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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Does Anybody Care?

Does it seem to you that the world is growing rather impersonal and uncaring? To beef up the bottom line many corporations routinely terminate long-term employees, cut benefits, and pile more work on already overworked employees. Sometimes medical treatment is unavailable for those who cannot afford health insurance. Homelessness and poverty blight our cities. Far too many senior citizens feel rejected by the younger generation and even by their own children. Is it any wonder we hear the plaintive cry, “Doesn’t anybody care anymore?

Jesus cares. When He graced our planet with His presence two thousand years ago, He was moved with compassion when He saw multitudes wandering hopelessly and helplessly through life. They resembled sheep without a shepherd. So He invited people of all ages to come to Him. He promised He would not drive away anyone who would come to Him (John 6:37).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who tends the wounds of His hurting sheep, provides green pastures for them, and leads them beside quiet waters (John 10:11; Psalm 23:2). He doesn’t abandon them when they grow old or need individual attention. He promised, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

Indeed, the world may seem impersonal and uncaring, but Jesus relates to each of His followers in a personal, caring way.

—By Jim Dyet, Copyright © 2007, The Anchor

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

U.S. Senior Golf Open

A golf buddy and I will be attending the Sr. U.S. Open today at the Broadmoor Country Club in Colorado Springs. Thousands of spectators will get a chance to see well-known golf pros complete the final practice round before tournament play begins tomorrow. Frankly, I enjoy playing golf far more than watching, but the experience of attending a major golf event will be fun.

Golf has many parallels to Christian living. Play by the rules. Try to pursue a straight-down-the-middle path. Stay focused. Avoid hazards. Finish well.

Whatever you do today, honor the Lord!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why Worry?

A few years ago a popular song advised, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” I don’t know how many worriers took the advice, but I am sure many wished the song had explained how to stop worrying and start being happy. So many unproductive moments would fade away if worriers cast their worries aside. And think of the money worriers could save if they suddenly became happy. They wouldn’t have to shell out any more cash for medicine designed to help them cope with whatever it is they worry about.

Do we worry that God doesn’t know what might happen to us? Worse still, do we worry that He doesn’t care what might happen to us? Jesus answered both of these questions in His Sermon on the Mountain.

Our heavenly Father knows our needs, Jesus explained in Matthew 6:31, 32, and our heavenly Father cares. He has promised to meet our needs (v. 33). So there is no reason to worry!

I grew up in humble circumstances, but I never asked Dad to tell me his plan to take care of my brothers and me. He had always provided, and his noble character guaranteed his intention to keep on providing.

If we are tempted to worry, we should recall God’s faithfulness to us in the past, acknowledge His eternal truthfulness and goodness, and tell worry to take a hike.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old-Fashioned Isn't Necessarily Bad

When I lived in the Chicago area from 1990 to 1995, I started collecting wood-shafted golf clubs that predate 1935. I actually played with wood-shafted clubs when I was a kid, so nostalgia surrounds this collectibles hobby. Antique golf clubs with Scottish cleek marks are my favorites.

Clubs in my golf bag are a different story. You won’t find any antique clubs there. Club-building technology has come a long way since 1935. For example, the driver in my bag, a Taylor Made R-7, comes equipped with adjustable screws in the head. If I turn the screws, I can help control the directional flight of the golf ball. I haven’t done that yet, because my drives tend to be straight. Always have been!

Like most things, church culture has changed dramatically in recent years. Whether the changes have been good will have to be judged ultimately by the Lord, the Head of the Church. Nevertheless, we can ask how well we represent Christianity in our modern world. Do we have an impact on the world or a compact with it? Has our changing methodology advanced biblical theology or eclipsed it? Do our daily lives conform to the will of God or to self-will?

I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of hickory golf clubs, but I must confess I long for some old-fashioned Christianity to invade modern-day Churchianity.