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Friday, July 25, 2008

Desert Roses

When our family lived back East and later in the Midwest, we enjoyed green lawns courtesy of abundant rain. Occasionally, we had to water the grass and plants by hand but only occasionally. Colorado in the good old summertime is a far different story. If we didn’t run our sprinkler system twice a day, we wouldn’t have a lawn. We would have a desert plot. Our semi-arid climate produces brown landscapes. Somehow weeds do just fine, though. Maybe I should plant weeds next spring.

Much of Israel’s landscape resembles parts of Colorado. It is green where water flows, but brown elsewhere. The Negev has all the qualities of a dry, barren desert, but when Jesus establishes His kingdom, with Jerusalem as the capital, the desert will receive a remarkable facelift. It will blossom kike a rose (Isaiah 35:1). Forests will spring up (v. 2). And grasslands, ponds, and marshes will add to the beauty (v. 7).

It’s just like Jesus to turn barrenness into beauty. He does that in the life of everyone who trusts in Him. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and marvel at the beautification process He has begun in your life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eat Right!

One day, when I was a pastor in a New York State town about 90 miles from Niagara Falls, I received a call from a nearby hospital requesting my help. No, I wasn’t needed to assist in surgery. A French-speaking Canadian family had been diagnosed with a form of food poisoning. Someone at the hospital had mentioned I spoke French and might act as an interpreter.

So off I went to meet the ill family.

“Ask if they have health insurance,” an attendant instructed.

“Find out what they ate that might have made them sick,” voiced another attendant.

I learned the patients had health insurance. They were en route to Niagara Falls, and earlier in the day they had eaten ham sandwiches at a diner. Apparently, the ham had gone bad.

Health care experts advise travelers to stay hydrated and avoid stomach troubles by eating high-fiber, low-fat, low-calorie meals while on the road. My personal advice is to avoid ham unless it has been properly prepared and refrigerated.

In Psalm 119:103, King David described God’s words as tasting even sweeter than honey. Jesus compared God’s words to bread. A daily regimen of feasting on Scripture will keep the toxins of wrong thinking and wrongdoing at bay. It will also sweeten life’s journey and create a productive life.

—Written by Jim Dyet. Copyright © 2008, Anchor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Lord Is Good

I received an unsettling biopsy report yesterday. Tomorrow, my doctor and I will discuss treatment options.

Soon after becoming a Christian in 1952, I came across Nahum 1:7, a verse that has bolstered my faith many times. Here it is in KJV, the almost universally used version of the Bible back then. “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Looking at this verse from a sermonic perspective, I would point out:

The Lord’s Grace Is Plenteous: “The Lord is good.”
The Lord’s Presence Is Protective: “a strong hold in the day of trouble”
The Lord’s Love Is Personal: “he knoweth them that trust in him”

Nothing today or tomorrow may bring lies beyond the Lord’s knowledge. Nothing thwarts His purpose for us. Nothing overturns His love for us.

A boy in Sunday school misquoted Psalm 23:1. He said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I’ve got all I want.” We may criticize his memorization, but we cannot fault his theology.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Spanish-Scottish Connection

Recently, a woman from Arizona was visiting her sister and brother-in-law’s church in Spain. When Horizons, a publication of Regular Baptist Press, was distributed to the attendees, she was surprised to read the lead article’s by-line, “Jim Dyet.” You see, her maiden name is Dyet, a very uncommon name even in my native Scotland. Wanting to learn more about me, she contacted the Horizons editor in Schaumburg, Illinois, who in turn contacted me.

I called the Arizona woman last night, and we had a lengthy conversation. Her grandfather, William Dyet, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, just a few miles from where my father William Dyet and I were born. Apparently, she had researched the Dyet name and found quite a few William Dyets with origins in and around Glasgow. Her grandfather had been a coal miner. So had mine. He was killed in a coal mine explosion.

As the conversation progressed, I learned that Jean, the Arizona woman, had judged dog shows in the Valley of the Sun. Her knowledge of canines was apparent when she told me interesting facts about our rare-breed Coton de Tulear, Sadie, and our daughter Sherrie’s Chinese Cresteds.

Perhaps Jean and I are cousins. It is hard to connect the dots on a Scottish family tree because so many similar names pop up. Many parents gave their sons royal names: William, James, and John. Robert and Bruce are also popular Scottish names. My older brother is William Wallace Dyet. My younger brother is Bruce Robert Dyet.

It was good to share a wee bit of family history with another Dyet, and it especially good to know people even half a world away read what I write. I dinna like tae waste words!