My oldest son recently got this t-shirt for me for my birthday. It is from one of my favorite TV shows. I have shared before that I am a fan of the TV show Seinfeld. While I fully accept the fact that sometimes the show is a bit…bawdy…for my money, it is one of the funniest shows in TV history. There is an episode where Jerry’s best friend George is unemployed and trying to work the unemployment system for all he can. He has to check in with the Unemployment Office regularly, telling them where he has been applying for jobs. The problem is…he really HASN’T been applying for jobs!
April 29th…an important day in my life! On this date, ___ years ago (Yes, that is intentionally blank! I’m NOT going to publicly reveal my wife’s age! I mean, I was born at night…but it wasn’t LAST night!), my wife was born. She wasn’t, of course, my wife when she was born…but she was destined to be! And I do believe that. We both dated other people in our lifetimes, but I believe with all my heart that we were meant to be together!
A few years ago, my older son was performing with his high school marching band at the then TWA Dome in downtown St. Louis. At time, we lived near St. Louis, so I jumped on the Metrolink train and headed over so I could watch him perform. After he was done, I walked out of the dome and headed to the train platform to catch the next train back to my car at the station in Illinois.
Today we begin a new Wednesday devotional series called Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Bible. Each Wednesday we will look at a section of books from the Bible- this will literally be an overview of the Bible as a whole. Today’s devotional is called Beginnings, and it deals with the 1st 5 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books, the writing of which is attributed to Moses, are the foundation upon which the rest of the Bible rests- they are very important books.
My younger son has some issues with allergies. We aren’t really sure what he’s allergic to, despite extensive testing…but’s it’s clearly…something! One thing that seems to affect many people who suffer from allergies is the sting of a bee or wasp. I know folks who have HORRIBLY bad reactions to them. (Horribly like, “If I don’t get treated for this in a timely manner…I might die” horribly!) Recently, my wife, younger son and I went to a community in Southern Illinois to visit a family grave plot and place (actually RE-place) some artificial flowers that decorate a couple of the stones.
If you know me at all, you know what a
lover of music I am. I love many different genres of music, but “classic rock”
would have to be at the top of my list. And the Eagles (Don Henley, Glenn Frey,
Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt) would have to be one of my favorite bands of
all time. They had MANY hits over the years (Already Gone, Best Of My Love, Desperado,
Hotel California. I Can’t Tell You Why, Life in the Fast Lane, Lyin’ Eyes, Take
It Easy…the list goes on and on!), but there is one song that didn’t get much
airplay but has much to say to up right now. It’s called After the Thrill Is
Gone, and it says, in part: “The flame
rises but it soon descends- empty pages and a frozen pen. What can you do when
your dreams come true and it’s not quite like you planned? Time passes and you
must move on. Half the distance takes you twice as long. Same dances in the
same old shoes. You get too careful with the steps you choose. You don’t care
about winning but you don’t want to lose…after the thrill is gone.” Time
passes and you must move on. You don’t care about winning but you don’t want to
lose- after the thrill is gone.
Easter has come…and gone. There is SUCH anticipation
about Easter. The excitement and joy are nearly palpable. We can hardly wait
for it. But then it’s here, and in the blink of an eye, the whole thing’s over.
And, for many, there is a notable, measurable let-down. It’s like the joke that
everyone says is the funniest joke they’ve ever heard. They tell you that and
they tell you that…and then they tell you the joke itself, and it can’t POSSIBLY
life up to the hype. Easter is much like that. So where do we go from here?
What do we do…after the thrill is gone? Do we simply go back to…ordinary…just let
our relationship with God slide, let our church attendance slip, let our prayer
life stagnate? Or do we commit to NOT letting that happen? Do we dedicate
ourselves to being all that God had called us to be? Ultimately, it is a
conscious choice on our part. We can choose to simply…exist…and wait for NEXT
Easter season to get “juiced up” again, or we can step out in faith and be on
the leading edge of a resurgence of faith.
How about you…is the thrill gone? Are you
feeling a bit…blah…about your faith? Here’s my challenge to you- come to church
EVERY Sunday, participate in the life of the church, be about the business of
Jesus Christ…and see if it doesn’t reset your “thrill” meter! Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day! Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!
A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication. She got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys in the car. She looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time or other had locked their keys in their car, but she didn’t know how to use it. So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes an old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker do-rag on his head. The woman looked up and whispered, “This is what you sent to help me?” But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful. The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said, She told him her situation and asked if he could help. “Sure”. He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute had it opened. She cried and hugged him, and through her tears said, “Thank you SO much! You’re a very nice man.” The man replied, “Lady, I’m not a nice man. I just got out of prison…today- I’ve only been out for about an hour. I was in prison for car theft.” She hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud, “Oh, Thank you God! You even sent me a professional!”
re they put him.’” Well…if the tomb’s empty, then why is she still there? If you’ve ever lost a loved one who meant more to you than life itself, you know why she was there. She was there because death couldn’t destroy her love for Jesus. She weeps because the tomb is empty. What should have been good news broke her heart! We see the empty tomb as one of the greatest proofs of the Resurrection…but Mary weeps. Evidence alone won’t persuade anyone. Unless the evidence is accompanied by proper understanding and an open heart, no one will ever be changed. Mary had all the right facts…but she still jumped to the wrong conclusion. Then, she turns and sees Jesus standing there…but she doesn’t recognize Him. “Woman, why are you crying? Who’re you looking for?” Mary thinks he’s the gardener and says, “Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him and I’ll get him.” Why didn’t she recognize Jesus? The text doesn’t say, but here are some possibilities. She wasn’t expecting to see him. It’s a contextual thing- you see the checker from the grocery store at a restaurant and you don’t recognize her. He was out of context. But I think the main reason is that Jesus deliberately veiled his own identity. He didn’t want Mary to recognize him so that he could teach her an important truth. She had to learn that he’s always present…even when he’s invisible to the naked eye, that he’s often closest to us when we feel the most alone. Just because we don’t see him doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Then Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She instantly recognizes Him and calls him Teacher. Mary clings to Jesus and He tells her not to. Her clinging meant, “I think everything is the same as it used to be.” But Jesus says, “No, many things are different now.” Then He tells her to go and tell the others. So she goes to the disciples and tells them she has seen the Lord. The mourner becomes the missionary! So it is with all who meet the risen Lord. We are called to do as Mary did- run and tell all who will listen that we’ve seen Jesus!
nge it over night. But we have to start somewhere. I have a suggestion as to how we might begin to stop it- here it is. Before every committee meeting, ask this question: “Is what we’re about to discuss worth the price Jesus paid on the cross? Is what we’re doing right now, or fighting over right now, worth the shedding of Jesus’ blood? Did Jesus die on the cross so that we could be this kind of church?”