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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Winter of Life

Our temperature dropped from 70 Thursday to 40 yesterday, and we may get a trace of snow Monday. Golfers will be disappointed, but I am not able to play golf anyhow. My left knee has disabled me, and the pain has been intensifying day by day. I haven’t been able to take my three dogs for a long walk for nearly a week. I’m sure they feel deprived.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear from one of my former Moody classmates. We graduated from Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) in 1957. Although almost 52 years have passed, our student days seem like yesterday’s events. But what I hear now from the Class of ’57 grounds me in real time. Some classmates have gone to be with the Lord, but the rest of us remain on earth, where we endure a wide variety of physical challenges.

Yes, the body ages and groans, but God’s grace remains fresh and abundant. So do our opportunities to honor Him. As long as we draw breath, we can also draw from God’s unlimited grace and treasure a statement made by our professor of Greek, Kenneth Wuest. He remarked that “the servant of God is immortal until his life’s work is done.”

The winter of life may not be pleasant, but spring is just ahead!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Molly and Me

Poor Molly! Every time the pain of an arthritic left knee makes me grimace or groan, Molly our Maltese, runs to me and licks my face. She gets very nervous and concerned when I feel poorly. Our other dogs, Rosie and Sadie, are younger than Molly and do not show the kind of concern Molly exhibits. They were not born when I suffered a stroke in 2001. Molly came into our lives shortly after the stroke, and encouraged me to take her for a daily walk. The more I walked, the stronger I became. Obviously, she has not lost her rehab instinct.

Dogs are wonderful companions, especially if owners treat them right. Their love and loyalty are qualities believers ought to show to their heavenly Father.

P.S. I know the title should be "Molly and I," but "Marley and Me" was a big success, wasn't it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

As I write this blog, unprecedented numbers of people have assembled in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. The media seem to be fixated on two words as they describe this unprecedented event: “historic” and “celebration.” The inauguration is both. It is historic because America’s first black president is being inaugurated, and it is a celebration because the nation has spurned racism and believes Barack Obama will restore our nation’s prosperity, peace, and global respect. Am I misjudging some of the celebration as worship of a political messiah? I don’t think so.

Before long, reality is bound to lower celebrants’ expectations. Conflict, economic woes, and poverty will not end overnight. As President, Mr. Obama will face enormous crises that will tax his wisdom and stamina. Those crises will chip away at his perceived messianic status and reveal his humanness. We should pray for divine guidance as he makes decisions in those pivotal times.

I anticipate the arrival of Jesus, the true Messiah, to Planet Earth seven years after the Rapture and at the end of the Tribulation, Earth’s darkest period of history. He will inaugurate His Kingdom and reign from Jerusalem. The event will be historic and celebratory. His reign will be characterized by peace, prosperity, righteousness, worship, productivity, Edenic environment, and joy.

Let me share an excerpt from my little book, Rethinking Popular Beliefs About the End Times:

“The kingdom reign of Jesus will fulfill all the covenant promises made to the patriarchs and to King David. He will dwell among the restored, regenerated, and rejoicing people of Israel. Isaiah 12 records saved Israel’s song of praise to the Messiah. It reflects the joy of His comfort (v. 1), the joy of His salvation (v. 4), and the joy of His presence (v. 6). If we think we have joy now because we know Jesus as Savior, just wait and see how much joy we will have when we, like restored Israel, enjoy His physical presence!” (p. 46)

© Jim Dyet