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July 23, 2018, 10:02 AM

Final Jeopardy

Jeopardy is one of the longest-running, well-known game shows on TV, so popular that Weird Al Yankovic made a parody of it. It is known for its iconic host, answers that must be in the form of a question, and challenging trivia. I have always enjoyed watching it and have even answered correctly on occasion. One of the most commonly recognized tunes comes from this show, and many who know the tune may not even realize it’s played on the show. Now that some of you are humming it or singing it out loud I want you to think about the very end of the tune. You know, the part where it plays two deep, base notes. In my mind, it sounds like “dum-dum!” It signifies that the time for coming up with an answer is over and now comes the moment of judgment that will determine the winner. Up until this point in the game, the players have had opportunities to answer questions and put themselves in position for victory. There have been numerous times I have seen the person who is leading going into Final Jeopardy end up losing because they didn’t have the correct answer or were content with their place and didn’t wager enough on the last question. Rather than jeopardy, the Bible teaches that there will be a judgment and victory doesn’t come by way of an answer in the form of a question but by faith in the Savior. Jesus wept aloud over Jerusalem as he entered into the city prior to His atoning death (Luke 19:41-44). He knew that the time had come for Him to go to the cross and the people of Jerusalem had rejected Him and would endure the consequences of that rejection. These consequences would arrive at the hands of Titus and the Romans in the year AD 70 but also in that time when they stand before God at the final judgment. If the span of your life was represented by the theme song of Final Jeopardy and you knew you were getting close to hearing the final two notes, would you have the right answer when you stand before God? None of us know when our time will come to an end on this earth but the Bible promises that everyone will stand before God. Having the experiential knowledge of what brings peace between humanity and God is the only answer that will matter in that time. Note, it must be an experiential knowledge meaning it goes beyond a simple head knowledge and is received by placing faith in Jesus. It won’t matter how many other questions you have gotten right in life if your answer to God’s plan of salvation is not placing your faith in Christ alone. ON the flip side of that same coin, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve made mistakes or what those mistakes have been, God’s grace is sufficient. Be sure you have the right answer to final judgment before your tune ends.


July 9, 2018, 12:34 PM

Turtle on a Fence Post

I heard someone say in seminary, “If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself.” I didn’t fully comprehend what was meant by it at the time, but I have since come to realize a little more of the power of that statement. Sometimes I feel like a turtle that isn’t worth much and can’t really do anything amazing. My best means of survival is to shrink into my shell and hide until the threat is gone. However, just like that turtle on the fence post, God has placed me, as His child, exactly where He wants me to be. The same is true for every believer. Wherever you are, you are there for a reason and just like that turtle on the fence post, it is to make people think about the One who put you there. Our purpose as believers is to let our light shine before men that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven. Whether you are a preacher, teacher, janitor, bus driver, sanitation worker, stay at home mom or whatever else, then be the most spirit filled one around. If you are recently retired or have been retired a long time and wonder how you will be productive in this new stage of life, remember God still has a purpose for you as long as you have the breath of life in you. Just like Ezekiel called the Spirit of God to fill the bodies that were once dry bones, stand strong in the Spirit as a member of the Kingdom of God and be accounted for. If you feel like all you can do is pray, then offer up the most Spirit filled prayers you can. The fact is, it’s not about us and what we can or can’t do. It’s about us being obedient to God and displaying His glory as much as possible, just like that turtle on a fence post.


July 3, 2018, 10:54 AM

Redeemed Furniture

I believe everyone is good at something. Some people are good at sports and others excel in academics. Some can fix a car or give a convincing speech. I’m not trying to brag, but my wife has many talents. She has strong administration skills, has obtained a certificate in personal training, manages a busy household and finds time to be my best friend. In the last year or so she has found something else she enjoys and is good at doing. She finds old, worn out furniture that seems to have lost its worth and practical use and refinishes it. We go around to garage sales or scroll through social media to find pieces that someone no longer wants or needs. Often these pieces have lost the luster of the glory days and show the marks of wear and tear or outright abuse. The furniture she works with didn’t choose to be carved in, roughed up, or colored on. Some of the items she finds are in good condition but the person is redecorating and going in a different direction or their taste has changed and it’s not the furniture’s fault, it just wasn’t working out. But when Emily gets hold of the furniture, something happens. She doesn’t see a broke down, scarred up old table. She sees an opportunity for families to gather around at dinner time and discuss their day. She looks beyond the scratches and coloring on a dresser and sees the beauty in the potential of restoration. I know this is not a new concept but the idea of it refreshed my spirit. The friend that works with my wife on the furniture told her one day that it reminds her of what God does with us. What a marvelous thought! I’m sure nobody asks to be abused, let go for something newer or younger, or hear the words, “it’s not you, it’s me.” Far too many people allow others to determine their worth and value. No matter how the world sees you or even you see yourself, through the redeeming power of God there is hope and a future. Regardless of circumstances, past or present, redemption can overcome what has been done and transform you into something amazing and beautiful. God provided a way for this in Jesus. Our worth is found in our position in Christ alone, not in pleasing others. God will never tell you that you’re being replaced by a newer model. Find beauty, healing, joy, peace, hope, and love in the redeeming power of God through Jesus. He will take the old and make it new, the broken and heal it, and the cast aside and claim it.


June 19, 2018, 11:29 AM

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!

Technology in our advanced modern times is absolutely mind-blowing. We have cars that can drive themselves, robots that can process data and “think” like humans, and phones that double as supercomputers that fit in the palm of our hand. It’s all so wonderful, until it’s not. Some of you know what I’m talking about. I confess that I’m not the most tech savvy person; I’m doing good to be able to log into my computer. However, a few weeks ago my phone decided that I no longer needed a couple of the apps that I had downloaded and deleted them. I have since been able to acquire them again but not until it caused some real issues with being able to communicate with people in other parts of the world. (I know the simple answer is to go get a new phone but my kids say I’m too cheap, I call it frugal.) As if that isn’t enough, for two weeks now I have had trouble getting my computer to do anything, much less access the internet. My secretary has listened to me bemoan the travails of this misfortune and offered multiple times to help me get a new computer. Even though it is several years old in computer years, I can’t seem to let go of it. The struggle of not being able to communicate via email or other accounts has become extremely frustrating during this time. I have tried to ignore it and do what I can on other computers but that strategy has proven to be ineffective. There is a problem somewhere between the internet and myself that is keeping me from doing what I’m needing to get done. I know it’s in my computer and I even know how to go about correcting the problem but until I address the problem it will never get corrected. There are times when we have things that hinder effective communication between us and God. Often it is that we are too busy to stop and pray or wait for the Lord’s response or turning a deaf ear to it because we don’t like the response, but it can also be unconfessed sin in our lives. Sin separates us from God and it’s not enough to simply acknowledge it and attempt to devise a different strategy for life. We must be quick to bring our confession and repentance to the Father through the Son in order to restore a healthy relationship and open communication with Him. A failure to communicate is said to be a part of the reason the Titanic hit the iceberg, don’t let a failure to communicate with God be the thing that causes disaster in your life. Jesus died so that we might be reconciled to the Father and have a direct line of communication with Him. Stop today and restore that relationship through confession and repentance and find the freedom of forgiveness.


June 8, 2018, 11:42 AM

Do You Work Here?

Well, tis the season! Not Christmas season, end of the school year and beginning of summer season. This time of the year has become so busy for us with the kid’s field trips, programs, awards, church camps, VBS, etc. One thing I have noticed on some of the field trips and vacations to various places is that it’s not usually very difficult to pick out who works at the particular place where we are and who is there as a guest. Sometimes the employees are noticeable because of their attire but there seems to be an even more telling characteristic than clothing. At one theme park we went to, the employees were the one who moved a little slower than the people who were there as excitement filled guests that were expecting to get something out of their visit to the park. The countenance on the faces of the patrons was also much different than those of the workers. The expressions of the employees seemed to express the fact that it was their job to be there and if they weren’t getting paid they wouldn’t be there. The guests seem to have a look of joy and anticipation. The list of behaviors and outward characteristics could go on much longer but I think you get what I’m saying. I wonder if that is true with the way some our churches look on Sunday mornings. Are the ones who attend regularly still as excited to be there as those who have come for the first time? Has it become a type of “work” or drudgery for us to come to church, or do we show up excited, expecting to worship the King of Kings. Are churches filled with people who are disappointed when they aren’t entertained enough by the music or the preacher? What does our behavior and attitude at church say about us? Are we excited to be there or simply there because we feel like we have to be?

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