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Friday, January 4, 2008

Who's in Charge?

The Iowa caucuses placed Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee in the forefront of the presidential race. But, as you know, the road to the White House is long and has many twists and turns. November’s results may be far different from yesterday’s results in Iowa. We can’t predict much in politics beyond hackneyed political statements like “We need to change the way we do things in Washington”; “I am the candidate of the future”; and “It’s time to get America moving again.”
I suspect we will have heard enough political talk by March to make us hope for a spate of Andy Griffith and All in the Family TV reruns.
However, a ray of hope pokes through the thick fog of political jargon. It springs from the Bible and assures us God controls the ebb and flow of national leaders. Daniel 4:17 states “that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men” and “gives it to whomever He will.” In our free nation, we elect a President every four years, but God uses the elective process to accomplish His will. We may not always be happy with the person who wins the White House, but God makes no mistakes. He will fulfill His purpose for our nation.
I’m grateful that I live in the United States and have the freedom to vote and to worship and serve God freely. I may not like all the political prattle, but it is a constant reminder of my guaranteed blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May we survive and prosper long as “one nation under God.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Real Hockey in Real Hockey Weather

I didn’t post a blog yesterday. I just felt like watching some hockey and football. The hockey was especially enjoyable. Pittsburgh and Buffalo battled each other into a shootout overtime in front of about 80,000 fans. They played outdoors in high wind and swirling snow, conditions that so many NHL players were accustomed to in their growing up years.

I grew up about 45 minutes from Buffalo, on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and I played hockey as a kid. The CCM skates I purchased when I was 16 are hanging in my garage. Maybe, just maybe, I will strap them on again. At any rate, the televised outdoor hockey game carried me back to my Canadian youth, when winter coaxed many neighborhood friends and me out of our homes and onto a frozen street or pond for a vigorous hockey game. We chose sides and competed until snow covered the ice, and then we cleared the snow and resumed the battle.

After each game we trudged home bearing the marks of victory or defeat. In either case the marks were identical: chapped and bruised skin. In spite of the discomfort, I’m certain we had more fun playing real hockey in real hockey weather than kids today have playing video hockey indoors.

So I didn’t post a blog yesterday. Instead, I indulged my nostalgia. And that’s not a bad thing, especially if memories of growing up are worth reviving.

I think kids today should enjoy wholesome fun with friends. No one should grow old and remember only a world filled with violence, mistrust, isolation, and impersonal video games. Of course the best memory of our youth should include the time we believed on the Savior.

“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Monday, December 31, 2007

Time Flies

Where did 2007 go? If time flies when we’re having fun, we must have had a lot of fun in 2007, because the time certainly flew.

The end of a year is a good time to reflect on what we put into those fleeting days that brought us to December 31. If we simply spent each 24-hour day, we may have spent many opportunities to serve the Lord. However, if we invested each 24-hour day in serving Him, we used our time wisely and can anticipate the pleasure of His smile at the bema.

I’m sure you would agree that we can do better in 2008 than we did in 2007. We can heed the apostle Paul’s admonition: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15–17).

When opportunity to honor the Lord knocks in 2008, let’s answer the door!