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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Work is good, but we all need a break now and again, and Labor Day gives most of us a break. The holiday honors America’s workers. We don’t have a holiday honoring America’s shirkers—and there are more than a few.

When I pursued a master’s degree at Indiana State University, I heard a psychology professor advocate full unemployment. He suggested full unemployment would enable everyone to sit home and watch TV. Obviously, he could have benefited from a little psychological testing.

God did not impose work on the human race as punishment. He assigned work to Adam before Adam and Eve sinned. He put Adam “in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). It was after the Fall that work became labor (3:17-19).

In spite of the mental and physical rigors of daily work, it is beneficial to stay actively involved in some form of work. Idleness leads to boredom, frustration, and depression, whereas meaningful work produces a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and purpose. Further, work produces the income we need to pay the bills, contribute to the advancement of God’s Word, and enjoy occasionally recreation—like golf!

Jerry Jenkins wrote an article about me for Moody Magazine in 2000. He titled it, “Not the Retiring Type.” Eight years later, I am still working, and I don't plan to shop for a rocking chair any time soon. As a matter of fact, for a modest fee I would be happy to evaluate and/or edit your manuscript or that of one of your friends or relatives. I can apply four decades of writing and editing experience to the project.

The Labor Day weekend is off to a good start. My sons-in-law, Brad and Jim, and I have good seats for today’s Air Force football game at the United States Air Force Academy. Before kickoff, cadets will parade onto the field, fighter jets will fly low overhead, parachutists will land on the field, and patriotic fans will sing the national anthem. The excitement should run high for this season opener and "parents weekend."

I hope you enjoy the weekend, and remember to display the flag.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Lives Are in God's Hands

Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the Titanic, died May 6, 2006, at the age of 99 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

Although two or more survivors are still living, they were less than a year old when the Titanic plunged below the Atlantic April 15, 1912. Lillian Asplund, five at the time, could recall the event. Her father and three brothers perished, but her mother and another brother survived with her.

Life is precious but uncertain. Who can explain why so many perished while others survived when an iceberg carved its way into a ship that was supposed to be invulnerable? Who can explain why one human life ends in crib death while another exceeds a century? We may not be able to answer such questions, but we can trust the One who holds all the answers to life’s mysteries and long for a heaven void of tears, sorrow, and pain.

When I read or hear about the Titanic, a couple of personal memories and a humbling question come to mind. My parents, brother Bill, and I crossed the Atlantic in May, 1939, leaving our native Scotland behind for a new life in Canada. Although I was not quite four at the time, I remember seeing icebergs and participating in life-jacket drills. World War ll had begun, and our ship was an easy target. My parents often mentioned later that on its next crossing it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. So I ask even now, why was my life spared? After all, my parents could have booked passage for the next crossing.

Surely, our lives are in His hands and He has a purpose for them. We cannot determine how long we will live, but to a great extent we can determine how well we will live. If we serve the Lord, we will enjoy the truly good life, full of significance, peace, joy, and awareness of His presence.

“Lord, ‘teach [me] to number [my] days aright, that [I] may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).

© Jim Dyet,2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Protests and the DNC

The Democratic National Convention has put Denver in the spotlight. Unless I miss my guess, TV viewers will see some of the beauty Denverites enjoy almost every day: bright sunshine, deep blue sky, an alabaster skyline, and rugged mountains. Clearly visible most days from Denver are Mt. Evans to the west and Pike’s Peak to the south, both topping 14,000 feet. But most likely, TV viewers will also see a few ugly political demonstrations.

Thousands of law enforcement officers are on hand in Denver to maintain order and to respond quickly if protests threaten the public’s safety and/or property. Also, firefighters, medical personnel, and hospitals are on high alert. A number of city streets have already closed to the public, and even a stretch of I-25 that runs past Invesco Field, where Barack Obama plans to deliver his acceptance speech, will close at rush hour Thursday afternoon. What a traffic mess commuters will face on their way home from work!

Denver realizes terrorists may strike during the convention. So preparedness is a key factor in protecting our state’s capital. I’m prepared to stay home, in Colorado Springs, one hour south of Denver.

The Bible predicts a violent, ugly demonstration in beautiful Jerusalem at the end of human history. Satan will marshal his followers in a last ditch effort to defeat God and His followers, but no one can win a battle against God. He will engulf Satan and his followers in an inferno and then cast them into the Lake of Fire (see Revelation 20:7–10).

This week’s political protests in Denver may prove inconsequential, but rebellion against God now and at the close of human history incurs extremely serious consequences. Fortunately, God invites all who oppose Him today to stop resisting His will. He offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace to those who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ (Isaiah 55:6, 7; Romans 5:1, 6–11).

Life’s most important decision is not about John McCain or Barack Obama; it is about Jesus Christ. And you don’t have to wait until November 4 to cast your vote.