Shaken, but standing firm


“In 2007, after winning the Heisman, I was told I was the best in the world. And then, three years later, I was told I couldn’t throw. ” Tim Tebow in Shakentebow-social-612x612-4

I am sure you have heard of Tebowing and seen photos of the ‘John 3;16’ written in eye black in the NCAA National Championship game in January 2009 to draw attention to this verse of scripture. This worked pretty well as over 94 million people Googled this verse during that game. What happened exactly 3 years later in a playoff game between Denver and Pittsburgh is a part of this story you probably have not heard. It is pretty amazing too. Continue reading Shaken, but standing firm

9-15-01

I still get mad every year when I am reminded of 9-11-01 and what the coward Muslim terrorists did to America. I pray for all those families directly affected by this act of cowardice. If you were alive at that time and live in America you were affected too, maybe not directly by having a family member or friend or someone you know killed or hurt, but you were affected.

Often Reminded – Will NEVER FORGET

I am reminded of this event every time I go through a security line at the airport, which, at that time in my life I was doing rather often. I was working as a consultant, living in Tallahassee and flying to St. Louis every week. I would normally fly up on Monday morning and home on Friday afternoon. I had flown to St. Louis on Monday, 9-10-01, as normal. On that Tuesday just before I walked out the door of my apartment they were reporting a plane had hit the first tower. I heard about the plane hitting the second tower, the Pentagon and Flight 93 later at work. My purpose here is not to recount these events that occurred on 9-11-01. Never Forget_911That has been done and, hopefully, will be done in the future so we, and those who follow us, will Never Forget. I do hope this will be taught truthfully and not through the revisionist filter most history is taught today but know that is probably an unrealistic hope in today’s world.

Meanwhile, back at home

Sharin, as normal, was taking care of things on the home front, which included our four kids AND working as a substitute teacher at the time. On Tuesday, 9-11-01 she was substituting in a first grade class at North Florida Christian School. Three of our children were there but Sarah was at Chiles High School which became an issue when a state of emergency was declared in Florida by Governor Jeb Bush after the attacks. Parents were coming to pick up their children but she could not leave to go get Sarah because of her responsibilities at NFCS. She did ultimately get them all home.

Flights

As you probably know, all air traffic was grounded that Tuesday and did not resume until Friday. I had decided I was going to go home and flying was how I planned to get there and was able to get a Saturday flight scheduled. My thinking was flying was probably the safest way to travel as the likelihood of another terrorist attack via airlines was very slim. I remember we did have to wait for our flight crew on Saturday because some flight crews were just not showing up, some due to the previous days of canceled flights and some because they did not want to fly again yet. I believe the airlines were giving them that option at the time, understandably. There was plenty of room on the planes as I remember too.

Routine and not so routine

 

I did get home that Saturday and gave my family great big hugs. Sarah, Amy, Rachel and Thomas were 14, 11, 7 and 5 respectively at the time. We probably went to Sonny’s for supper that night as that was one of our favorite places to eat and, on Saturday night, kids ate free, so that was our normal routine.

It was also our normal routine when getting the kids to bed to have them say their prayers and pray with them and that is where this story gets good for me. While putting Thomas to bed we talked about what had happened that week and if I was scared by it. I told him I was more angry than scared but everyone also had a right to be scared because what just happened four days earlier was unprecedented and scary. I probably used smaller words at the time but he was pretty fluent in the language for a 5 year old. He had started having conversations and coffee, as he called it, with his PawPaw when he was three. He would often surprise and amaze us with some of the “big” words he would use and use them correctly in conversation.

Anyway, he said he had been thinking a lot lately and a lot this week especially about asking Jesus into his heart to be his savior. He knew what sin was and that he had sinned and he needed a savior and he wanted to get this settled. This was not unexpected since he had been in church since he was an infant. We talked a little more and then he prayed and asked Jesus to come into and live in his heart. This was an exciting time for us and I know the angels in heaven were rejoicing too. I told him from that moment on he did not have to worry about where he would spend eternity. He would be spending it with his sisters, parents, grandparents and all others who have made this decision to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers. Our parents and grandparents are all there waiting for us now.

To God Be the Glory

Thomas was the last of our children to make this decision. He IS the youngest so that was really not unexpected either. Our primary goal as parents was to see our children come to know the Lord and then see them walking in the truth. This event fulfilled that first goal for us. That second goal is a daily work in progress for all of us. I am proud all our children are walking the walk usually much better than I do. I learn as much, probably more, from them as they do from me. We knew from that moment on, regardless of when any of us are called home to Heaven, we will all be reunited there one day and that is an amazing truth we all cherish. It was not an accomplishment we achieved but one He achieved and I still thank Him for that every day.

Thomas went forward that Sunday morning to make his profession of faith public. We met with Pastor Ray that afternoon and he was baptized that night. He did not want to wait but wanted to get it done and get it done that day.00400834297020110427134028999 (2)

9-11-01 – 9-15-01

So, when 9-11 comes around every year I do remember what happened on 9-11-01 and I get mad all over again and pray for all the families whose lives were changed forever that day; but then my thoughts turn to 9-15-01 when Thomas made a decision that would change his life forever and that makes me happy.

Until next time…

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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…

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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…

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Carried by Angels

Carried by AngelsWhen I decided to read Carried by Angels by Phillip Hatfield I was not sure exactly what to expect. After finishing the book I no longer have to wonder.

A lot in common with the author

I knew he worked for the Ziglar Corporation and that is an endorsement that carries a lot of weight with me. Zig Ziglar has had a positive effect on my life since I first saw him speak on November 12, 1991 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He encouraged and continues to encourage me, as he does millions of others, even after his death last year.

I knew he had a motorcycle accident which resulted in his leg being amputated. Two of my daughters were hit head on by a drunk driver 8 years ago so I thought I could identify with the accident part of his story. If you are interested in that story you can read more at Unlike Any Other.

I knew he was a Christian. I am a Christian so I knew I could identify with that.

I knew he was a real person in that I had heard him speak on the radio and via webinars. I am real person too.

Another book about angels?

So there were several things I knew I could identify with and were all indicators I would enjoy and learn something from this book and Phillip’s journey so far. However, even knowing all that, I was still not sure what to expect – another book about angels? I wondered what his take on angels would be and would it agree with or be at odds with mine?

No longer have to wonder

As mentioned earlier, before reading Carried by Angels I wondered. Since I have now finished the book I no longer have to wonder. I know I was moved by the story, inspired by his attitude, and challenged by the examples of service from Phillip and all those around him, his angels, throughout his life and during his recovery from his accident. I suspect most who read the book will experience similar enjoyment and benefits.

The description of his accident, which became his greatest tragedy and his greatest blessing will draw you in and have you wanting to learn more about what led to this event. The story of the black radio preacher will make you laugh. There is also murder, gambling, business, and dating in this book so there is something there for most anyone.

What I don’t know and what I do

I don’t believe you have to have all of the markers I had in common with Phillip to enjoy, learn, laugh, and cry while reading this book.

I do know if you do get a copy and read it, and do share just one commonality, you are a real person too, you will benefit from having done so. I am glad he heeded Zig’s encouragement and wrote the book.

Get your copy of Carried by Angels today. It might just change your life.

Until next time…

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Sheep are dumb

While reading Dr. Kevin Connors post this morning called “The Lord is My SHEPHERD  this morning I was reminded of a truth from the Bible that is a little bit humorous to me as well as being a good reminder of who we are and who God is.  His post is very thought provoking or convicting depending on how your perspective and I recommend you take a look if you have a few minutes.

Sheep are dumb animals.  They don’t do much thinking of their own and tend to follow the crowd even if the rest of the crowd is walking off the edge of a cliff.  My point is they are not very intelligent creatures.  You might be wondering what this has to do with you or me.  Well, here’s the thing.  We, God’s people, are compared to and called sheep many times in the Bible.

English: Very dumb sheep at Treanscrabbagh She...
English: Very dumb sheep at Treanscrabbagh Sheep are not renowned for their intelligence, but these really take the prize for stupidity. But on the other hand, they are most unlikely to escape into the road, and there need be no worry about the bottom falling out of the market for lamb. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pause and extra space there was intentional.  Did you get the intended meaning? Sheep are dumb. We are called sheep, so, consequently we are dumb creatures too. This is a little bit humorous to me as I try to not take myself too seriously so I don’t mind being called a sheep.

It is also a very real reminder of just how much we really are like sheep and that we need a shepherd.  Jesus is the shepherd.

If you know Him when you hear him you will know his voice.

I hope you do know Him.  If not, He has a book out that has been a best seller for years.  It is His love letter to you. Get it or open yours and read it.

If you don’t have one you can get one free here at Bible.com for your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can hear His voice and you can know Him too.

The Lord is my Good Shepherd
The Lord is my Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 03/20/2013