Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting Ready For 2011

From My Perspective - - -

It seems as though there should be more months left in 2010 – and yet – we are rapidly moving into 2011. Everyone hopes that the New Year will bring better and happier results – less foreclosures; fewer bankruptcies; lessening tension among volatile nations (Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan); lowering of national debt (13 trillion plus is more than absurd); government functioning in behalf of the citizens rather than in personal or vested interests; media to report facts rather than editorial assessment and attachment; churches refocusing on spiritual values rather than empire building and fund-raising appeals; etc.

One of the areas neglected in contemporary times is in terms of spiritual values. No one can deny they have eroded and shoved into the background of any modern lifestyle choice. With the desire and quest to become more relevant, the “church” has allowed itself to become more irrelevant. In its hope to gain more communicants, it has produced what is lackluster and ignored. It has removed itself from what is foundational to that which is speculative. It has distanced itself from the splendor of the Gospel to that which is deemed to be the spectacular and with greater appeal. The result of all these various attempts at relevance has produced a weakened and emaciated “church” that is increasingly being ignored. I Corinthians 14:7-8 states, “If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” At a time when the message of the Gospel should be thunderous, it has instead become hardly a whisper in the landscape of our nation and world. Within this culture, a giddiness has supplanted stability. Many of those who have aspired to and/or gained prominence in the area of religion have yielded to the quest for being the biggest and most popular rather than the most sound as the powerful message of redemption and hope is clearly proclaimed.

Rather than year-end appeals for contributions, why not a clarion call for repentance and revival? Why not trumpet the message that true change is possible and remedy for life can be an immediate reality? Why not focus upon substance rather than diatribe and the mediocre? In the midst of recession and/or depression, why not issue the call to implement II Chronicles 7:14?
  • “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face,and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
At a time when so many lives are fragmented under the pressure of uncertainty and loss, why not challenge the culture to find and apply the principles of spiritual maturity and to implement Ephesians 4:14-15,
  • “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
The culture has tried secular humanism and is learning that complete failure awaits one at the end of the day and at the end of the road. The “church” seems to display a restlessness and an interest in something “new” and dynamic. Over the years, the “church” has embraced liberalism/modernism; liberation theology; neo-orthodoxy; existentialism; modernity; and now – post-modernity. In these quests, the Head of the Church – Jesus Christ – is ignored or removed from the equation. Meanwhile, some of the largest media churches – while having popular appeal and some influence – omit reference to sin (that’s too negative) and place their emphasis on the positive and psychological message. We need to return to the foundational truths of the Gospel and spiritual growth, vitality and maturity as the lifestyle choice for the people. For instance, someone has shared: “…when maturity is taking place, balance replaces extremes and a seasoned confidence replaces uneasy feelings of insecurity. Good choices replace wrong ones. What characterizes your life and lifestyle? Do you have these marks of maturity: (a) Concern for others that outweighs personal concerns; (b) Detection of the presence of evil before it's obvious; (c) Self discipline; (d) Compassion and involvement; (e) Tempered emotions; (f) Consistently growing in God's Word?” This would be a worthy starting point for 2011. Will you give it your effort?  Will you try?  Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lame Ducks Seem To Be Flying High

From My Perspective - - -

One would picture a “lame duck” as a creature that is injured or suffering some major malady. The broad definition attaches itself primarily to politicians and has gained the meaning of: “an elected official or group of officials, as a legislator, continuing in office during the period between an election defeat and a successor's assumption of office; a person finishing a term of employment after a replacement has been chosen; anything soon to be supplanted by another that is more efficient, economical…” After the recent elections in November 2010, the returning Congress was repeatedly referred to as the “Lame Duck Session.” A Seattle Times Editorial summarizes: “…After tax-cut legislation was completed, eight Republicans joined Senate Democrats passing hard-fought and overdue repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" legislation… On an arms-control treaty with Russia reining in nuclear weapons, 13 Republicans joined Democrats and independents to support the treaty…” It seems as though the “lame duck” still had a lot of strut and quack left as the year ground toward an end.

One of the things that doesn’t get mentioned very often regarding a “lame duck” Congress or Presidency is the underlying concern of the politician for a “legacy” – something that would signify his/her focus and drive to see accomplished. A “legacy” has varied meanings but, in general, is: a gift of property, esp. personal property, as money, by will; a bequest; anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor…” Different writers have used the word “legacy” in interesting ways. An examples is: Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1466–1536), a Dutch humanist who wrote: “What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.” Another is Hope Edelman (20th century), U.S. author who wrote in an epilogue to Motherless Daughters: “I am fooling only myself when I say my mother exists now only in the photograph on my bulletin board or in the outline of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on in everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay. Loss is our legacy. Insight is our gift. Memory is our guide.”

In a Blog, Jeffrey H. Anderson has written: “There's a lot of overblown talk right now about how President Obama has righted his political ship since the midterm election by helping to force through an abundance of mostly liberal legislation in the lame duck congressional session. A Rasmussen Poll released on December 23, 2010 presents a very different conclusion. The poll shows that, by a margin of 3 to 2 (39 percent to 26 percent), likely American voters who have a strong opinion about President Obama's performance strongly disapprove of his performance – the exact same ratio (45 to 30 percent at that time) as on Election Day.  Among all likely voters (not just those who feel strongly), President Obama's approval rating has moved from minus-3 points on Election Day (48 percent approving, 51 percent disapproving) to minus-4 points today (47 percent approving, 51 percent disapproving).” Will this change in the next two years? Will he be able to preserve his legacy? Are most Americans focused on a President’s legacy?

A Legacy that matters most is shared in Psalm 37. It rests upon the Lord’s faithfulness. Just a few excerpts from Psalm 37:21-31, “…the righteous is generous and gives; for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land…The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing. Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever. For the Lord loves justice; He will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever…The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.” This is completely different from the “lame duck” politician who is primarily focused upon self and personal accomplishment. The Biblical Legacy is focused upon the Lord and His continued faithfulness toward the righteous. Consider these things with me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Are The Chances That...

From My Perspective - - -

What are the chances that you know everything there is to know and everything that is going to happen? What are the chances that your brain is used to a 100% capacity and completely saturated with information so that there is no more room for anymore data, facts, or experiences to remember? On December 19, 2010 – in a segment by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes (CBS) gave an extended report on: The Gift of Endless Memory – Superior Autobiographical Memory. Her report began: “It is often said that we are our memories - that web of experiences, relationships, thoughts, and feelings that make us who we are. We don't remember it all of course. That would be impossible. Or would it? There has been a discovery in the field of memory recently, so new you won't find it in any textbook. It's so hard to fathom, there are some who remain unconvinced. For the moment, the scientists studying it are simply calling it "superior autobiographical memory." And unless you happen to know one of the handful of people discovered so far who have it, get ready to be amazed.”

One who is conducting a study of this group was asked: “…is this group is anything like savants. ‘I guess the answer is yes and no. They're not people who have an extraordinary ability, but can't tie their shoe. And that's part of what, I think, makes this at least so interesting for me, is that you have this really remarkable ability in a person who is otherwise pretty darn normal…’ But what exactly does ‘normal’ mean, when you remember every day of your life? When everything good - and everything bad - that has ever happened to you is right there, instantly accessible? One was asked: ‘When you look back at painful memories, is it just as raw?’ The reply: ‘Sometimes it'll be as though it happened yesterday. Sometimes, it's as though it happened last week…’ Just the mention of a sad day, like the one in 1986 when one learned she'd have to change schools , and she relives it emotionally. She said: ‘I felt like my whole world was collapsing. And you say that and it's like all of a sudden I feel like this really heartbroken little 13-year-old all over again…”

Most of us have lives that are log-jammed with activity and experiences on a continual basis making it almost impossible to remember much more than the mere high points of a day or week. This brings up a question: What do you remember about December 21, 1554? This is the date when the last Winter Solstice and Lunar Eclipse coincided with each other. The winter solstice - the day that marks the beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year - occurs at 6:38 p.m. EST Tuesday: December 21, 2010. A lunar eclipse will occur this winter solstice. A lunar eclipse is when the moon falls in the Earth's shadow. The eclipse can be viewed in America by simply looking at the sky starting at 2:40 a.m. EST. Maximum eclipse will be at 3:17 a.m. The eclipse will be over at 3:53 a.m. it will also represent the darkest night of the year. In case you missed it last time, you can see what others saw 456 years ago.

What are the chances that you will see and experience what the Bible teaches about the sun and moon in the Day of the Lord. Such as, Isaiah 60:19-20 - “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” And the event described in Isaiah 30:26 – “The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.” There is also a description of a scene after the end of the world as we and generations prior to us have experienced it, namely, Revelation 21:23-25 – “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.” There is no element of “chance” at this juncture. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you will be in the presence of The Lamb – The Light of the world. Why take the chance of missing this eternal reality?  Consider these things with me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flying High

From My Perspective - - -

The journey into space and landing on the planets – it started with a humble beginning and effort 107 years ago – December 17th, 1903. The history of the Wright Brothers is somewhat ignoble. The sketch and summary of their lives is brief: “The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), built and flew the first airplane in human history. The brothers were engineers and tinkerers who founded the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio in 1892. While the bicycle business sustained them, they began to experiment with kites, gliders and other flying machines, always with an eye to creating a powered machine that could carry a man aloft. Their first successful flight, with Orville at the controls, took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on 17 December 1903. The plane covered 120 feet in about 12 seconds; a short flight, but enough to make history. Others had flown in balloons and gliders, but the Wrights' creation was the first in a manned, motor-powered, heavier-than-air craft.” A small portion of that first aircraft was carried in the Space Suit of Neil Armstrong as he landed and walked on the Moon – 66 years after the successful flight of the Wright Brothers. A favorite poem of most pilots and airmen is High Flight, written by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high un-trespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Robert Crawford is credited with writing the Air Force Song. The second stanza contains these words:
Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,  Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder; How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer  Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before And bombers galore. Hey!  Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

The Psalmist, pausing to muse about his life and God, wrote these thoughts in Psalm 139:7-12,Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there!...If I take the wings of the morning…even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day…” A Book written in 1945 – God Is My Co-Pilot - an autobiography by Robert Lee Scott, Jr. – tells of his association with the Flying Tigers and the United States Army Air Forces in China and Burma during World War II. At first, he was deemed to be too old (Age 34) to fly combat missions against the Japanese. He persuades Claire Chennault, the leader of the Flying Tigers to let him fly with the airmen who have been fighting the Japanese as a mercenary air force. Scott gets his chance to fight, ultimately engaging successfully in combat with the deadly fictional Japanese pilot known as Tokyo Joe. Question: Is God more than just a co-pilot in your life? Consider these things with me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


From My Perspective - - -
It’s strange how interruptions occur at the most inconvenient times, such as: (1) power outage – work is being done on a Computer project and some of that copy is lost or garbled; (2) watching a news event – either a power outage or a commercial break causes one to miss important details; (3) a public speaker – when an audience member rudely yells out; throws an object; has come with a group that will boo and hiss so the speaker can no longer complete the speech; etc. Interruptions are just a part of an ordinary life. If one was able to plan them or for them, would they really be Interruptions? How one responds to interruptions is important. Interruptions invariably occur when one is trying to rest, or dine with a spouse or other friend. It occurs by the telephone call or a knock on ones door. Telemarketers usually call when the average person is trying to relax. Does that annoy or frustrate you? Do you become irritated and resentful? Does it cause you to become impatient? Do you utter a profanity to indicate your annoyance?
There are different types of interruptions. A Classroom or Public Forum where a student politely asks for clarification regarding the subject being taught; or a Public Gathering where someone rudely disrupts with the intent of silencing the speaker. The definition of the word “interruption” is not very helpful. The meaning given is: “something (or someone) that interrupts, such as a comment, question, or action; an interval or intermission…” The Thesaurus lists up to 46 results and possibilities. Among them are: “break; interference…disconnection, discontinuance, disruption, intrusion, parenthesis, pause…” One of the options listed is the word “lacuna” – meaning: “pause, gap, interval, opening, space.” The Philosopher, Schopenhauer once stated: “Noise is one of the most impertinent of all forms of interruption. It is not only an interruption, but is also a disruption of thought.” A man – William Arthur Ward is reported to have said: Interruptions can be viewed as sources of irritation or opportunities for service, as moments lost or experience gained, as time wasted or horizons widened. They can annoy us or enrich us, get under our skin or give us a shot in the arm. Monopolize our minutes or spice our schedules, depending on our attitude toward them.” A somewhat caustic comment was made by Christopher Shays: “Cruise passengers can be blinded to the very real perils of the sea by ship operators unwilling to interrupt the party for security warnings. And after an incident occurs, a thorough investigation can be profoundly difficult when the crime scene has literally floated away, on schedule, to its next port of call,” One of the great political put-downs was in a speech by Arlen Specter when he told an opponent: “The word is, he was looking for a way to interrupt somebody in the middle of the word ‘if’…” There is the sobering thought by Rodney Dangerfield – the man who said – “I don’t get no respect.” – “I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.”
Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, there were several interruptions. One of them occurs in John 14. Jesus is in the midst of telling His disciples that He will be leaving them. When His earthly and physical ministry is completed, He will return to Heaven and prepare a place for all of His followers. He is in the middle of His statement in verses 3-4 is: “I will come again and will take you to myself, thatwhere I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” INTERRUPTION – verse 5: “Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Later on, Thomas would also have a problem understanding the resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 20). But this Interruption allowed Jesus to make the very succinct statement regarding one gaining entrance into God’s Heaven – verse 6: “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, andthe life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Kenneth Wuest in his Amplified Greek New Testament Studies gives his literal translation of John 14:6, “Jesus says to him, I alone, in contradistinction to all others, am the road and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Because of the Interruption by Thomas, we have the clear and precise nugget of God’s Truth as Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In Acts 4:12, Peter and John would offer as their defense: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no othername under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." This is God’s Truth! Have you believed and received it? Consider these things with me!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finagled and Flabbergasted

From My Perspective - - -

Certain events and experiences occur in one’s life or lifetime that fall into the categories of either having been finagled and/or left flabbergasted. Perhaps both occurred simultaneously. In 2008, when the headline read: “Bernie Madoff's $50 Billion Ponzi Scheme,” investment markets world-wide were both flabbergasted and had the sense of having been finagled. “A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going…The scheme is named for Charles Ponzi who became notorious for using the technique in early 1920 (Wikipedia).”

Forbes Magazine reported at that time, “Brazen fraud ensnares well-known investors and nonprofits and gives hedge funds another black eye. The shocking revelation that prominent investment manager Bernard Madoff's hedge fund, Ascot Partners, was a giant scam will intensify redemptions from scores of other hedge funds that will be forced to liquidate holdings and increase downward pressure on stock prices. This additional negative influence on the market, together with liquidations by mutual funds facing redemptions and endowments facing the need for liquidity, are three significant barriers for optimism about the direction of stock prices in the near term.”

The Forbes commentary summarized the obvious: “The arrest of the 70-year-old Madoff, widely considered to have the magic touch as an investor, is another serious black eye for the hedge fund industry and all non-transparent investment vehicles. Investors across the New York area have clamored to be in Ascot because of the stability of double-digit returns and the reports of serious wealth creation. The scandal is bound to reveal the inner workings of the hedge fund industry, whereby intermediary feeders bring in their clients and take fees for putting clients with an investment manager. If Madoff hadn't faced $7 billion in redemptions, this Ponzi scheme might not have been discovered. What's astonishing is that he got away with it for so long with nobody discovering it. What his four family members in Ascot knew is a puzzle that everyone wants answered, but one thing is certain: It's virtually impossible to have returns like Madoff reported, and it should have been a major warning signal.”

What happened was a classic use of finagling. Finagle means: “to trick, swindle, or cheat; to get or achieve (something) by guile, trickery, or manipulation.” An apt synonym would be conniving – to “plot or scheme.” At the same time, the unsuspecting investors were flabbergasted when the news broke of the massive fraud that had been perpetrated. To be flabbergasted means: “to be overcome with surprise and bewilderment; astounded.” The synonyms are interesting amplifications: “amaze, astonish, stagger, nonplus, confound; perplex, confuse, mystify.”

II Thessalonians 2:9-12 is an example of spiritual finagling, conniving, flim-flam and a Ponzi-type scheme extraordinaire. The text states: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The key is in the phrase “believe what is false.” The Madoff Investors believed they would receive extraordinary returns. They believed what was false. In a Biblical-Spiritual sense, there are those who will jettison walking by faith in Jesus Christ and allow themselves to be enticed by the grandeur of the moment – “the activity of Satan – all power, false signs and wonders.” The truth is not in the spectacular but through faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


From My Perspective - - -

December 7, 1941 – A Day That Shall Live In Infamy! President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a Joint Session of Congress on December 8, 1941 at 12:30 p.m. His speech began: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace…”

A Day of Infamy. Infamy means: “extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act…” The Encyclopedia Britannica shares – Infamy: “public disgrace or loss of reputation, particularly as a consequence of criminal conviction. In early common law, conviction for an infamous crime resulted in disqualification to testify as a witness. The criterion for considering a crime infamous was whether or not it stamped the offender as untrustworthy. The concept was, therefore, at first limited to so-called crimen falsi, originally perjury, but was extended to any crime involving fraud or corruption.” The Japanese representatives in negotiations proved to be deceptive and disingenuous. They were “lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere.”

There are other historical uses of the word/term Infamy. For instance, Wikipedia indicates: “Infamy is a term…in Roman Catholic Canon Law.There are two types of infamy, infamy of law (infamia juris) and infamy of fact (infamia facti). (1) Infamy of law is contracted in one of three ways. Either the law itself attaches this juridical ineligibility and incapacity to the commission of certain crimes, or makes it contingent upon the decision of a judge, or finally connects it with the penalty imposed by him. This kind of infamy is incurred chiefly by those guilty of dueling (whether as principals or seconds), rape (as likewise those who co-operate in it), attempt to marry during the lifetime of the actual consort, heresy, real simony, etc. Infamy of law may be removed either by canonical purging or by application to the Holy See. (2) Infamy of fact is the result of a widespread opinion, by which the community attributes some unusually serious delinquency, such as adultery or the like, to a person. This is more of an unfitness than an irregularity properly so called, unless sentence in court has been pronounced. It ceases therefore when one has shown by a change of life extending over a period of two or probably three years that his repentance is sincere.”

The word “infamy” appears in Ezekiel 36:1-4 (KJV): “…Ye mountains of Israel,hear the word of the LORD:…Because…they have made you desolate, and swallowed you upon every side,that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen,and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers,and are an infamy of the people…” Days of Infamy – such as the Sodomites in Genesis 19, or the godless/unrighteous in Romans 1, or the enemies of the righteous – days of infamy are real and should be remembered as landmark moments from which all can and should learn. Historically, the nation has been called to remember certain things, such as “Remember The Alamo.” This was also the case in December 1941 and the patriotic reminder to “Remember Pearl Harbor.” The Biblical Church is called upon to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8); and “Remember also your Creator…before the evil days come and...” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). A line from an old ballad is: “Try to remember, and if you remember, Then follow” is an apt reminder for us to Follow our Victor, the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:57). Consider these things with me!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


From My Perspective - - -

I’ve been wanting to write about the subject of Procrastination in this Blog but just never got around to it. I’ve always thought there would be a better day, time or place for doing it. However, we’ll have to see how far I can get before deciding that I’ll finish these remarks another time. There was something I promised myself that I’d do yesterday and didn’t get done – actually – I never got started on it, so I better get that done before I continue writing about Procrastination. The proverb that states: “Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today!” finds no entrance into the thought processes of a typical Procrastinator. Some have gone so far as to organize and become a Group of Procrastinators. A man – Robert C. Shannon – wrote: “There really is a Procrastinators' Club of America, with headquarters in Philadelphia. Their objective is to make known the benefits of putting things off until later. They publish Last Month's Newsletter, and have protested against the War of 1812; tried to get someone to fix the crack in the Liberty Bell; and traveled to Spain to try to raise money for three ships to discover America. The club holds irregular and, of course, late, meetings. If all of us who put things off were to join, it would be the biggest organization in the world. No doubt many of us intend to join, we just haven't gotten around to it yet!” Someone wrote a Poem that gives some sense to how the Procrastinator thinks:

I spent a fortune on a trampoline,
A stationary bike and a rowing machine
Complete with gadgets to read my pulse,
And gadgets to prove my progress results,
And others to show the miles I've charted -
But they left off the gadget to get me started!

That’s a sad picture and story about too many of us. Some pithy comments regarding Procrastination are: “Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.” Another is: “The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.” And, “If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done.” Lastly, “Someday is not a day of the week.” With that in mind, there is this statement in Proverbs 27:1 (ESV), “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” In The Message Paraphrase: “Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow.” That is just as clear and plain as it can get. One must take care of matters today. No one can predict whether or not there will be a tomorrow in one’s lifespan. Psalm 90:10-12 states: “The length of our days is seventy years-- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away…Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” There is a positive commitment and discipline if one is to overcome the innate desire to put things off to another time and place, that is, to Procrastinate. Psalm 119:57-61 shares these words as an antidote to the tendency to Procrastinate: “You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands…I will not forget your law.” Do you see the seven steps given by the Psalmist? They are: 1) I have promised to obey; 2) I have sought Your face; 3) I have considered my ways; 4) I have turned my steps to Your Statutes; 5) I will hasten; 6) I will not delay; 7) I will not forget Your Law.

Jesus addressed the perils associated with Procrastination in Luke 9:57-62, “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, I will follow you wherever you go…He said to another man, Follow me. But the man replied, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. Still another said, I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family. Jesus replied, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Focus on other choices and priorities is also Procrastination. Consider these things that Jesus said and taught! Consider these things with me…!