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Friday, June 11, 2010

A Breakfast Stroll

Life was good. The risen Son of God was serving His disciples breakfast on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This was absolutely the best men’s fellowship breakfast in history! And it was an ideal time and place for an after-breakfast conversation. But the conversation must have been a bit too personal and uncomfortable for the disciple Peter. Jesus asked him three times whether he loved Him. What a tough question! Not long before, Peter had denied Jesus three times.

But Peter told Jesus he loved Him. And then Jesus predicted that Peter would ultimately face an extremely painful test of that love. In his old age, Peter would experience martyrdom. But “follow Me,” Jesus said (John 21:19.

Turning around, Peter saw the disciple John tagging along. “But Lord, Peter asked Jesus, “what about this man?” (v. 21).

Like Peter, we may question the way Jesus has mapped out for us to follow. Why does it lead through sickness, pain, trials, and persecution? We may wonder what He has planned for other Christians? Will they experience hardship or sail unscathed through life? If such thinking occurs to us, we need to listen closely to Jesus’ response to Peter’s question. “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me” (v. 22).

Let’s follow Jesus today and every day without regard for what others may or may not do!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Herbert Lockyer Jr

While reading the obituaries in this morning’s issue of The Gazette, I saw that my favorite teacher at Moody Bible Institute, Herbert Lockyer Jr. passed away June 7, here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was just two months shy of 97. I assumed he had died years ago, but the Lord must have kept him on earth this long for a purpose.

Mr. Lockyer’s father wrote several books including, All the Men of the Bible, All the Miracles of the Bible, All the Promises of the Bible, All the Parables if the Bible, and All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible. He was also a popular Bible conference speaker. Herbert Jr is best remembered as a teacher at Moody, its alumni director for several years, and a minister. I remember him best as my Old Testament Synthesis teacher during my first semester at Moody.

I was a fairly new believer when I sat under Mr. Lockyer’s teaching, so I knew practically nothing about the Old Testament. But Mr. Lockyer brought me up to speed, and did so in an entertaining manner. He spoke with a bit of a Scottish accent, which appealed to me because I was Scottish born and had a Scottish upbringing. After only a few class sessions, I was able to impersonate Mr. Lockyer quite well. His teaching also appealed to me because it combined information and inspiration. He understood from personal experience the challenges and privileges of Christian service.

Now Herbert Lockyer Jr is basking in the presence of his Lord and Savior and enjoying heaven’s eternal pleasures and activities. I am thankful for his influence on my life, and I hope he greets me someday in heaven with an unforgettable trace of a Scottish accent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Attitude Check

I receive many emails from Christians about how bad conditions are nationally and globally. Guess what? The emails neither inform me nor surprise me. Doesn’t the Bible predict a proliferation of evil and calamity as time passes? “In the last days perilous times will come,” Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1). What surprises me is how morose and almost panicky some Christians have become by overdosing on our troubled times. Does Jesus’ legacy of peace and joy terminate at page one of the daily newspaper or at two minutes into a TV news broadcast?

Sure, we should be realistic about political and economic conditions, and we can vote and express our opinions, but we can also pray, witness, and live above the circumstances. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We have a choice. We can dwell on the negative and let gloom and despair invade our hearts or we can be of good cheer and thereby defeat defeatism and reflect the truth that God is in control.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

W, X, Y, Z

Our granddaughter Jessica Whiting graduated from high school yesterday. The ceremony took place at Mackey Auditorium on the campus of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Because the diplomas were awarded alphabetically, she was the last member of her graduating class to receive a diploma. Naturally, as a proud grandfather, I believed the principal had saved the best for the last. Isn’t that why dessert, the best part of a meal, is last?

No doubt those whose names fall into the last section of the alphabet have learned to cope with being the last ones to be mentioned for recognition. However, Jessica is an honor roll student deserving of special recognition. So she is the only COVA 2010 grad whose name appears in today’s blog. Congratulations, Jessica!

When Jesus said the last shall be first (Matthew 19:30), He was referring to all who assign their highest priority to following Him in spite of personal sacrifice. Prominent leadership positions in Messiah’s Kingdom are reserved for them.

A faculty member reminded Jessica’s graduating class that the future holds many choices. She encouraged them to make good choices. Following Jesus all the time is not just a good choice; it is the best choice.

When Jesus assigns leadership roles in His kingdom, I don’t expect Him to do so in alphabetical order. Perhaps some Wagners, Walkers, Wallaces, Whitcombs, Whites, Whitings, Yoders, Youngs, Zablowskis, and Zimmermans will be among those called first.