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Friday, October 17, 2008

Let It Snow!

Several Colorado ski resorts opened Wednesday, much to the delight of ski buffs. Some natural snow combined with manmade snow drew thousands of skiers to the slopes. I did not join them.

Although I grew up in Canada and had plenty of opportunities to enjoy winter sports, I strapped on hockey skates but shunned skis. Apparently, I preferred ice rather than snow. Now that I live in Colorado, where I can choose to play golf in Colorado Springs while many others choose to drive to the high country for a day of skiing, I stay away from the snow and the ski buffs. Of course, I have to shovel snow occasionally, but that's enough contact with snow to suit me!

Isaiah 55:10 and 11 lauds the benefit of snow and compares the benefit of God's Word to it. Snow provides much-needed moisture to the earth so it will be productive, and God sends forth His Word like snow to accomplish His will. Spiritual productivity is impossible without His Word.

Is there a dearth of knowledge of God's will in our land? A steady "snowstorm" of Scripture can transform ineffective believers into productive believers. The challenge is clear. We need a Bible revival.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tough Faith for Tough Times

Times are tough: the economy is shaky, and so is global security. Nevertheless, we have it easy compared with what former generations endured. My parents, older brother, and I left Scotland and settled in Canada in 1939. World War II broke out that same year and plunged the UK into unparalleled insecurity, deprivation, and sacrifice. Later, the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew the U.S. into the war, and Americans endured shortages of food, household supplies, and gasoline. But none of those hardships compared with the untold suffering and loss of life our military men and women experienced.

Allied nations accepted personal sacrifice as a necessary part of winning the war and securing the freedom of all who valued liberty and the opportunity to pursue life's highest goals. I was a kid during the war years, and my heroes were not rock stars. They were leaders like Winston Churchill, FDR, King George VI, and military commanders. Words like, "We will never surrender," elevated the free world above the immediate hardships and focused our attention on victory. I am glad I lived to see that indomitable spirit carry brave men and women to victory.

My dad seldom spoke about the personal struggles he faced growing up in Scotland. His father, my grandfather, was killed in a coal mine explosion at age 44. Dad was just 13 then, and a fledgling coal miner at that young age. Sometimes, when I complained about my lot in life as a teenager, Dad would say, "If we hadn't left Scotland, you'd be lying on your back in a coal shaft, and you'd be picking away at coal." I got the message.

These are not days for the timid. But believers have no reason to be timid, because "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7). Sure, we may tremble on the Rock occasionally, but the Rock never trembles under us. When the world seems to be on the verge of shipwreck, like Paul, we can stand strong and declare, "Take heart . . I believe God" (Acts 27:25).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Remote and Revelation 13

I would like to thank the inventor of the TV remote control. I have been using mine frequently as political hype increases. Instead of having to walk across the room to switch channels when a political ad emerges, I simply push a change channel button I am Jim Dyet, and I approve the remote control!

Somehow, I don’t think every political candidate tells the truth—at least not all of it all the time. Too many politicians seem to quote their opponents out of context, disguise their voting record, twist statistics, and make idle promises.

Something else bothers me. Unfortunately, I can’t use my remote control to push it aside or mute it. I am troubled by the nasty remarks and misuse of Scripture some e-mailers have been employing to attack a political candidate. Christians should hold strong convictions, but we should express them kindly, respectfully, lovingly, and honestly. Ephesians 4:14 and 15 counsels us to speak the truth in love while rejecting craftiness and deceit.

Specifically, I object to an e-mail message that implies Revelation 13 relates to Barack Obama. The e-mail links the 42 months mentioned in verse 5 to the length of a presidential term and says the chapter identifies the antichrist as a Moslem. Frankly, I don’t plan to vote for Barack Obama, but I must say I find nothing in Revelation 13 that identifies the antichrist as a Muslim. In addition, 42 months are synonymous with the second half of the Tribulation. They equal 3 ½ years, not four years.

If we Christians misinterpret Scripture to suit our political convictions, we are no better than the politicians we accuse of dishonesty. And how can we hope to lead anyone to the truth, if we handle the truth carelessly and demonstrate a caustic attitude?