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Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Lord Is at Hand

Beware the church that offers fun and excitement but ignores topics like suffering, trials, affliction, and counting the cost of discipleship. Once hooked on the notion that the Christian life is a carefree, euphoric flight from one fun theme park to the next, disillusioned churchgoers will crash land when buffeted by the first blast of adversity.

It is in the crucible of suffering and in the crises of life that we gain the purest Christology—the doctrine of Christ. There, in the emptiness of our own storehouse of abilities and wisdom, we turn to Christ. Our cry of “Lord, save me, is met by His infinite power, and we see clearly that He is the Son of God.” Knowing our weakness and His omnipotence, we enter into true worship.

In the days of the Early Church, Christians suffered harsh treatment at the hands of the Roman Empire. They were hounded and hunted, thrown into prison, driven from their homes, flung into the arena to fight wild animals, and set ablaze in Nero’s gardens. However, in the thick of adversity it was common for Christians to whisper encouragement to one another. “Maranatha,” they would whisper, “The Lord is at hand.”

Is the Lord at hand today, too, in the storm as well as in the calm? Let the dying words of David Brainerd (1717-1747) serve as our positive answer. This self-sacrificing, compassionate missionary ignored severe illness, pain, and hardship to share the Good News with to American Indians. His diary exudes his spirit of love for the Savior and for the lost. A final entry records:

LORD’S DAY, Sept. 27. This was a very comfortable day to my soul; I think I awoke with God. I was enabled to lift up my soul to God, early this morning; and while I had little bodily strength, I found freedom to lift up my heart to God for myself and others. Afterwards, was pleased with the thought of speedily entering into the unseen world.

David Brainerd died in the home of the great preacher Jonathan Edwards, and immediately entered the eternal presence of Jesus, who had been His closest friend even in the stormiest times of life.

Clouds may be bursting overhead today, but Jesus knows all about storms. He has been there. No storm can overwhelm Him or the shelter He provides. Trust Him.

Copyright © Jim Dyet

Thursday, July 10, 2008

An Evening Walk

I just returned from a long walk with two of my three dogs. Sometimes Molly prefers to stay home, but Rosie and Sadie never miss an opportunity to go for a walk. Sadie gets so excited when I ask who wants to go for a walk that she grabs Rosie’s leash and pulls her toward the door.

In spite of a 91-degree day the humidity was only 8 percent, and at sundown the temperature had dropped considerably. It was a very pleasant evening for a walk.

Genesis credits Enoch with walking with God. Perhaps he was as excited to walk with God as Rosie and Sadie are to walk with me. I hope a similar excitement grips me every morning and lasts throughout the day. How about you?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Can We Bring Back the Yo-Yo?

Most of us owned a yo-yo when we were kids. We could buy a fairly good one at any five and dime store (Remember the five and dime?). We carried our yo-yos to school and practiced neat tricks at recess. After school we tried to perfect our skills while trying out a new trick Johnny or Sally had demonstrated. Occasionally, we got to watch a yo-yo expert work his magic.

Did you master the Sleeper? How about Walking the Dog, Around the World, or Rock the Cradle? A kid could really get wrapped up in his hobby with Rock the Cradle.

Yo-yos were introduced by Donald Duncan in1928 and made popular when hundreds of yo-yo men toured America and wowed us with their tricks.

When did the yo-yo go the way of the dinosaur? Did we become so sophisticated that a yo-yo could no longer entertain us? Did electronic toys kill the yo-yo?

Kids today go wild over “hot” video games. You hardly ever see a yo-yo string on a kid’s finger, but you often see a flurry of thumbs massaging hand-held video games or a wire running from a hip to a plug in an ear. Most kids like their music loud, and some like their games violent and sexually graphic. Is it any wonder violence plagues our schools and communities? The yo-yo may never return to its glory days, nor will our schools and streets return to the safety and innocence that accompanied the yo-yo era. But many of us may find a tugging at our heart strings for a return to a simpler life.

Like the yo-yo, a simple faith may be in danger of passing away. Secularism, skepticism, egoism, and materialism vie for people’s allegiance in the post-modern age. An avalanche of anti-Christian books, TV programs, and movies attack the Bible and morals. But we can withstand every attack on our faith, if we cling to the basics: The Bible is God’s Word, Jesus is the living Son of God, and He is the only way to go to heaven.

If you haven’t “walked the dog” recently, why not dust off that old yo-yo and give it a good try? And if you haven’t read the Bible recently, why not dust it off and give it a good reading?

© 2008, Jim Dyet

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Salute to Our Miltary

About 80,000 retirees live in Colorado Springs. Fortunately our neighborhood is home to quite a few military personnel. Some are retired; others are active military. I think the Air Force is more fully represented than the Army, but all our military neighbors are excellent neighbors.

Our next-door neighbor is a retired Air Force colonel. He and other Air Force and Army neighbors have applied their military discipline to the care of their homes and vehicles. They maintain their homes, yards, and vehicles spotlessly. They also display the flag proudly on national holidays and at other times. This show of patriotism adds a special touch to our neighborhood.

These neighbors with ties to the military are demonstrating good habits we can apply to the Christian life. The disciplined Christian conducts himself as “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3). He maintains a “spotless” lifestyle (2 Pet. 3:14), and unashamedly demonstrates loyalty to Jesus, our Commander-in Chief (John 12:26; Rev. 2:10b).

Let’s represent our Lord well today!