Sunday, December 30, 2018


I Was Just Thinking About – TRANSITIONS.

The next couple of days there will be a repeated greeting we will all hear – “Happy New Year.” While that is a good thought and expression, 2019 will continue in step with where we were in 2018. The Calendar transition is not what will make any difference in one’s life – no matter how well-intentioned it is meant. The one transition that will matter most is within a person – Will one be more humble and accepting of others? Will one be more caring and ready to respond to another’s need(s)? Will one be more kind and gracious toward others? Will all people know you are a follower of Jesus Christ by your love for one another (John 13:34-35)? Jesus said: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

Oh! That commandment! How do you respond and apply His Word? Do you think (or say): “Apparently Jesus doesn’t know the type of family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances with whom I have to deal. If He did, He might’ve modified His command.” Is that what you really think? Is that how you feel? Is that how you interpret and apply God’s Word? If your answer is “No”, then why don’t your words and actions demonstrate your application of the words of Jesus Christ? Do you think that maybe – just maybe – you need an attitude adjustment and behavioral change? If you are inclined to say “Yes” – then begin by applying Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring glory to God.”

This will not only be a transition but a transformation. And, Yes! People will notice and be positively impacted by such a transition and transformation. What is sad is that some people have become so set in their ways and self-satisfied with their adapted lifestyle that they are incapable of making such a transition. There is also the reluctance to sense their need for anything transformational to take place in their life.

This is so clearly relieved in Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus speaks of separating sheep and goats. The measurement Jesus applies is in terms of how a person has responded to those with  needs. The sheep’s lifestyle is one of caring, sharing and protecting – a lesson they subconsciously learned from their shepherd. The goats were those who were both insensitive an impervious (impenetrable and resistant). They were indifferent to anyone else except themselves. They did their own thing and were unresponsive to the needs of others. They feign ignorance when the separation occurs and still don’t realize that which they should’ve responded and how they should’ve felt toward others. The bottom-line issue is in terms of human compassion. The sheep had compassion whereas the goats did not.

Transitions are happening in the lives of people all around you. How sensitive are you toward such ones – sorrowing, physical needs, death of a loved one who friend, one’s relocation, the end of a career, one wanting to continue to serve but no outlet in which to do it, etc.? Can you make and be a difference in 2019? Will you try to do so?

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


I Was Just Thinking About – WHAT TIME IS IT?

Do you ever observe how often one’s watch is viewed to determine what time is it? Life is measured with time as an important factor. For those employed, it is required that certain hours of the day are assigned for one’s work to be done. For a student, it is the determination of what class is to be attended or what segment of one’s education is to be given one’s undivided attention. For the sports enthusiast, it is a focus on the day and time for the College Football Bowl Game one wishes to attend or view. In professional football, the focus is on the time one’s favorite team will participate in playoffs or the Super Bowl. In the secular world, we are people of habit. We have a set time for meals, rest, activities, etc.

When I began to develop this subject, my thoughts looked at the past year in review. I know of those who have faced various challenges and difficult times. Some had to deal with unexpected illnesses and the death of a loved one. The year had its peaks but also its valleys. It seemed as though the valley times were much longer and sustained than the peak moments. As a result, one looks at a New Year with hope that it will not duplicate the previous year – that it will be a year of fulfilled hopes and achievements.

As we approach a New Year, some will make resolutions of what they hope to achieve in the calendar year. Many will start off well but all too quickly the old habit or routine manages to creep back in and one’s resolve is compromised or discarded. Will there be times of  disappointment? Yes! Will there be moments of failure? Yes! Will there be times of uncertainty? Yes! Will you feel that it is unfair that you must endure these things? Yes!

In the spiritual area, three things came to my mind that I hope will grant you focus and lift your spirits. First, what time is it in regard to one’s relationship to and with the Lord? Second Corinthians 6:2 (NLT), “For God says: At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you. Indeed, the right time is now. Today is the day of salvation.” It is an important relationship one must seek and be secure in it.

Second, What time is it in terms of focus and commitment? The Word of God is clear about one’s times being in the hands of a faithful God. Also, that there is a time for every though and action or reaction. It would be great if we all would remember and practice Ecclesiastes 3:1 through 8. It is vital that one not only ascertain what is occurring at a given moment in time, but also to make application of the truth that one must move on. Life has much more meaning and purpose than just one event or moment. Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time for everything under the sun.

Third, as you read your Bible this New Year, as a new approach take note of the many “Let us” passages you will read. “Let us” is not a mere behavioral suggestion but a call for an action and involvement to take place. As an illustration, read Psalm 95 (ESV) and note the frequency of how many “let us” actions are presented: “Let us sing…Let us make a joyful noise…Let us come into His presence…Let us worship…Let us kneel before our Maker…” Another illustration of “Let us” passages, see Hebrews 10:22-25 (ESV), “Let us draw near with a true heart…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope...Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” Hebrews 12:2, "Let us keep on looking to Jesus..."

What Time Is It? Luke 21:25-28 (ESV) addresses the signs of the day that is coming. Jesus stated: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars…On the earth, there will be dismay among the nations… The time of your redemption is drawing near.”

Prayerfully – consider these thongs with me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I Was Just Thinking About – RETURNING.

The Christmas Season is filled with expectation. The commercial approach is to advertise special merchandise that will tempt and whet the appetite for things – from the very young to the older. There are special hours by merchants where some items are greatly discounted. People flood into the stores in the hope of finding “The Bargain” of an item they believe they need and should have. Children enter certain establishments to have their picture taken with and to tell Santa Claus what they want and would like to have. On Christmas morning, packages are torn open allowing one to see what they have received. Sometimes, there is disappointment because the expectation of a child (or adult) was for something other than what they received.

The days after are marked by people carrying what had been given as a gift returned to various stores to exchange it for something different or to get a refund for an item or items. The “Return” lines are often very long as persons bring their items for exchange or redemption.

The word “Return” has significance when considered with the true reason for the Christmas Season – the birth of a Savior who is Christ the Lord. The first use of “return” is recorded in Luke 2:8-20. The Angels had appeared to the shepherds who were in the fields watching over their sheep. Their response was: “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” The words are compelling in verses 16-18, “They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him.  And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” After their visit, verse 20 indicates what they did: “The shepherds RETURNED (to the fields and sheep), glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, which was just as the angel had told them.”

The other example of the use of the word “Return” appears in Matthew 2:1-12. The Magi come seeking the newborn King of the Jews. When King Herod heard this, “he was disturbed.” He secretly summoned the Magi and: “He sent them to Bethlehem: Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” The Magi were the Wise Men of that day and perceived the evil intent of King Herod. After they had presented their gifts, verse 20 states: “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they RETURNED to their country by another route.” Joseph and Mary take Jesus and flee to Egypt. Afterwards,  Verses 19-20 indicates: “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said: Get up, take the child and his mother and RETURN to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

At the Ascension of Jesus Christ, Acts 1:10-12, two men in white apparel say to the disciples: “Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will RETURN in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:12-14 finds the disciples RETURNING to Jerusalem and entering the Upper Room where they had been staying: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication,” They would soon be compelled by the Holy Spirit to make known the message of the Gospel to all people everywhere.

We are at a crossroad in the Church today. The lead headline in The Drudge Report today indicates: “Christians At Risk Of Extinction In Land Where Christmas BeganTwo thousand years later, the Christian communities of the Middle East — descendants of the first Christians — persevere in their faith in Christ. They live in an era of violence, unrest and persecution. Many have been forced to flee their homes and many more their countries.” Obviously, the Church needs to RETURN to the Lord – His Gospel and His Plan.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me.