the Bible? Time enough to glue ourselves to the TV set, but no time for the Scriptures? What does all of this say about our values?

Do those questions hit you as hard as they do me? Do you really pay attention to what you are allowing into your mind? 

This principle reminds me of what Zig Ziglar often said, “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and how you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

David said it best in Psalm 119, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

What are you hiding in your heart?

If this sounds like something you would like to explore to refresh your memory or understanding or learn for the first time get your copy of You and Your Thoughts today and start re-programming your mind and thinking right. “It will make a difference.”

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

What Do YOU Expect from the Holy Spirit?

Well, what DID you expect? When you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour what did you expect? Did you expect an upper room experience like the first Christians as described in the book of Acts?

For all of us who have come to accept Christ after his ascension we don’t have to wait. The moment we make that decision the Holy Spirit is there, immediately.

So, since we have this Helper or Holy Spirit inside us, what should we expect?

Holy Spirit 300x300

What To Expect from the Holy Spirit by Dr. Earl D. Radmacher and Jeremy Myers will help you answer that question.

 

 

Have you ever thought about what the responsibility of the Holy Spirit really is? I suspect you have or you wouldn’t still be reading this post.

 

Dr. Radmacher will either enlighten you or remind you of what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, why it would be coming, and exactly what the purpose for its coming was.

The chapter titles will give you a clue as to what is discussed in this book.

The Pattern of Dependence

The Power for Witness

The Protector of the Church

The Provider of Gifts

The Possessor of the Body Member

This book is an essential study of the Holy Spirit Dr. Radmacher delivered as messages in 1980 and originally published by RBC in 1983.

This version has been updated and now re-published by Jeremy Myers. Dated references and references only really applicable in a live sermon were removed and a new preface, introduction, and Conclusion chapter was added.

The goal of this book is also to clarify some of the confusion that often accompanies teaching about Spiritual gifts and the filling of the Holy Spirit. I believe this goal has been accomplished.

The central message is to explain and reinforce the premise, “The Spirit of God has only the desire to focus on Jesus Christ.”

“This book seeks to determine from the Scriptures what we can know about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”

The following excerpt from the book was an eye-opener for me. I guess I did know it but had never really thought about it exactly this way until reading it here. See if it has the same effect on you,

“The issue isn’t how much of the Holy Spirit we have or how much of the Holy Spirit’s power we can get. Due to indwelling and sealing, we have all of the Spirit we are ever going to get. The issue for Christians is how much of us does the Holy Spirit Have!”

So, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you. If you want to learn more about exactly what that should mean for you this book is an excellent resource. This book will also explain the Holy Spirit’s role in helping you discover and implement YOUR spiritual gift or gifts.

After reading this book you will possess either a new understanding or better understanding of what to expect from the Holy Spirit.

If you are not a Christian and want to learn more about what the Holy Spirit would mean should you ever decide to become a Christian, this is a good place to start.

This book was both enlightening and informative for me. I hope it will be for you too. I recommend you get your copy today, right now!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Unforgivable? Not so fast…

Have you ever entertained the thought that you might have committed the unforgivable sin?

Why You Have Not Committed the Unforgivable-Sin - Jeremy MyersIn Jeremy Myers latest book, Why You Have Not Committed The Unforgivable Sin, he discusses this very subject. I know, the title gave that away, right? If you have ever struggled with or just wondered about this question or know someone who has it would be well worth the investment to get your own copy and spend a little time with it.

He makes a very logical case for just what the unforgivable sin is not, what it is, and how you can tell for sure if you have committed it or not.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but if a brief look at the book and what it contains helps someone decide to pick it up and answer a question they have been harboring for days, weeks, months or years then it is well worth my time here and I hope that is the end result of this post.

I thought I knew

I have always though I knew what the unforgivable sin was and don’t think my idea was really that far off the mark. It was just not as complete as it is now after reading this book. This was my prevailing understanding before reading this book, If you have made the decision to not follow Jesus and accept his free gift of salvation (Free to us – He paid the full price on Calvary)  then you have and continue to commit the unforgivable sin or the sin of disbelief. Deciding to not say Yes to Jesus or postponing that decision is the same thing as saying No.

I now know more

However, in this book Jeremy goes a little deeper than my original thought and adds some practical meat around the bones so to speak. He does that in a way that is very easy to read and very concise as well. The book is only 85 pages long but those 85 pages could change your life or the life of someone you care about.

In this book Jeremy covers common views about the unforgivable sin and dispels some common myths. Suicide, divorce, adultery and abortion are discussed.

Next he reviews the most common scripture related to the unforgivable sin.

Matthew 12:21-32 is most frequently mentioned because it is the only passage which specifically mentions a sin that will not ever be forgiven, a sin which is called “blasphemy against the Spirit.”

He details exactly what the unforgivable sin is.

Ultimately, only one sin fits all of the requirements of the unforgivable sin. It is this: The unforgivable sin is a willful and slanderous rejection of the Holy Spirit’s testimony about Jesus 

Have you committed the unforgivable sin?

And, finally, explains exactly why it is likely you have not committed the unforgivable sin. This will likely be for you as it was for me one of those “aha” moments when you will think, “Now that makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Why didn’t I think of that before?”

This is done in a very engaging and easy to read and understand style that I think you will appreciate. I believe you will also gain some perspectives you might not have thought of before in addition to your “aha” moment.

Get your copy of Why You Have Not Committed The Unforgivable Sin today and add to your own knowledge just for yourself or to help others that cross your path in this journey called life. You will be glad you did.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Prayer and Politics

I have always heard and believed the old saying if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain when those elected don’t act in accordance with your beliefs. I still believe that but have come to a new understanding that goes a little deeper. I do vote whenever that privilege avails itself so I do maintain that “right” to complain.

My new understanding has come about over the past few weeks as I have tried to practice what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. There are many verses in the Bible that are hard for me to live by. In this sermon where Jesus says, “Love your enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you” those are some of the hardest.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love Your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers,i what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This goes even deeper than the fact this will drive some of them crazy once they become aware you are doing so. Jesus sets a very high standard for us as Christians to aspire to. I fall short every day.

Prayer changes…

One thing I have learned about prayer over the years is it changes the person praying more than the one you are praying to. It is a little bit…ok…enormously presumptuous to think that I am going to change God’s mind about anything anyway. Prayer, if practiced regularly, will, however put my heart and mind more in sync with what God has in mind for me.

Meanwhile…back to my original topic

It has always been difficult to pray for those in leadership when I do not agree with their methods, decisions, or intentions as I understand them. I have prayed they would be removed or replaced but that is not what I am charged to do from God’s Word.

Recently, I have found a way to do this that has worked for me. Maybe I am a little slow to arrive at this truth but I am there now.

Here is how my prayer goes regarding those who God has placed in leadership roles over me.

Leaders Prayer

That’s it. It is pretty simple and yet it is sincere in that it is what I want our leaders to do. This is true regardless of whether it is a leader I happen to have voted for or agree with ideologically. I want all of those who represent us and are supposed to be leading us to make decisions based on the best interests of us. The fact I may disagree with their decisions and direction they are leading is irrelevant. It really is. That may be hard for some of you to believe but it is true.

It is possible my prayers could help change their hearts but it is far more likely mine will be changed.

Not Silent

However, this does not mean I will be a silent observer when I believe decisions being made by those same leaders are ill-advised or are motivated by their own self interests. I am praying for them to make wise decisions and hope they do but I will speak out and share my thoughts and opinions when I don’t believe they did. I will work within our political process to get them removed and replaced by those who will make wise decisions. That is just part of my responsibility to be a good citizen.

Prayer in the Public Square

Contrary to what many want us to believe prayer does have a place in the public square. It is the only way this government, which was designed to serve and protect the people, will work. Anything else will result in chaos or something worse.

English: I took photo with Canon camera.
English: I took photo with Canon camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

 

 

Will you join me in prayer?

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Why I Don’t Have A Fish On My Car

en: Ichthus (fish, Christian symbol) in dark y...
en: Ichthus (fish, Christian symbol) in dark yellow; de: Ichthys (Fisch, christliches Symbol) in dunkelgelb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t have a fish emblem on my car and probably never will. I have nothing against fish or what the Christian fish emblem represents nor am I judging or condemning anyone who does have one on their car. I am a Christian. I just don’t feel comfortable in representing my beliefs with a fish on my car. I don’t trust myself.

Just for reference, here is a brief summary of what the fish emblem represents. This symbol is called Ichthys or Ichthus from the Koine Greek word for fish.

According to tradition, ancient Christians, during their persecution by the Roman Empire in the first few centuries after Christ, used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.

According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company. Current bumper-stickers and business-card uses of the fish hearken back to this practice. —Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask the Expert”

There is also a counter-fish emblem created to represent Darwinism.

Darwin fish
Darwin fish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I don’t believe in Darwinism as it relates to Creation I will not have one of these emblems on my car either.

Maybe I am being too critical of myself or being too concerned about something that really doesn’t matter. Maybe not.

Paul says in I Corinthians 8:9, But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”

He is talking here about not eating meat if it causes a brother or young Christian to stumble. At the time Jews thought the meat from many animals was unclean and forbidden. Even though there is nothing wrong with eating meat for Christians – our right – if doing so causes someone else to stumble on their own journey of faith because they believe this is wrong then we should have the maturity and respect to not eat meat in their presence.

If I cut someone off in traffic, don’t let them merge into traffic, or take “their” parking place and they see that fish on my car that is my witness to that person. All they likely know about me is I have a “Christian fish” emblem on my car so I must be one of “those Christians” then that supports some stereotype of what they believe Christians are, just ordinary hypocrites. I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. This can be applied to many different situations for Christians. Others that come to mind are drinking alcohol, attending R rated movies, and the words I choose to speak or write.

This is probably one of the few times I really do care what people think of me because as a Christian I am representing Christ to those whose path I cross. I do the best I can but am far from perfect. However those looking for a Christian to make a mistake, for some reason, want to hold others to a standard by which they are unwilling to measure themselves.

I know I am not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts or actions, only mine, but I don’t want to be the reason or excuse someone else uses for their thoughts or actions either if that can be avoided.

This principle can be applied to most any other group you could substitute here. When I worked for UPS one Christmas season they had a policy that employees could not wear a complete uniform home. We had to change our shirts before we left so we, as representatives of UPS, would not do something in that uniform that would disparage UPS.

It holds true for employees as well as employers and those in leadership positions, maybe even more so.

Knowing I am doing my best, with God’s help, to live as a Christian, helps me have peace of mind. That peace of mind helps me sleep well at night. However I do know I have and will continue to make mistakes in this journey called life. As long as my motives are pure I can forgive myself when I do make mistakes. I know God has already forgiven me.

If you don’t have that assurance and peace of mind yourself that is a choice you have made but one that can be changed today. Take a look here for 4 Steps to Peace With God. I promise you will not regret it and can be sleeping better tonight.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

Size 13 Footprint

I received a Father’s Day gift this year from my son, created with “encouragement” from my wife. I have received many Father’s Day gifts over the years and I am sure many fathers have received a gift similar to the one I am writing about today.

However, I suspect few have received one in the same size as the one I received. You see, my son is 18 and has a size 13 foot.

Fathers Day Card_20140615

This gift marks a milestone for us. You see, this is our youngest child who is now away in college leaving us at home without children in the house for the first time in 27 years. We are quasi-empty-nesters. I say quasi because we do still have two children in college so they will be back pretty regularly until they finish college but they are gone now more than they are here and that will likely be a permanent condition.

We are now living in the second half of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will stay on it.” TLB

For the most part, we are done with the first half of this verse. He is now older and free to make most day-to-day decisions on his own. We will now have to sit back and observe to see if we really did teach him to choose the right path.

I am as confident as one can be when looking into the future he will make wise decisions. Does that mean he will make wise decisions every time the first time? Of course not. That is how we learn the most and gain wisdom – from our mistakes and unwise decisions. As long as he keeps learning and not repeating the same mistakes then those experiences will just become learning opportunities. I do hope he can learn from our mistakes too so he doesn’t have to make the same ones we did.

Will we worry? Of course we will. If I answered that question any other way I would lose all credibility.

Will we pray? Absolutely! We will Pray without ceasing as we are exhorted to do in I Thessalonians 5:17. I think many parents really heed this exhortation when their children leave for college or move away. It is nothing new for us to pray for our children. The focus of the prayers just changes over time. I hope our praying will outweigh our worrying but I am sure the balance of those scales will move back and forth as we grow. We are still learning too.

Our prayer for all our children includes but also follows the more familiar Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

This prayer will work in all situations for all of us.

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar on the left and subscribe. This is the only way to ensure you will be notified immediately whenever a new post is published.

“…I will listen to you.” God

I was reminded of a scripture verse recently upon our son’s graduation from high school. I used it in my graduation letter to him as well as his sister two years prior but this reminder made me think it was worth sharing here too. You, the reader, will be the judge of that so let me know what you think.

My blog is named Peculiar Perspective because I often see life sort of sideways and I think this is another example of that perspective. I think there will be others to come in the future where the more well-known scripture reference is followed by a truth or promise that does not get as much exposure.

If you have any knowledge of the Bible or grew up in church as I did I am sure you have heard the verse often used at graduation time, Jeremiah 29:11 which says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

But how often have you paid attention to the next verse which I see as being just as profound? Jeremiah 29:12 says,

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” 

Not only does God know the plans He has for us, and those are very good by the way, but He reminds and promises us in the next verse when we get confused or begin to doubt His plan for our lives if we will only talk to Him, He will listen.

How awesome is that? The creator of the universe will listen to me? Yes He will…If you know Him.

If you have children don’t you want them to talk to you and won’t you listen if they do? God longs for us to talk to Him in the same way.

Do YOU know HIM? If so this is just a reminder He is waiting to listen if you will just come to Him and talk to Him in prayer. The most often way you will hear from Him is reading His love letter to you, the Bible. 350px-holy_bible

If you don’t know Him yet, take a look here at Peace With God and learn how you can know Him today and then you can claim this promise too.

Until next time…

 

Enhanced by Zemanta