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

Monday, January 23, 2012

Phrases to Avoid

I recently read an article entitled, "Seven Phrases Never to Use at Work". I have to admit that these phrases are as dangerous as sulfuric acid. They can destroy goals, hopes, and dreams within a matter of minutes.

"Someday" (Someday is a deceptive word. It excites us about the future, but decades pass and we realize that "Someday" is still "Today"!)

"Not Good Enough" (It might not be perfect, but something has to be "Good Enough" to keep your job!)

"I Don't Have the Time" (Everyone has time to improve. If you don't, you'll have more time when you're unemployed!)

I can see why these phrases destroy workplace morale, but these same phrases are just as detrimental to the Christian life. "Someday" quickly fades into the mist of missed opportunities. "Not Good Enough" is one of Satan's best lies. "I Don't Have the Time" is simply an excuse given by everyone who has time. If Jesus had the time to die for us, we have the time to live for Him!

Choose your words carefully.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Please Don't Stop"

You may or may not be a baseball fan, but you've probably heard about the Shannon Stone tragedy that occured last season at Rangers Stadium in Arlington, Texas. During the game, Josh Hamilton, star outfielder for the Texas Rangers, threw a foul ball into the stands. Thirty-nine year old Shannon Stone reached over the ledge to catch the ball for his son Cooper who idolized Josh Hamilton, but Shannon reached too far and fell over the ledge to his death. The entire stadium was in shock, including Josh Hamilton. A young boy lost his father who was simply trying to secure a souvenir for his son. It's tragedies such as these that send us searching for life's toughest, spiritual explanations.

Shortly after the accident, there was a great deal of discussion in the news over whether or not foul balls should be thrown into the stands by players on the field. Even Josh Hamilton questioned his motives. But during the heat of the debates, Suzann Stone, the mother of deceased Shannon Stone, wrote a letter to Josh Hamilton.

In the letter she told the story of how her husband Al used to take Shannon to games when he was young. One day, Shannon's favorite player Buddy Bell threw a foul ball into the stands, and Al wrestled the crowd to catch the ball for Shannon, and the ball became a treasure in their family. Suzann said that without a doubt she knew this is why Shannon leaned over the edge to catch the ball for his son, Coooper. And then she concluded her letter with this plea, "Please, don't stop throwing those balls, because that's so important. That's why daddies bring their little boys to the ballgame--for reasons like that. Please, don't stop."

As Christians, if God was going to write us a letter, I wonder if the wording would be similar. When we question our faith, and when we struggle with our committment and devotion to Him, I wonder if God would write, "Please don't stop, because your faith is so important. That's why my only Son died for you, and that's why I created you--so one day we can be together in paradise. Please, don't stop."

Even in tragedy, God gives us His plea. When the wind blows, and when we feel lost and alone, God says, "Please don't stop! I'm right here with you!"

Monday, January 2, 2012

Divorced in Days

2011 was the year of short marriages. Kim Kardashian made headline news when she divorced her husband after only 72 days. The world was in shock that the high profile celebrity couple called it quits so soon.

Well, singer Sinead O'Connor has outdone Kim Kardashian. She wins the trophy for the shortest marriage in 2011--18 days. That's right, 18 days. Come to find out, this was O'Connors fourth husband and fourth divorce. O'Connor claimed that within three hours of their wedding, the marriage was in trouble. I hate to say that I'm surprised she completed two weeks!

It's tragic how our society distorts and dillutes the sanctity of the marriage bond. It seems like people only get married so they can have a wedding. When the wedding is over, the marriage is over.

The Lord's Church is known as the "Bride of Christ". (Revelation 19:7) Unfortunately, Christians who make up the church often run from their groom when problems come. But it shouldn't surprise us when problems come; it doesn't even take three hours for problems to develop! When we open our eyes every morning, Satan tries to tear our marriage with Christ apart. However, just because we experience "rough patches" from time to time, we can't seek a divorce!

The world will continue to flee from committment. Marriages will continue to fail. But as Christians, members of the Lord's church, we can't be divorced in days. We took a vow to be faithful to our groom; faithful unto death.