"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

“Plugging the Hole”


For the past two months, we have been hearing A LOT about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Americans, and environmentalists around the world, are outraged that British Petroleum (BP) has not solved the problem. Without a doubt, the oil spill is a catastrophic crisis. Pictures of crystal clear water that has turned to muck, white sand beaches which have turned to muddy marsh, and Endangered Species who look like they have flown, swam, or walked through an oil field, testify to the critical situation at hand. There are many technicalities about why the problem can’t be fixed, but the main reason everyone STILL gives is that the hole which is allowing the oil to spill cannot be plugged!

It’s mind boggling how even an oil spill in the Gulf can demonstrate for us the catastrophic crisis of OUR sin! Every single day, sin seeps out of our lives and pours into the world. Our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the results of the sin which has spilled into their surroundings. And unfortunately, like British Petroleum, we are faced with the same problem—we can’t fully plug the hole, because our sin is inevitable!

Thankfully, we have Jesus Christ to “plug the hole” for us. With Jesus, we have hope! With Jesus, we won’t be covered in oil, but we will be washed as white as snow.

However, if we DON’T have Jesus, the sin will continue to spill! And eventually, GOD will plug the hole on His own! But it won’t be with His precious Son—He will “plug the hole” when he says, “Depart from me into the eternal fire.” And once that hole is “plugged”, the “plug” will NEVER be removed!

What will you do about the spill of your sin? The world is watching, the environmentalists are waiting, and the critics are criticizing. Look to Jesus! HE will “plug the hole!”

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Perfect Preacher?


I’m fortunate to serve as a preacher for a very loving church, but not every preacher is as fortunate!


After hundreds of years, a model preacher has been found to suit everyone. He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin but never hurts anyone. He works from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. in every type of work, from preaching to custodial service. He makes $60.00 a week, wears good clothes, buys books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car, and gives $100 a week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every good work that comes along. He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years! He is tall, short, thin, heavyset, and handsome. He has one brown eye and one blue; hair parted in the middle, left side dark and straight, the right side brown and wavy. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with older folk. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work! He makes 15 calls a day on the church members, spends all his time evangelizing the un-churched, and he’s never out of the office!


Amusing isn’t it? Every church has their perception of what they want their preacher to look like. Unfortunately, for the preacher, it’s impossible to “fit the bill” for EVERYONE’S needs!

But have you ever noticed that everyone also has their own opinion of what God should look like, how God should think, and how God should be “God”? Some want their God to be “loving, compassionate, merciful, and forgiving.” Others want their God to be “powerful, accountable, and concerned with justice.” With all of these different images surfing through our minds, it creates a real dilemma when we try to paint a picture of God on the canvases of our hearts.

So how should we view God? He is not your God, He is not my God, but He is the ONLY God, the “Great I Am”, “Who was, Who is, and Who is to come!” And since He’s the only God, we should do everything that He has told us to do! God will be God, and He will rule as He decides to rule!

Perfection will never be found in a human, even if he’s a preacher! But I wouldn’t recommend going back to the drawing board to illustrate the Creator of the Universe. After all, He did say, “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me, there is NO Savior.” (Isaiah 43:11)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Hero from Home


Have you ever had a “hero?” You know, that image in your mind that encourages your mouth to say, “I want to be like him?” Young children grow up with their favorite “heroes.” Some children cheer for the reporter by day, and rescuer by night called “Superman.” Other children idolize the champion of Gotham City known as “Batman.” And still other children prefer heroes who aren’t “fictional”, but suit up in the uniform, make millions of dollars, and win championships in their respective arenas. But when I grew up, and when I thought about the one who could “conquer the world”, I always thought about my Father!

Dad has ALWAYS been my hero. In my opinion, he is one of the most successful men to ever live. He served as a Pulpit Minister for many years and through his service inspired me to preach the Gospel. He then chose to go into business, and he’s done very well as a business man. He’s also a very dedicated Elder, teacher, and friend to many. When people think about Danny Hawk, they can’t help but think about love for God, love for the church, and love for his family. But what makes him so successful is his commitment to serve God all the days of his life.

Father’s have a very special way of impacting their children. I can honestly say without the influence of Dad, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without a doubt, “Fatherly influence” was molded in the mind of God. For those of us who experience the love from our earthly fathers, we know how much of a blessing they can be. But regardless if our earthly Fathers fill the roles that God intended them to fill, (which very often, they don’t), we know that we have a Father “beyond the sunset” who would love to be our “hero.” He will always love us, and He will never let us down. Even when we don’t feel close to Him, He gives us the invitation to become family, when He says, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

Will you accept His invitation? Do it quickly! Your “Hero” is waiting in your eternal home!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How Long Do You Plan To Live?


Recently, an article was posted in a leading health magazine by Dr. Maoshing Ni entitled, “How to Live to 100”. Dr “Mao” says that our bodies are designed to live at least 100 years, as long as we get out of the way.

Here are his top six ways to live through a century:

1) Drink more water (Not just water, but 8 glasses of filtered water, which will prevent the buildup of toxic wastes in cells)
2) Eat like a “centenarian” (Eat mostly fish, vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, and buckwheat. Avoid ALL sugars, MOST saturated fats, and eat COLORFUL fruits and vegetables)
3) Restoration through regular rest (7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, every night)
4) Take the stairs! (Find an exercise activity that works for you, and practice it at least 4 times a week for no less than 30 minutes)
5) Manage stress (Stress is the root causes for most diseases. Meditate at least 5 minutes a day, and work up to meditating at least 15 to 20 minutes a day)
6) Detoxify your surroundings (Avoid dangerous chemical compounds by buying organic foods, and undergo periodic detoxification treatments with dietary and herbal regimens)

Dr. “Mao” gives a pretty demanding list. And to be honest, some of the recommendations I wouldn’t consider beneficial! If I have to commit myself to eating seaweed and buckwheat, I have no interest in living 100 years!

The quest for the “Fountain of Youth” has been molded into the human mind for thousands of years. Even 3,000 years ago, King David told us how long we could expect to live. In Psalm 90 David wrote, “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength.” Now some are blessed to live 100 years, but if they do, they are definitely in the minority.

However, there is another way. Jesus told a troubled man named Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Do you want to extend your life? Listen to Jesus!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hazy Etiquette?

Last month, America was served a small piece of the Baseball pie that has been cooling in the oven for years. Dallas Braden, the star pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, called out Alex Rodriguez, the star third baseman for the New York Yankees, for poor etiquette. As “A-Rod” (Alex Rodriguez) was returning to the Yankees’ dugout, he ran across the pitchers mound. Braden, outraged by the disrespect, charged out of the dugout and told the Yankee Millionaire, “Get off my mound!” Both players were interviewed after the game. Rodriguez said, “I didn’t know it was a big deal—plus, he’s a rookie with a hand full of wins.” Braden said, “I was shocked that a veteran of Rodriguez’ character would have such poor etiquette and pay such a disrespectful tribute to the game.”

There are many “unwritten” rules that govern the game of Baseball. Here are just a few that don’t receive publicity…

1) “When hit by a pitch, don’t rub the mark” (This is the batter’s way of telling the pitcher that his best shot—intentional or otherwise—didn’t hurt! Even though it always hurts—don’t let him know it!)
2) “Don’t help the opposition make a play” (When infielder’s dive into the stands or dugouts to catch foul balls, the other team should not brace them. Even though bracing another player is something a “nice guy” would do, you’re a competitor! Don’t help the opposition to win in anyway!)
3) “Pitchers stay in the dugout to the end of the inning, even if they were pulled!” (This is out of respect for your teammates. Sure, you might be having a tough day, but don’t show your teammates you think the game is lost if you aren’t playing!)

You know, there is an understood “etiquette” that Christians are expected to follow! But sometimes I worry that we push these guidelines into the back of our minds and they transition to dormancy. Here are just a few we need to remember…

1) “You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain” (Sure, we love to “chit and chat” with our friends and family. But please do not mention God in conversation, unless you plan to glorify Him for the God that He is!)
2) “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give…for God loves a cheerful giver.” (You love the programs at church, the outreach , the fellowship, even the building! But you don’t give money to support them! Something doesn’t “add up” in that equation!)
3) “Forgive, as the Lord forgave you” (You don’t deserve the harsh treatment you receive from others! Probably not, but you also don’t deserve the forgiveness God gave you! How about “paying it forward?”)

Yes, even Christians need to follow etiquette. It’s not hazy; it’s clear! Pay tribute to the game called life! We’re all players!

Hazy Etiquette?


Last month, America was served a small piece of the Baseball pie that has been cooling in the oven for years. Dallas Braden, the star pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, called out Alex Rodriguez, the star third baseman for the New York Yankees, for poor etiquette. As “A-Rod” (Alex Rodriguez) was returning to the Yankees’ dugout, he ran across the pitchers mound. Braden, outraged by the disrespect, charged out of the dugout and told the Yankee Millionaire, “Get off my mound!” Both players were interviewed after the game. Rodriguez said, “I didn’t know it was a big deal—plus, he’s a rookie with a hand full of wins.” Braden said, “I was shocked that a veteran of Rodriguez’ character would have such poor etiquette and pay such a disrespectful tribute to the game.”

There are many “unwritten” rules that govern the game of Baseball. Here are just a few that don’t receive publicity…

1) “When hit by a pitch, don’t rub the mark” (This is the batter’s way of telling the pitcher that his best shot—intentional or otherwise—didn’t hurt! Even though it always hurts—don’t let him know it!)
2) “Don’t help the opposition make a play” (When infielder’s dive into the stands or dugouts to catch foul balls, the other team should not brace them. Even though bracing another player is something a “nice guy” would do, you’re a competitor! Don’t help the opposition to win in anyway!)
3) “Pitchers stay in the dugout to the end of the inning, even if they were pulled!” (This is out of respect for your teammates. Sure, you might be having a tough day, but don’t show your teammates you think the game is lost if you aren’t playing!)

You know, there is an understood “etiquette” that Christians are expected to follow! But sometimes I worry that we push these guidelines into the back of our minds and they transition to dormancy. Here are just a few we need to remember…

1)“You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain” (Sure, we love to “chit and chat” with our friends and family. But please do not mention God in conversation, unless you plan to glorify Him for the God that He is!)
2)“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give…for God loves a cheerful giver.” (You love the programs at church, the outreach, the fellowship, even the building! But you don’t give money to support them! Something doesn’t “add up” in that equation!)
3)“Forgive, as the Lord forgave you” (You don’t deserve the harsh treatment you receive from others! Probably not, but you also don’t deserve the forgiveness God gave you! How about “paying it forward?”)

Yes, even Christians need to follow etiquette. It’s not hazy; it’s clear! Pay tribute to the game called life! We’re all players!