Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thou Shall Not Scream

During a visit with the grandchildren (Ben 5, Alexandra & Brianna 3), we had occasion to go by Ben’s preschool. My daughter ran in to see the teacher for a few minutes, leaving me in the car with the children. Now, every household has “family rules” and one of my daughter’s rules is: no screaming in the car. This rule is usually followed…with one big exception….when their mom isn’t IN the car, they figure that the rule doesn’t apply! No sooner had she disappeared into the school doorway, than Bri took the plunge and let out a whopper…eyes wide with delight, she shrieked unmercifully, nearly exploding my ears! Soon her sister Alex let loose and big brother, not to be outdone by the little ones, jumped in with gusto. Fortunately, my gloves helped me keep my remaining hearing in tact as I stuffed them into my ears, enduring several minutes of their enthusiastic harmonics. No telling what damage they were doing to themselves! I was especially grateful to see their mom appear soon so we could go back to a state where “house rules” rule!
Enjoying the memory later, it occurred to me that this was just the picture of original sin….Eve (and Adam) knew the “house rules”. But the minute God was out of sight and someone (the devil himself, in this case) drew their attention to that fact and threw temptation out, Eve marched onto dangerous ground, eyes wide open with delight . And Adam fell right in behind, unmindful of the true peril, just as my grandchildren were unaware of the auditory damage they could be causing themselves. The Bible tells us that we are sinners because of Adam and Eve…it is their legacy to the rest of mankind. Instead of man getting better and better as the intellectuals of our day proclaim, we are as vulnerable to being our own worst enemy as Adam and Eve were. Our sin nature is part of the human “package“…I am so thankful that God loves us so much that He made a way to get “rewrapped”! In robes of righteousness, thanks to the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ in dying for our sin. Romans 5:17-18 puts it this way: It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule…but how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as the one sin condemned all mankind, in the same way the one righteous act sets all mankind free and gives them life. Through Him, grace can take over as the “house rule“!
Ó H. J B February 2002

Monday, June 13, 2011


John 14:1-3 ...You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. The Message

Would you get on a plane if they made this announcement from the gate?

            “You are going to experience a very rough flight today due to weather conditions—but we will guarantee a safe landing.”

I suspect that most people would still climb aboard because the objective of their trip isn’t to have a smooth flight, but rather to land safely at their destination.  This is a descriptive metaphor of the Christian life.  God doesn’t promise us a calm passage through this earthly life, but He does guarantee us a safe landing.  Jesus put it this way: “In the world you WILL have tribulation...”. But He also assured us that He was going ahead of us to heaven to prepare a place for us. 
Bumpy flight—safe landing.
Our Savior and Lord had the same experience—the earthly turbulence started at birth with His first crib in a smelly stable. It continued through several attempts on His life, which finally succeeded in one of the most traumatic executions ever devised.  Jesus set the example for us of how to endure a turbulent life on this earth, trusting in the safe heavenly landing to come. So fasten your seat’s gonna get bumpy but heaven awaits!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Are you the car or the driver?

I enjoy driving. Fast. Not a good idea in my town, since it has numerous signs reminding me that slow is its automotive "motto". The town fathers don't seem to realize that my car is just an extension of me--always in a hurry (since I'm never early for anything).   Not only do I consider speed limits "ideal suggestions" but, it's almost a game (to get somewhere quick) that I'm determined to win. There's just one problem with this issue: I am the driver--the one in charge.  Maybe you wouldn't consider it a big problem when it comes to driving (except for the men-in-blue). But, it's a BIG problem when it comes to living! I tend to race around the corners of life just as my car races around the corners of town.

If you consider this an analogy to the Christian life, we should be the CAR, not the driver. Christ should be the one directing the course, steering around life's curves, braking when there's a danger of careening out of control. "Christ in me, my only hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) reminds me that my driving habits may be a reflection of who's really in control of my life. A Christian is...
 a mind through which Christ thinks,
 a heart through which Christ lives.
 a voice through which Christ speaks.
 a hand through which Christ helps.
  Am I letting Christ steer my mind, direct my heart, order my voice and shift my hands to arrive at the destination He desires? He is one driver who will never have to watch over his shoulder for blinking lights. Have you given him the keys to your life yet? Who is driving "your car"?