May 26, 2017

The Word of the Lord

I’ve just discovered how often the phrase, “The Word of the Lord came to me…” appears in the major and minor prophets. As a mature believer I’m familiar with Scripture coming to mind at just the right time for the needed situation. However, I’ve not considered that, like waiting for an expected phone call, I should be waiting for and recognizing the Word of the Lord coming to me on a daily basis.

May 25, 2017

Soapbox

It is our job as believers strive to become more Christ-like. However, I’ll admit there are times when I can’t resist the temptation to publicly get on my soapbox and fight for justice, speak out against misuse of tax dollars and confront elected officials who fail to uphold their sworn oath of office. Jesus did not stand on a soapbox, but rather fulfilled the what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.” (Matt 12:18-20 NIV). 

May 24, 2017

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Last week Roger Ailes, the 77-year-old founder of Fox News passed away. Ailes is credited with discovering and hiring commentators, news anchors and weather personalities. In reflection commentator Sean Hannity recalled that during auditions for the network Ailes would turn off the sound and see if an interviewee could communicate without words. We believers often forget that it’s our actions that are read by others. Paul said, “The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden” (1 Tim 5:24-25).

May 23, 2017

Fact-Checking

A local opinion columnist seems to always disparage President Trump and it strikes me that the writer has no connection to Washington DC, or firsthand knowledge of the President. I’d be curious to know if his readers ever fact check his column, or if they are content to let him simply recycle what he has learned from other news sources. During my church visits I’ve developed a great appreciation for those pastors who are not intimidated by people who fact-check the message and encourage their members to use their Bible. Paul was not speaking about immature believers when he said, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV). 

May 22, 2017

Judging the Judges

Within the space of 30 minutes I listened while elected officials displayed a double standard when dealing with two different vendors. One vendor, who always stayed within their budget, was verbally spanked for not being more progressive. The second vendor was a friend of the officials and there was not one word of chastisement even though he had falsified marketing data and had nothing to show for $8,750 of taxpayer funds. “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good: Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent”— peoples will curse him and nations denounce him. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them” (Proverbs 24:23-25 NIV).

May 19, 2017

Testimony

I spoke to a woman on the phone to verify their church worship time and she suggested I avoid the first Sunday of the month because that is a time set aside for congregation testimonials. “I don’t want to discourage you from attending, but sometimes people get carried away and you can’t control the message.” I appreciate the candor and I understand where she is coming from. John said, “We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son” (1 John 5:9 NIV).

May 18, 2017

Continued Plowing

I realize that I sometimes irritate family and associates by repeating an opinion. In my mind when people don’t respond I feel they haven’t heard me, so I re-state the situation. In their mind they’ve heard what I have to say, have no comment and want to move on. I’m now trying to apply the words of Isaiah, “When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field” (Isaiah 28:23-25 NIV)?