Wednesday, February 26, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

Peace is a word that flows so easily from one’s lips but is so difficult to achieve. There are those with the title of Prime Minister, Secretary of State, and Ambassador whose primary mission is to establish and preserve peace throughout the world. While the diplomatic effort is ambitious, and in some ways worthwhile, there is something that serves as a roadblock to the achievement of compromise or capitulation in order to gain some semblance of agreement to peaceful goals and purposes in the world. Instead of peaceful relationships, one can find turmoil. Instead of compatibility with one another, there is often conflict. Instead of harmony, there is hostility. One can only wonder about the seriousness of the nations in the world regarding any peaceful coexistence. Do they really desire peace or is their goal supremacy over others. For many years, especially during those designated as the Cold War era, there was a fragile balance of power that depended upon the weaponry available to the nations. For the primary powers, it was labelled AMD-ICBM which conveyed to the world the capacity of nations in terms of Assured Mutual Destruction – Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles.

There is an interesting episode and picture of physical turmoil, risk, danger and looming death during a storm at sea. It is shared in Mark 4:37-39, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him: Teacher, don't you care if we drown? He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves: Quiet! (Peace!) Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”  A very dramatic Hymn was written on the basis of these verses. The first stanza and refrain state: “Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is overshadowed with blackness, No shelter or help is nigh; Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, When each moment so madly is threatening - A grave in the angry deep? (The Refrain): The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will, Peace, be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, Or demons or men, or whatever it be No waters can swallow the ship where lies The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies; They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, Peace, be still! Peace, peace be still!” Is that the song and confidence of your heart?

In John 16:32-33, Jesus has been speaking to His disciples in terms of turmoil in the world of their day. He said to them: “…the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.  These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." His clear indication is in terms of the evasiveness of peace in the world. Why is peace evasive? The answer: mankind is looking to the wrong source for peace. Jesus is clear: In the world there will be tribulation. However, in Jesus Christ there is valid peace because He not only created the world but He has also overcome it. He has said earlier – John 14:27 – that His Peace was both a legacy and gift for His followers. Note what Jesus states: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” In Jesus Christ is both one’s source and resource for lasting Peace.

Jeremiah and Ezekiel speak of the false prophets and priests of their day. Jeremiah 8:11 is representative of what is occurring: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace.” The NLT states: “They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.” What the prophets addressed in their day, is much more compounded in this day. There are many false messengers who are charming and beguiling great numbers of people. They continually offer a feel-good type of peace without insisting that a commitment and submission to the Prince of Peace is a basic requirement. If the message is clearly stated, an assurance of peace can be given. The song of praise in Isaiah 26:3-4 includes these words: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” May this be your song of praise. Consider these things with me. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

There are many varying views regarding life. For the past couple of generations, there has been the issue often discussed in terms of the value of life and when it begins. At the end of the day, those who championed the rights of a woman to determine what occurs with and within her body won a victory and the legalization of abortion became the law in the United States. Since 1973, the nation has allowed for the abortion of more than 55 million babies – and the count continues. In too many instances, very little value is attached to life.

In a recent report, the following was written: “She may not look anywhere near her 76 years but Jane Fonda says she is well aware of her age. The Hollywood legend…admits she has been brought to tears on more than one occasion recently as she comes to terms with her own mortality. In a blog post entitled 'Crying', she wrote: '[I've been thinking], how come my tears are so close to the surface? And I’ve come to feel it has to do with age. I have become so wonderfully, terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left; how much of it is behind me…” Many would view her life as having been glamorous and successful, but as time passes and as friends and/or associates die – one cannot escape the mortal factor and reality. It is especially difficult if one’s view of life is merely focused on the day one was born up to and until the day when one dies.

Life should have greater meaning and purpose. There needs to be a much broader understanding of that which is mortal and the fact of the immortal. A person who may have projected very little religious concerns nevertheless has the expectation of going to heaven. Why is that the thought and case? In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a list of contrasts and extremes that all encounter in life. They include: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Within the framework of time, something else is present within one. Verse 11 of this chapter indicates: {God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Augustine referenced this as being a “God-shaped hole within every man.” Another commented on this thought and indicated that it is a God-shaped hole in the heart and mind of the individual.

As Moses reflected on life and death, he indicated in Psalm 90:10, “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. That being said, how then should one be living? An old Hymn written by H. S. Lehman makes this statement of truth in the Refrain: “What you are, speaks so loud, that the world can't hear what you say. They're looking at your walk, not listening to your talk, they're judging from your actions every day. Don't believe, you'll deceive, by claiming what you've never known, they'll accept what they see and know you to be, they'll judge you by your life alone.”

How should one view life – but more purposefully – how should one view death? When Paul wrote about the resurrection and the implications that it holds for the follower of Jesus Christ, he indicated the following in I Corinthians 15:42-58 (NLT), “Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies…What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever. But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us…our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die…then at last the Scriptures will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?...we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” Consider these things with me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

A question that is asked from time to time is: How many famous people do you know? The question isn’t inquiring about people of notoriety or those who are prominent in the media. The idea is in terms of how many famous people have you met where a mutual friendship has developed and currently continues. There is also a distinction between having fame and being famous. Having fame is more temporary than permanent.

Fame is: “a common estimation or opinion generally held of a person or thing; reputation.” In an attempt to draw a distinction between fame on the one hand and being famous on the other, the World Dictionary makes this statement about one being famous via a Synonym study that concludes: “(1) Famous is one who is celebrated, eminent and distinguished. It has reference to someone or something widely and favorably known. (2) Celebrated originally referred to something commemorated but now usually refers to someone or something widely known for conspicuous merit or services. (3) Eminent implies high standing among one’s contemporaries, especially in one’s own profession or craft. (4) Distinguished adds to eminent the idea of honors conferred publicly.”

For a nation (USA) that has been engaged in several Wars throughout its History, one would think that those who received special recognition for their service rendered would be considered “famous”. However, the best words that are accorded them are (1) Wounded Warriors, or (2) Heroes. The outstanding heroes are the recipients of The Medal of Honor – the highest honor that can be bestowed by a grateful nation. How many heroes have there been that have been honored in this manner? As of October 2013, there have been “3,480 Medals of Honor Awarded; for 3,475 Different acts of Heroism; performed by 3,461 different individuals; of whom 3,452 are identified by name in the Roll of Honor; (The remaining 9 are awards to the Unknown Soldiers).”

The Bible speaks about fame in different contexts. Those who gained fame would have to exercise great care to remain worthy of the level of fame achieved. Three instances are: First, Joshua 6:27, “So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.” His example of faithfulness, loyalty and wholehearted commitment to the Lord’s purpose brought him fame. Second, in Joshua 9:9, the fame is directed properly to Jehovah God: “And they said to him (Joshua), From a very far country your servants are come because of the name of the LORD your God: for we have heard the fame of him (the Lord your God), and all that he did in Egypt,” Third, I Kings 10:1, 6-7, “Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions…Then she said to the king: It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.” Joshua was guarded in that his sole commitment was to honor the Lord and to lead a nation in accordance with God’s will and purpose for them. Solomon would have to be guarded so that flattery regarding his wisdom and notoriety did not become an albatross to him and result in a diminished capacity to serve acceptably before the Lord.

There is a list of outstanding individuals who accomplished exploits for the Lord and who could be considered as being famous. Hebrews 11 has been referred to as “The Roll Call of Faith”! It surely is that – but – it is also much more. It is a listing of ordinary people who were enabled to do extraordinary things because they had faith in God and were committed to His purpose being accomplished through them. Hebrews 11:38 contains the words that could serve as the epitaph for those who went forward “by faith”! The words of summary are: “of whom the world was not worthy.” So much of what is done amid the cultural chaos seeks to gain the acclaim of one’s contemporaries. It would be so much better if our names could be attached to those in Hebrews 11 – and – at the end of our sojourn on earth, God’s epitaph for us would be – “of whom the world was not worthy.” May God grant that for you/us. Consider these things with me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

All of us have a choice in life. We can either (a) focus on the chaos of the world in which we live, or (b) focus on our expectation and hope of entering a heavenly home where there is no chaos, pain, hardship or sorrow. What one does between being a conqueror amid the chaos in the world and being ready for the heavenly dwelling place is of the utmost importance.

In just a few days, March 5, 2014, the Lenten Season begins. It is good to review the events of the life of Christ and the death He would die. Many have a friend who weekly enters a post and graphic on her webpage that states: “Worship Him. Remember - Every Sunday is Easter Sunday.” The point of this entry is twofold: (1) Sunday needs to be viewed as The Lord’s Day, and (2) The object of one’s worship is The One who was raised from the dead on the first day of the week – Jesus Christ. A fascinating verse is II Corinthians 5:15, “he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” It is the last phrase that serves as the basis and hope that one has in Jesus Christ – “He was raised.” 

Another significant passage as a basis for one’s expectation and hope is John 14. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about His leaving them and where He will be going. John 14:1-3, 27 states: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  He is saying to His followers: (1) Heaven is a Promised Place; (2) Heaven is a Prepared Place; and (3) Heaven is a Peaceful Place.

What will occur when a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is reunited with Him? Revelation 21:1-7 gives one a glimpse of what it will be like when Jesus returns and we are caught up to be with Him. John writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said: Behold, I am making all things new…It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment…

Walter S. Harrah wrote the lyric for an anthem that captures the words of this passage:
”The timeless theme, earth and heaven will pass away. It's not a dream; God will make all things new that day. Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell. Evil is banished to eternal hell.
“See all around, now the nations bow down to sing. The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King. Slowly the names from the book are read. I know the King, so there's no need to dread.
“See over there, there's a mansion, oh that's prepared just for me, where I will live with my Savior eternally.” And the Refrain triumphantly resounds: “No more night. No more pain. No more tears. Never crying again. And praises to the great "I AM." We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.”

The words of I Thessalonians 4:13-18 are important for one to remember: “I do not want you to be ignorant (uninformed)…concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope…For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  Consider these things with me!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

Almost sixty years ago, five young men believed it was their God-given mission to enter an area where missionaries had not yet gone. It was called Operation Auca. These men left their families in a safe location and flew into eastern Ecuador to reach the Huaorani tribe. They had circled the area for several days lowering different items to the tribes-people below and had reason to believe they could land and begin to make a meaningful contact with them. That did not happen. Some of the tribesmen were more hostile to the strangers resulting in all five men being killed. Before these men left for Waodaoni territory in September 1955, they joined with their families and sang a Hymn that had been published in 1895. They knew the dangers and risks attached to their journey and effort. They also knew the will and purpose of God for them at that moment of time. The words they sang are compelling and should be embraced as both a personal commitment and a source of comfort during any time of challenge, uncertainty, risk or danger.

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender, 
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling, 
And needing more each day Thy grace to know: 
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
“We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

With the rapid passing of time, one cannot help but think of health and aging – death and dying. In some cultures, there is a great respect shown toward the older members of the respective societies. In other cultures, the older adults are sometimes treated as though they are in the way of the younger people. There are all too many older adults who are lonely and isolated. Some are in Nursing Homes and others in a private residence. As we approach another Valentine’s Day, greeting cards will be exchanged; candy and flowers given; stuff animals are sent – all intended to be an expression of “love” in a secular sense. Love is more than a seasonal action marked by the commercial tokens sent or given. Love is an action that is to occur as a constant in one’s life. 

A few things we would do well to remember and implement are: (1) I Corinthians 13:1-8(a). A summary is: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Vs. 3-4 in The Message states: “I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut.” (2) Proverbs 4:20-23. A summary is: “be attentive to my words...Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart…Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs (the issues) of life.” In The New Living Translation: “Pay attention…to what I say. Listen carefully. Don't lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart…Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”  (3) I hope at the end of the day each of us will be able to echo the words of Psalm 37:23-26, “The steps of a (good) 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.” Great is the faithfulness of The Lord. Consider these things with me.   

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

Modern psychologists can identify dozens of emotions experienced by humans. However there are seven that are considered the "root" emotions. (1) Anger: ranges from highly irritable to frustration. Anger easily attaches itself to resentment, exasperation, rage and fury. (2) Anxiety is usually subjective and expresses with nervous or uneasy feelings. It can result in one sensing distress and having apprehensions. (3) Surprise can be a feeling of something pleasant or unpleasant. Several other emotions flow from surprise, such as: amazement and astonishment. (4) Trust finds its origin in one’s inner-strength and values. Psychologists refer to it as strength or self-assuredness. Theologians refer to it as faith and a sense of inner-security. (5) Grief usually occurs when there is the experience of suffering over a loss or due to a painful experience. It is a given that there are varying degrees of grief, ranging from disappointment to despair. Grief can easily and quickly slide into a degree of anguish and heartache. (6) Fear originates from within regarding possible negative experiences regarding personal harm, danger, threat or loss. Other possible and/or likely responses include apprehension, dread, or a feeling of panic regarding the unknown. (7) Love contains both a spiritual (relationship and commitment) and physical (familial interaction) component. Love is something more than a romantic relationship or a moment of passion. If it is part of one’s core values, it requires a spiritual response to the agape love of God as one makes it foundational and purposeful in his/her life.

This past Sunday proved to be an experience ranging from joyous celebration to sadness and sorrow. We were privileged to attend the joyous celebration for a lady who has been a member and a pillar of the church. She was being honored for her life and many years of faithful service. We would then journey to attend an afternoon funeral service. The sadness and sorrow was because of the sudden death of a husband, father and grandfather. He had served his community church faithfully and would greet one with a firm handshake, broad smile and words of appreciation. There is a connection between these two events. The one being honored will have to adjust to a vacuum in her life. The church was a very real part of who she is and what she loved to do. Because of her relationship to Jesus Christ, she will be sustained by the abundant life in Christ (John 10:10); the fullness of joy as she abides in Christ (John 15:11); and the all-sustaining peace of God (John 14:26-27). The one for whom the funeral was taking place will leave a vacuum in the lives of his loved ones, friends, and the church in which he was an intricate part. The loved ones will be sustained by the comfort of God (II Corinthians 1:3-4), and as they rest upon the truth – Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).   

Part of both the joy and comfort factors in our human and spiritual emotional range is expressed in the words of a Hymn written 100 years ago by Oswald J, Smith. Stanza 1: “Into the heart of Jesus; Deeper and deeper I go, Seeking to know the reason Why He should love me so, Why He should stoop to lift me Up from the miry clay, Saving my soul, making me whole, Though I had wandered away.” Stanza 4: “Into the joy of Jesus, Deeper and deeper I go, Rising, with soul enraptured, Far from the world below. Joy in the place of sorrow, Peace in the midst of pain, Jesus will give, Jesus will give; He will uphold and sustain.” Stanza 5: “Into the love of Jesus Deeper and deeper I go, Praising the One Who brought me Out of my sin and woe; And through eternal ages Gratefully I shall sing: O how He loved! O how He loved! Jesus, my Lord and my King!” Whether one is at the peak of joy or at the depths of sorrow, he/she is served well and best by remembering the words of Stanza 4: “Into the Joy of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go.” As one does this, what does he/she find? The answer is: “Joy in the place of sorrow, Peace in the midst of pain – Jesus will give – He will uphold and sustain.” It is so good to know and be in a relationship with the eternal and faithful God. May the words of Lamentations 3:22-24 always be that which sustains you/us: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him." Let these truths be your strength, comfort, hope and joy. Consider these things with me! 

Monday, February 10, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

The front page of the Tuscaloosa Alabama News for February 09, 2014 had a front page Headline Article, “Secret Struggles of Pastors” written by Staff Writer Jason Smith. In a section captioned “Tough Career”, he lists a series of percentages of Pastoral Survey Responses: “90% report working between 55 to 75 hours per week; 80 % believe the ministry has negatively affected their families; 80% say they feel unqualified and discouraged as a Pastor; 90% say the ministry is completely different than imagined; 70% say they are constantly fighting depression; 70% say they do not have a close friend; 33% confessed to inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church; 50% say they would leave the ministry but have no other way of making a living; 50% will not stay in the ministry for more than 5 years.” One of the sources used for these statistics is Pastoral Care, Inc. However, there are scant corroborating resources given to support the findings.

Some older research and report by Peter Wagner on America Preachers website gives some similar concerns and reasons why ministers feel the way they do. His statistical sources cited are: (1) The Fuller Institute, (2) George Barna, and (3) Pastoral Care Inc. He has written a column on: “The Secret Pain of Pastors.” He offers insight into the six major struggles pastors face in the ministry and how to overcome them. Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America are: The President of the USA; A University President; A CEO of a Hospital; and A Pastor. He lists six areas under “unique problems that Pastors face”, and they are: 1. Criticism.  Pastors can be criticized by a lot of people for a multitude of things. Music is too loud. Sermon is not deep enough. It’s too long. Pastor thinks he’s too important. 2. Rejection. Members leave, leaders leave, and pastors’ friends leave. The smaller the church, the more obvious it is when people leave. 3. Betrayal. Trusting church members with personal burdens can backfire. They may end up telling the pastor’s personal issues to others. 85% of pastors said their greatest problem is they are tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. 4. Loneliness. Who’s my friend?  Who can I trust? If I tell another pastor my problems, will he criticize me, tell others, or just treat me differently? 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend. 5. Weariness. 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years. 70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only 50% still felt called. 6. Frustrations & Disappointments. Disappointments come in many ways. Because of smaller congregations, the average compensation package for pastors is between $35,000–$40,000. There are many things pastors in this salary range are not able to do for their family that other people around them can do.”

Are these numbers an accurate representation of church and ministry in the United States or do they result in numbness as one reads them? If so, is it any wonder that the decadence of our culture is so rampant? What is a Minister/Pastor called by God to think, feel and do for The One Who has called him to serve? Some of God’s criteria for his servants are: II Timothy 2:3-4, “Share in suffering (endure hardship) as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” II Timothy 2:15, “(Study) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” The idea is for one to study thoroughly; to be diligent in the task of preparation and presentation; to be faithful to the text and ministry. God has placed a minister as and where He pleases and wants Him. The Minister should be committed to Walking circumspectly and Redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:15). He would do well to apply the notes of John Wesley regarding this text: "do all the good you can; in all the ways you can; to all the souls you can; in every place you can; at all the times you can; with all the zeal you can; and for as long as ever you can.” May those who minister be encouraged by James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” Be faithful to The God Who is always faithful. Consider these things with me.

Monday, February 3, 2014


From My Perspective - - -

When it comes to the areas of publicity or self-promotion, image is vital. To achieve an image requires a personal discipline and persona. Additionally, this effort will also necessitate a degree of “hype” if a personal goal of impressing others is to be realized. Hype requires: “to stimulate or excite; to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods; to publicize or promote.” It will include a very favorable personal profile of successes (real and/or exaggerate) and a listing of prominent references. When it comes to the area of “type”, the person is seeking to project a particular set of characteristics, or to put himself/herself into a select group, class or category. The idea is to project professionalism and to cause others to think of one as the voice to be heard and the authority to be followed.

There are many areas to illustrate where both Hype and Type are emphasized. In Politics, Sports, Performing Arts, Field of Medicine and Journalism, the effort of self-promotion is present and obvious. One other area where this is evident is in various Religious and Ministry Endeavors. While some would suggest that “cream always rises to the top”, therefore the best in religious endeavor are to be afforded the same stature and position of acceptance because of personality and mega-sized effort or organization. Publicity and Personality become the critical issue and Prestige soon follows the “Hype and Type” image creation that has transpired. While the “Hype and Type” factor prevails and finds acceptance, those who labor unnoticed should not view themselves as being lessor or inferior. Despite the fact that pecking orders can and do exist, no one should deem himself/herself as a disparaged being and/or of no vital value in a just and right cause.

Particularly, in the area of religious endeavor, there are certain truths that one should remember. First, in the sight of God, how does He view a person’s value and how does He utilize a person’s skills and commitments. In I Corinthians 1:26-29, Paul asserts and affirms: “think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” It is sad to observe how religious endeavors have fallen into the secular trap and have bought into the “hype and type” of self-promotion in order to obtain status – position and prestige.

In terms of responsibility and assignments, there needs to be an understanding of God’s Call and His granting of who He wants to do particular tasks for Him. In Ephesians 4:11-13, Paul asserts and affirms: “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” It is a design and structure established by God Himself so that His purposes will be achieved in His prescribed way.

There is a Hymn - So Send I You -that used to be sung when a Missionary was being commissioned and sent forth to a foreign nation. The Lyrics have Jesus speaking and sending His servants: “So send I you to labor unrewarded; To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown; To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing; So send I you to toil for Me alone. So send I you to bind the bruised and broken; Over wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake; To bear the burdens of a world a-weary; So send I you to suffer for My sake. So send I you to leave your life's ambition; To die to dear desire, self-will resign; To labor long, and love where men revile you; So send I you to lose your life in Mine. So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred; To eyes made blind because they will not see; To spend, though it be blood to spend and spare not; So send I you to taste of Calvary. "As the Father hath sent me, so send I you!"  Consider these things with me!