What I know about automobiles can fit on the tip of a thimble.When I read an article saying that it’s unnecessary and ill advised to warm the engine during cold weather, it made no sense to me.So I sent it to my 26 year old son in Houston, TX and asked his advice.Jonathan is the manager of an automotive repair shop and I figured he should know.
His response was short, humorous and unprintable in its entirety.In part he said, “Stupid, worthless hippies!” he joked, knowing that he was talking about MY generation, too.Seriously, in some states allowing your car to idle in the morning is against the law.After carefully considering the consequences I think I will continue the practice until they arrest me…my wife loves a warm car on a cold morning and she’s worth the risk!
My Christian Doctrine Class at the university begins Tuesday.On the first day I always tell the students four things:
1.Don’t base your beliefs on what I tell you.
2.Don’t base your beliefs on what your spiritual heroes tell you.
3.Don’t base your beliefs on what you “feel” is right.
4.Determine what you believe by studying the Bible prayerfully and looking for answers that are consistent with what the Bible plainly teaches.
I’m amazed at how easily people change their minds on important issues based upon the last thing they read.Just because it appears in print or because some celebrity says it doesn’t make it accurate.That’s true regarding our Christian beliefs more than anything else I know…just because it makes you feel all warm inside for a few minutes doesn’t mean that the Bible will change to match what you just heard or read.
Beloved, before you accept a new concept as TRUTH, test that idea against what the Bible says.If it cannot stand up under the light of God’s Word then its heresy…run from it as fast as you can, no matter who spoke it or where you may have read it in the first place.The Apostle Peter said it best:“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9
I don’t know about you, but I choose to continue warming up my wife’s car in the morning; and I refuse to allow anyone to distract me AGAINST the Holy Bible simply because it is the newest fad or it makes me feel good.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, make me wise enough to recognize that everything I read or hear is not Good News even when it sounds good; and make me strong enough to reject heresy although it sometimesmakes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.I choose to follow Your Word despite its unpopularity or difficulty.Amen and amen.
In case you missed it this week, there was a news story that received nationwide coverage through regular news outlets and the internet.Discovered by a road side in Columbus, Ohio with a sign in hand, Ted Williams (53) wrote that he had a “God-given gift of a great voice.”The Columbus Dispatch newspaper first posted a video of Williams using his radio emcee imitations.(After it was ultimately posted on YouTube, there have been more than three million hits.He does have a golden broadcast voice. )
There was nothing unique about Williams, just another guy who carelessly threw his gift away. His checkered past includes a rap sheet of theft, robbery, escape, forgery and drug possession. At age 14 a radio announcer told him that radio is “theater of the mind,” which gave Williams the inspiration to develop his gift in a school for radio announcers. But his motivation was short-lived and he lost everything valuable in the process, including his self-respect and dignity.
Since becoming an overnight sensation his life has taken a much different turn than he could have anticipated. Sober for two years, the offers are coming in from everywhere: radio stations are calling him; the Cleveland Cavaliers offered him a job and a home; producers are making offers for radio voice-over work, etc. Now he has something else to contemplate as he starts his life anew.
But the most important aspect of ‘being discovered’ was his reunion with his mother.They reunited after not having seen each other in more than 10 years.He says the prolonged separation was out of shame and embarrassment – the product of all of the promises he made to turn around his life that, until three days ago, were empty.
"I felt like I brought so much disgrace to this world," he says. "There wasn't much I could say."
"It was like a broken record," his mother (Julia Williams, 92) very realistically, said of the times he told her he was going to make a career with his voice. "All I got was promises."
I would imagine she found it very difficult to continually pray for a son whose life continued on a downward spiral.Despite everything, his mother never lost hope.“God has answered my prayer,” she says.
God heard Ted’s pleas as well.“One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that Mom would live long enough to see me rebound or whatever, and I guess God kept her around and kept my pipes around to maybe just have one more shot that I would be able to say, 'Mom, I did do it before,' -- I might pass away before her or whatever, but my dad didn't get a chance to see this. But God is good."
Prayer:Father, so many people are praying for their children, spouses, friends or others who need to know You intimately.We pray that You will deliver them and us from those things that bind us – those things that separate us from You and Your love.
We know that in ALL circumstances, we need to thank You despite how bleak things appear.And, when we feel we are at the end of our rope, we ask that You continue to give us the strength.And while we don’t have the crystal ball or wherewithal to see clearly, remind us of Your word found in Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)--
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
The Aquarium at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX is a perfect place to learn about the sea creatures of our world.You will spend hours watching the colorful marine life, the playful seals of the North Pacific, King Penguins of the Antarctic and the graceful sharks of the Caribbean.It is also a place to learn about the heart and mind of God.
Near the one million gallon Caribbean exhibit, I found quote about our role as teachers displayed on the stone wall:
"In the end,
we will only conserve what we love,
we will love only what we understand,
we will understand only what we are taught."
There is another wise but similar saying found in Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Let us not abandon our responsibility of teaching, simply because it is difficult.If we allow the obstinacy of youth to deter our effort of instructing our children, they will learn at the feet of folly and destruction.May God help us to remain faithful in the most difficult and demanding task we will ever have.It is much easier to prepare a generation for the future than to alter their course after they have begun the journey.Amen and amen.
An email I received recently reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the tenants:
When I left my home hurriedly I left my friend and her unemployed husband and four children to stay at our house.Now when i went back 2 years later the gardens are in a terrible state…all the flowers were burnt.The children and I had worked most weekends and evenings to create a garden which also was my haven. Now it’s derelict.My friend’s husband is now a pastor and I really feel hurt that they are not looking after our property well, especially the garden. But then they are a man and woman of God....I don’t know what to do.”
Jesus’ parable in Matthew 21 teaches that the landowner rented his property to tenants with expectations that it would be cared for properly.Those responsibilities went unfulfilled by the renters and it led Jesus to ask the question:“When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”Tough question, don’t you think?
Like the landowner in Jesus’ parable, God has the right to hold Christians to the original agreement.In exchange for eternal life we are responsible for being good stewards by sharing the fruit of His vineyard.Our duty as God’s chosen people is to tell the world that Jesus is the only way to heaven!This is not a price we pay for salvation, for that is by grace not works.But it is written in the Book…we are to become fearless evangelists if we accept the Name of Jesus Christ as our own.
Those worthless tenants were warned that the landowner “will bring those wretches to a wretched end!”By rejecting the capstone of their agreement with the landowner, their privileges were taken away and given to a people who would produce the fruit of the land.Privilege is bound by the burden of responsibility; and the nation which ignores that contract will be crushed!“He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”(Matt. 21:44)
The owner of the vineyard will return soon.What will we do?My prayer is that when He does return, He will find us faithfully serving, teaching, baptizing and praising God faithfully without regard to our personal safety or popularity.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, let this remind us to be good stewards of what we have been given; faithful followers of your Great Commission; and fearless warriors against the heresy that You are not the ONLY way to heaven.God, help us.Amen and amen.