Corrective Lenses

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My Musings – Sometimes, perhaps more often than we care to admit, we view life through the lens of worldliness.  We may think we are seeing clearly, but we are only seeing a distorted view of what God intends.  We do not necessarily adjust as quickly as we might like (or as God might like) to seeing things through our Father’s lenses.  As we grow in Christlikeness, however, seeing through the worldly lens becomes blurrier and the seeing through the Father’s lens become clearer.  But even then we can only see a poor reflection in this life.  When we at least see Him face-to-face, we will no longer need corrective lenses.

My Advice – Look through the Father’s lenses (the Word, prayer, worship, fellowship, etc.).

 

You Can Take It With You

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Job 1:21 – “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,  and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (NIV 1984)

My Musing – In reality, you can take it with you.  Not the possessions you might accumulate in this life of course.  You might actually die with these things possessing you instead of you possessing them.  Whichever is the case, you must relinquish them as you pass into eternity – whatever your final destination.  But there are some things that you can take with you.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:3-7)

What He has given us is not measured by the abundance of our possession or the wealth that we may happen to accumulate over a lifetime.  These may not even last our lifetime, and we certainly cannot take them with us.  But the above qualities can be ours, and we will take them with us into eternity.  How much the measure increases (1 Peter 3:8) in this lifetime, and how much we carry into the next life, is entirely up to us.  You see, “it’s not how much you [possess] but what you do with what you have [been given].”  So how full have you packed your suitcase?

 

 

 

 

Revolutionary Truth

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John 18:37“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. ~ Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) British prime minister.  In our day, I think we can add a fourth, the internet.

The truth seems to be such a rare commodity these days.  We seem to want to devise what it is that we want to believe, what it is that we want to be the truth, and then craft the “lies, damned lies and statistics” to support it.  Nothing seems more contradictory to me than the phrase “spin the truth.”  The truth needs no spinning.  It stands on its own and is never afraid of open and honest debate.  Lies on the other hand fear openness and debate.  Here are a few gems on telling the truth that I picked up, on the internet no less.  A touch of irony there, don’t you think.

  • A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn
  • Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. ~Author Unknown
  • A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb
  • Once you start telling lies, all your truths become questionable. ~Author Unknown
  • The truth is more important than the facts. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
  • If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain, 1894
  • No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. ~Abraham Lincoln
  • Truth fears no questions. ~Unknown
  • The truth needs so little rehearsal. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
  • It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~ Noel Coward
  • In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell

My Advice – Honesty is, and always has been, the best policy.  But it should be more than a policy, it should be who you are.

Think on Such Things

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Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV 1984)

My Musing – I think maybe we have all been where Arlo is. I know I have.  Of course, my wife would  argue the point and probably say I never read the instructions anyway.  Well, that’s another blog for another time.

It is all so easy for us to conform to the instructions or pattern of the world.  But Christ call us to a higher standard.  He calls us to be transformed,  How?  By Continue reading “Think on Such Things”

Happy Father’s Day

Proverbs 4:1 -5:1 – Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot sleep till they do evil; they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.  My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (NIV 1984)

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My Musings – Like Steve Young, my dad taught my brothers and me responsibility, accountability and the importance of hard work, among many other things.  I’ve tried to do the same for my son Joel.  I think it took, as I am proud of the man he’s become.  I never really had the opportunity to do this with Joshua, although He knew he was loved (just look at his happy face!).  While I say “I,” it is really we, for dads usually do not do it on their own.

I don’t know if Joel ever thought I was ignorant or found it hard to be around his old man, I don’t think so.  I know I never felt this way about my dad, and I’d love to still have him and Josh around.

I think the lesson here is to always appreciate them, cherish the time that you do have with them, and make memories.  It is over way too soon. While it is important to have a strong work ethic,  don’t spend all your time working and rushing around.  When it is over, memories will not be all that you have.  If you are or were lucky blessed enough to have a dad like mine, He will live on not only in your memories, but in your character.  And if you are or were lucky blessed enough to have sons like mine, do your best to pass along the character that you received, if not from your earthly father, then from your Heavenly Father.

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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8, NIV 1984).

My Advice – Be a good father, be a good son or daughter.  Learn from each other.  Cherish your time together.  Do not let your job or profession define who you are to such an extent that you spend your life working and rushing around.  Consider your ways and be wise.  Your job  is there for you to make a living (and hopefully a difference), not to make it your life.

Someone Else’s Musings

At 4 years old: My Daddy can do anything.
At 7 years old: My Dad knows a lot, a whole lot.
At 8 years old: My Father doesn’t quite know everything.
At 12 years old: Oh well, naturally Father doesn’t know it all.
At 14 years old: Father? Hopelessly old fashioned.
At 21 years old: Whoa, is that man out of date. What did you expect?
At 25 years old: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
At 30 years old: It’s amazing how wise he got in the last few years.
At 35 years old: We need to find out what Dad thinks about it.
At 50 years old: What would Dad have thought about it?
At 60 years old: My Dad knew everything.
At 65 years old: I wish I could talk it over with Dad one more time.

-Author Unknown

 

 

Every, Only & All – Oh My!

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Matthew 24:37-42 – “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.   Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Do you believe the account of Noah, the Ark and the flood?  As the above verse clearly indicates, Jesus did.  And how was it in the days of Noah that we are to keep watch?  In some ways it was normal – “people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” just like they always have.  But in other respects not so normal –  The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain (Genesis 6:5-6, NIV 1984).  Well, maybe every inclination is not yet only evil all the time.  But most would probably agree we are headed in that direction.

My Advice – Keep watch, the hour of the coming of the Son of Man is nearer now than when we first believed.  But do not just keep watch, be ready.

Post Script – That is a picture of my mom with my oldest brother visiting the Ark Encounter.  Her first real trip since my dad passed away in September 2015.  When she decided to get away, she did it big time – 40 days and 40 nights.  But like most vacations, wouldn’t you know it – it rained the whole time.

 

Upside Down Frowns

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Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. – Mark Twain

Romans 12:18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – A song I remember from my childhood included the phrase a smile is just a frown turned upside down.  Peace with others will come much easier with smiles than frowns.  And usually, whether we smile or frown does indeed depend on us.  Even if the others are frowning, our smiles can help turn those frowns upside down.

My Advice – Is not any better than today’s comic.  Be like the little children, just try giving a smile away.  And make sure the wrinkles of growing older are where smiles have been, not frowns.  In fact, make sure the smiles are not “has been,” but still are.  Just because we grow old does not mean we have to stop smiling.