Month: July 2013

Bullies

I imagine that bullies have been around since the beginning of mankind.  That fact doesn’t help anyone who is bullied feel any better.  Bullies in previous generations were limited to the school yard and neighborhood taunts.  Now they are on the internet and can target their victims in numerous ways.

Why do we feel the need to bully?  Does it make us feel better?  Do we like to make others suffer?  If we are bullies as children, do we grow up to be bullies as adults?

If you are a bully, stop and confess it today.  Repent and ask God to change your heart.  If you are being bullied ask God to strengthen you – it won’t last forever.  Those who are taunting you will soon leave your life and forget about you.

Reach out and love someone today.  Pull them up and give them a hug.  You may turn a life around for eternity.

2 Kings 2:22-24

Elisha Is Jeered

23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

A time to hate

I stood in line at a grocery store to pay for a couple items with cash.  In front of me a woman stood with a full cart while holding two children.  The mother had more than enough tattoos.  She held an iPhone and a pack of cigarettes.  C’mon, you know where this is going – She whipped out her access card to pay for her groceries.  The check out lady responded at the end, “you saved $5 today with your store card.”  I thought, “who saved $5?”  She didn’t pay a dime for all of that!

In Africa a tribal war heated up.  How does one tribe know who belongs to another tribe?  By the size of their nose!

Catholics fight Protestants.  Jews fight Palestinians.  Syrians kill each other.  Whites kill blacks, blacks kill whites.  On and on it goes.

Do we have time to hate?  Hate is prelude to murder.  Life is hard for all of us.  I don’t know what the tattooed woman with 2 children is up against today.  I pray that she finds life and that she walks with Jesus. I pray that her children can grow up and get out of poverty.

Do you have time to hate?

1 John 2:11

But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

My burden is light

I read this on FB.  I have no idea who wrote it but I liked it:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired:”How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

  1. Matthew 11:28
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


  2. Matthew 11:30
    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Is God offended when we fart?

*Warning* This may be offense to some.  Please proceed with caution.

I was sitting in church, listening to a sermon that was on theheavy side of boring.  It was warm and I was uncomfortable.  I was suffering from eating too much fried food the night before.  Have you ever been in public when that natural occurrence, that natural relief of gas, that bodily function that just shouldn’t be there, just won’t go away?  I was sweating.  There are two options to this function: one makes a horrific sound that everyone hears, especially in a quiet place like church; the other is a deadly odor that lingers and seems to never go away.

What do you do in these situations?  I thought briefly about trying to get up to leave but I was in the middle of the pew.  The name “pew” seemed like a terrible joke at this moment.  I was worried that by just moving I may “bless” everyone around me.  This may seem funny, but at the time it was far from being funny.

The long sermon finally came to an end but to my dismay, the pastor led us into a time of silent prayer and meditation on the word that was shared.  My meditation was on the unspiritual topic of “Is God offended when we fart?”  due to my suffering.

God created us.  He knew well before we were born that we would have unpleasant body functions.  He also said that He would be with us always.  So it’s not like we can slip away from God for a minute to relieve ourselves when we are suffering the way I was.  I don’t know whether God can smell the offense but I’m sure that He hears them.  There are times when it may be funny, just like there are times when it is funny with friends.  In my case, I like to blast my sons when we are in the car and I lock the power windows so that they cannot get relief!

But what about those special moments with God; Those times when we are in prayer, mediation, or Bible study.  Could this be offensive when we do something so rude while trying to worship?  I have read the Bible through several times and I have not found a scripture to list this as a sin.  Neither have I found any mention of it at all.   In fact, I believe God is silent on this subject altogether.  This is very frustrating to me.  I like a God that dictates everything we do.  I don’t like to sit and suffer but I most certainly don’t want to offend Him while praying.

How do we bow and pray saying “Dear Heavenly Father, we love you and worship you. . . “bleep”. . . and praise you above all else.”  This can’t be appropriate can it?  Should we excuse ourselves from prayer, go outside for a moment and then continue with the prayer?  Isn’t that silly?  God is still outside hearing and possibly smelling.  I wish there was some guidance in the scripture.

I finally went to my pastor and asked for his wisdom to this challenge.  He began laughing and thought I was trying to be funny.  This only added to my dismay.  There is a mention in the New Testament about offending the Holy Spirit.  Could this be it?

I asked the sales clerk at the Christian bookstore if she knew of any writing on the subject.  She blushed and walked away.  Am I being ridiculous?  Doesn’t anyone else wonder about these issues?  Am I the only one who has bodily urges while trying to pray?

Life was in a downward spiral.  I was becoming more depressed every day.  No one could help me with my spiritual quest.  My family was becoming distant.  How could they respect a man that farts while praying?

After all my searching, I still don’t have an answer.  Do we offend God when we fart?  Will we fart in heaven?  Is farting a sin?  Ok, I know that farting can’t be a sin but maybe when we are in prayer or worship?  Is there anyone who can help me find wisdom in this?

Sadness and Joy

I was told that I couldn’t comment on abortion because I don’t have a uterus.

According to this logic, I cannot comment on the  Trayvon Martin killing because I’m not black.

I can’t comment on the killings in Chicago because I don’t live there.

I can’t protect children from sexual abuse because I was not sexually abused and I’m not a pedophile.

I can’t love, hate, judge or comment on homosexuality because I am heterosexual.

Hmmm

Jesus wasn’t any of those either and yet he did weep.  He prayed.  He loved.  He touched all those issues and more even though he wasn’t always personally involved.   Now change the tense: He weeps, loves, prays, and touches.

John 11:35  –  Jesus wept.

We can all have JOY in that. . . .

 

 

A Royal Birth/or an abortion?

This is a re-post from May since the royal family is likely to deliver their fetus today.

This may make you stop and think all day –

The headline today reads “Watching Duchess Kate’s Baby Bump”.  What if Kate decided to have an abortion?  Even USA TODAY calls it a “baby”.  Not a fetus.  A baby.  Everyone acknowledges that it is a baby.  What if she aborted the heir to the throne of England?  Outrage? Cries? Murderer?  “The child was heir to the throne!”  He or she had so much purpose!

What right would she have to do such an atrocity?  Could the Queen stop her?  Could the country stop her?  Remember, it is HER body.  The baby doesn’t belong to Great Britain or does it?

What reasons would Kate have to kill her baby?  She is married, well off, has medical care, she is the right age, she wants to have a baby, and as far as we know the baby is healthy.  There would be no logical reason to kill it.

Except that she has the right to.  It is her body.  Her choice.  Imagine the headlines! The outrage.  She would be hated forever.

Is it based on that fact that this baby has a known destiny?  Or is it because she isn’t young, poor, or unmarried?  I doubt that even Planned Parenthood could justify this abortion.  Controversial?

Jeremiah 1:2 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

I forgot what game I was playing

I was playing a game and I forgot what I was doing.   I was making moves based on the hand that I  previously had.   I was moving along and realized that my mind must have froze up and I was left with a mess of a hand.   What was I doing?

I’ve done the same thing while driving: concentrating on a conversation or an audio book that I was listening to and all of a sudden I was on the wrong road.

I often have a million things on my mind and more stress than any human should carry.  Plus I’m getting older.  hmm.  But really, what am I doing?  Can you relate?

One minute I am discussing cow breeding with a friend (who has always lived in the city and knows zero about farm life) and the next second we are discussing the validity of the Bible.  What game am I playing?  Cow breeding or the validity of the scriptures?

I am telling a Mennonite friend about Pink Mennonites.  She is Mennonite and has never heard of them.  I’m no longer a Mennonite and I hear about them every day.  What is going on?  Did I change hands?

Life is certainly interesting.  The race is hard.  I grow weary but I need to finish.  As another friend mentioned “God knew me before I was born.”  That should be enough to inspire me to keep going no matter what game is playing.

1 Corinthians 9:25

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.