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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael and Farrah

Two celebrities left life on earth this past week, just two hours apart. Farrah Fawcett died of cancer, and Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest. Farrah Fawcett’s death was predictable; Michael Jackson’s death was unexpected. Both deaths underscore the frailty and uncertainty of life. Proverbs 27:1 and James 4:1 both insist we do not know what a day may bring, and James 4:14 compares life to a vapor that vanishes almost as soon as it appears.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether a celebrity can moonwalk and achieve the title, “King of Pop.” What truly matters is whether that celebrity will walk in Heaven and receive the approval of the King of kings. Nor does it ultimately matter if a celebrity is beautiful. What truly matters is whether that celebrity will enter heaven, where unrivaled beauty exists.

The media have devoted many hours to the coverage of Michael Jackson’s life and death, but death is the great leveler. In the normal course of time, every human being will die. But then what? Heaven is the eternal destiny of all who know Christ as Savior, but hell is the eternal destiny of all who reject Him (read John 3:36).

A visitor to England noticed the following epitaph on a tombstone in a country church cemetery:

“Pause, my friend, as you pass by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you will be.
Prepare, my friend, to follow me.”

The visitor scribbled the following note and attached it to the epitaph:

“To follow you is not my intent
Until I know which way you went!”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Knowing Jesus

Our children have good memories of times we entertained missionaries in our home. They learned that missionaries are real people who care about others, undergo personal struggles, have distinct personalities, and possess a good sense of humor. A missionary to Brazil gave an ocelot skin and other artifacts to our children. Another missionary gave our son a pair of cowboy boots. He said he wouldn’t need them in Bangladesh. Another got expelled from a bowling alley in the middle of a game we were enjoying. It seems he had stepped on some candy and tracked it onto the bowling lane.

Crowds got to know Jesus’ teachings, but individuals who drew close to Him got to know Him. When Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, Mary sat at His feet and listened to what He had to say. However, Martha was too busy to sit at His feet, and objected that Mary was not helping her. Jesus explained that Mary’s choice was better than Martha’s.

If you want to know Jesus well, spend quality time with Him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lights in Public Schools

Yesterday morning Gloria and I attended a continuation ceremony for our 12-year-old granddaughter Kayla and her classmates. Sixth grade is behind them. Middle school is the next step along their educational journey.

The principal of Kayla’s school is a Christian and a graduate of BIOLA University. He addressed the students and parents forcefully about the measure of true success. Character, he said, is the true measure of success. His remarks closely resembled those of a sermon. Lightheartedly, he even called for an Amen at the end of his address. I told him after the ceremony he came very close to quoting Galatians 5:22 and 23. He agreed.

Public schools are hardly bastions of Christian thought and conduct, but the Lord has faithful believers in public schools. They deserve our respect and our prayers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Father’s Day is a good day to rehearse some of the characteristics of our heavenly Father. He is loving, gracious, benevolent, all knowing, all wise, all powerful, available, approachable, purposeful, merciful, generous, righteous, and holy.

Fathers who aspire to be like the heavenly Father are not all knowing, all wise, all powerful, but they can increase their knowledge and wisdom and use the authority God has invested in the role of father to benefit their children and society. And surely families and society would benefit greatly if more fathers were loving, gracious, benevolent, available, approachable, purposeful, merciful, generous, righteous, and holy.

Happy Father’s Day!