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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let It Snow!

I used a snow shovel this morning for the first time this season. We received less than an inch of snow during the night, but it was enough to remind me I prefer sunshine and warm temperatures to snow and cold. However, because I live in a semi-arid section of Colorado, snowfall is beneficial. It provides much-needed moisture for lawns, trees, and shrubs.

Isaiah 55:10 and 11 compare the benefit of God’s Word to that of rain and snow. He sends rain and snow to water the earth and make it fruitful, and He sends His Word to accomplish His desire and achieve His purpose.

Tomorrow, as I preach His Word, God will use it to accomplish His will in human hearts. That’s quite an encouragement for a pastor!

Next time I shovel snow (I hope it will be a long time from now), I will meditate on Isaiah 55:10 and 11. Doing so will refresh my soul. It may even soothe my aching back.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Down from His Glory

I will be preaching Sunday from Philippians 2:5–11. Those of you have a theological awareness of the doctrine of Christ, know this passage teaches the kenosis of Christ, His self-emptying. He did not cease to be God when He came to Earth, but He laid aside the independent exercise of His divine prerogatives and lived in full dependence on His Father. Ordinarily, His glory was veiled as He identified with human suffering, faced temptation, ministered in the power of the Spirit, and wrapped His love around our fallen human race. But, on one never-to-be-forgotten occasion, atop the Mount of Transfiguration, the glory of His deity burst through the clay lantern of His humanity. “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2), and suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Him. Luke 9:31 reports they conversed with Jesus about His impending crucifixion, and both Gospels affirm Peter, James, and John witnessed the event.
Isn’t it startling to read about Jesus’ glory and deep humiliation in close association with each other? Yet, He had to be who He was—the eternal, sinless Son of God—to do what He did for us—die on the cross as a real human being and our perfect Substitute. He came to Earth to bring us everlasting life at the cost of His own life. “Christ died for our sins,” 1 Corinthians 15:3 proclaims.
We will see manger displays this Christmas, but let’s remember Jesus was born to die. During His earthly ministry, He told His disciples He had come to Earth to minister and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). And as I read Philippians 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” I ask myself whether I am willing to put the needs of others ahead of my own and serve them as Jesus did nearly 2,000 years ago—compassionately, selflessly, and sacrificially.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Eyes Have It

Fortunately, it was Friday. The eye doctor’s assistant would have the weekend to recover from the embarrassing situation. She had prepared the equipment, or so she thought, for my 30-minute field vision test, but after the test, she discovered the test failed. She had not placed the lens close enough to my right eye. She apologized, and offered a weak, “We will have to test your right eye again.”

Another 15 minutes ensued, and another apology was forthcoming. “For some reason, the test didn’t register. I’m sorry, but it looks like we will have to repeat the test once again. Do you have the rest of the morning to stick around?”

“What’s the problem?” I asked. Are my results stored in the computer?”


“Then, the problem must not an invalid test. It must be a computer glitch.”

At that point the doctor’s assistant tried to print the results of my test, but the printer failed to respond.

Finally, after several minutes, we heard a clicking, whirring sound, and saw paper roll out of the printer. I was relieved until the assistant observed, “These are not your results.”
Then the unthinkable happened. The printer kept churning out test results after test results on what seemed like an endless roll of paper, and the assistant couldn’t stop the printer. Soon we were almost ankle deep in patients’ field vision test results, but mine were not among them, and the paper roll had run its course.

Again, an apology. “I can find another roll of paper,” the assistant sighed, “but I don’t know how to install it. Do you want to go home? I will call you this afternoon to schedule another appointment or hopefully to tell you your test results printed.”

I went home.

Later, I received the good news and a final apology. My test results printed and the assistant was totally sorry for the delay.

I hope the doctor’s assistant has recovered by now. And I hope Medicare doesn’t have to pay for two very long rolls of paper.

I’m sure we have all experienced embarrassing situations, but we need to seize the future.
What we consider a bad day may be simply a learning experience and an opportunity to grow stronger. We should take responsibility for our mistakes and our sins, recognize we are imperfect, and trust God for the grace, wisdom, and strength to do better tomorrow.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:5).