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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Living Without Power?

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew stormed the shores of Southern Florida. An elderly woman named Norena lost everything, as her home was severely damaged from the storm. Like many southern Floridians, Norena received an insurance settlement to repair her home, but the settlement was minimal; and when the money ran out, so did the contractor, leaving Norena in a home without electricity.

For fifteen years, Norena lived without power. She didn’t have any air conditioning for the humidity of Florida’s summer, or any heat for the occasional winter chills. She didn’t enjoy one hot shower, or one home cooked meal. It wasn’t until the mayor from the Miami area heard of the situation, that he hired an electrical contractor to get power restored in Norena’s home. When her home was finally repaired, CBS interviewed Norena and asked her the first thing she would do with electricity. She responded, “I’m going to take a really hot, long bubble bath.” Can you blame her?

How many baptized believers have lived decades, or maybe even their entire lives, without fully understanding the power of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, though it might be theologically obscure and confusing, gives us power as God’s people. Without it, we cannot do what God has called us to do. And if we aren’t very careful, we can “turn off” the Spirit’s power for so long, we won’t recognize it when it comes back on.

Paul told the church at Ephesus, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Ephesians 5:16) Are you living with power or without power? Live by the Spirit, and you’ll immediately know!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Facebook Fugitive

The Facebook frenzy addicts computer users across the world. There’s just something about “updating” that status, “liking” that picture, and “tagging” that friend that keeps us coming back for more. Everyone wants in on the action, even fugitives!

Last week, a fugitive in Washington found time to update his Facebook while running from police. This man has been convicted of five felonies and has already served time behind bars, but this time he dodged extensive police searches and outran a police dog.

But even with all of this activity, the fugitive wasn’t too busy to get his “Facebook fix”. One friend posted on his wall, “Cops are all over you”, to which he replied, “Ya, I got away, thanks bro!” He even had time to change his relationship status to single. What a guy!

Facebook isn’t a bad thing, but it can become a terrible thing if it takes over our lives. Now, a man updating his account while running from the law is an extreme example. But if we can’t find the time to do what we need to do, but find time for Facebook, our priorities are seriously out of order.

Luke gave us the perfect example for a daily “habit” when he spoke of the “Noble Bereans” who “examined the scriptures daily…” (Acts 17:11) Enjoy Facebook. Connect. Comment. Search. Share. But don’t neglect what’s really important!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Landing the Plane

Last week in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, a heroine of all heroines rose to the occasion. 80 year old Helen Collins was enjoying an afternoon “stroll” from the air in a family plane, when her husband, the pilot, became unconscious and later died. At that moment, she was faced with a decision—live or die.

Helen had flown the plane a few times, but she didn’t know how to land. She called into the traffic controllers from the air and informed them of the situation. They contacted a family friend, who jumped into another plane the Collins owned and flew up to meet her in the air. He believed that it would be easier to talk her down from the air than the ground, as he flew next to her at the same speed.

But, Helen still had to land. He couldn’t ditch his plane, climb into her cockpit, and land the plane for her; she had to listen and obey. In fact, he told the reporters after the incident was over, “We were all watching and we knew she had to do it.” Thankfully, Helen listened and she was able to land. The landing was rough and the plane skidded about 1,000 feet before coming to a rest, but Helen survived.

As Christians, when we face danger in the “cockpit” of our lives, it’s wise to call on God for help. He will fly alongside us and give us instructions to navigate through the obstacles. But just like Helen Collins, we must “land our own plane”. God can only protect us if we listen and obey His commands.

“O Lord, open our ears, that we might hear.”

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lunch with the McGuffins

Last week, Natalie and I were blessed to have lunch with Lyle and Colleen McGuffin for Colleen’s 95th birthday. If you’ve spent much time with this fabulous couple, you know they’re very special. Their lives, and particularly their marriage, are a living testament to godly success, embodying such love, patience, and humility for one another.

We were privileged to watch and listen as Lyle sang a sweet love song to Colleen, whom he has appropriately named his “Little Angel.” Tears rolled down Natalie’s cheeks, as did mine, when I realized that now Lyle had raised the bar! Lyle shows all husbands how to “step up their game”. Without a doubt, Lyle and Colleen prove that if a marriage yearns for God, then faithfulness, sincerity, holiness, and passion will still exist after seventy plus years.

I’m so thankful that God created marriage. When marriage follows God’s advice, it’s such a beautiful thing. We went to lunch that day to encourage Lyle and Colleen, but when we left, Natalie and I realized that we were the ones who were encouraged.

Dear Lord, thank you for priceless lessons such as these, and thank you for servants like the McGuffins who show us the way!