Monthly Archives: March 2017

Giraffe Births…And Watchful Living

April the giraffe has finally given birth! Or at least that is what the headline will read…some day. Sorry if you read that sentence and ran off to look at cute baby pictures only to find a pregnant giraffe still walking around.

April the giraffe is going to give birth any time now. Or so they say. She has been pregnant since 2015, but that’s just how giraffes roll. Last month, tens of millions of viewers, convinced April was about to give birth, watched, and watched, and watched.

And, like so many other things, when instant gratification was gone, binge watchers lost interest. Many people took to Twitter or Facebook showing their disappointment, boredom, and growing disinterest. A loyal fan base still exists, but nothing like those early moments on the live camera feed.

Now, it is probably for the best that people who had been glued to the live feed for days realized they needed to shower…and go to work…and feed the children. There is a time to watch and a time to live in anticipation. The trick is learning the difference…and that’s a good reminder for the church as well.

In Acts 1:9-11, we read that Jesus was “lifted up” while the disciples were watching. The disciples continued “gazing intently into the sky” so long that angelic beings (two men in white clothing) stopped them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand looking into the sky?” They continued, “Jesus…will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

Did you catch that? Why keep staring? Instead, go do what He commanded. Proper “watching” means doing His will, not staring at the sky!

Have we grown weary of waiting? Make no mistake…He’s coming! “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:8)?

Millions are glued to a screen waiting for a giraffe. Or maybe by the time you read this, a cute baby giraffe has arrived. Will we, who anticipate a far greater arrival, show proper watchfulness by the lives we live?

Don’t Know What You’ve Got

You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone…or so the saying goes. Like kids on the playground, we don’t notice what we’ve discarded until someone else wants it. Then we remember how much we liked it!

Faith has been declining in Europe for some time. But an interesting thing is happening recently… Europe’s churches are starting to grow! Interestingly, though, growth isn’t coming from the citizens of Europe. Rather, it is Muslim refugees who are growing the church in Europe!

Some people are skeptical of these conversions, and rightly so. Many converts are simply trying to secure citizenship. But a growing number have truly found joy in the Christian faith. Many of them report that they desired to convert in their own countries, but were threatened, harassed, or persecuted.

So here’s the question: “What effect will these conversions have on those who have fallen away from the faith in Europe?”

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 11:14. Paul’s desire was that his countrymen, the Jewish people, might be moved to jealousy by the influx of Gentiles to the faith. In other words, he wanted their faith to be reinvigorated when they saw how others desired God’s salvation!

The initial church consisted of Jewish believers in Jesus. But the majority of Paul’s countrymen became reluctant converts as the years passed. The church then experienced great growth, primarily through Gentiles.

Is history repeating itself? What will the church of tomorrow look like?

The church is growing fast in India, Africa, and China. And now, the Kingdom advances among Muslim refugees in Europe. And to God be the glory for those being saved! God, of course, desires that all would come to knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

But will this influx of believers cause those who have become lackluster in faith to rekindle their zeal? I pray for a radical restoration among the churches in Europe, America, and anywhere else that believers have taken their faith for granted. God wants all people everywhere to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9)!

I’m His Friend, And I Have An Appointment!

“I’m a friend of the President. I have an appointment!” At least that is what Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran said when he jumped the fence at the White House. Tran managed to get near the White House wearing a backpack containing 2 cans of pepper spray, a book written by Trump, a passport, and other items.

The Secret Service stopped Tran, and confirmed that he did not have an appointment. And…no surprise, he is not Trump’s friend. They took Tran into custody, but released him to home arrest until his April court date.

Sitting down to chat with the President of the United States is beyond the ability of most people. There was a time when the public could stroll into the White House to have conversations with Presidents such as Jackson or Lincoln. Those days are long gone, but many would still like the opportunity.

Wanting to speak with leaders is nothing new. In fact, in the days of Solomon, we are told that, “All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart” (1 Kings 10:24). All the earth wanted to meet Solomon! One person, the Queen of Sheba, took a trip to see him and was amazed at his great wisdom.

But did you know that we have easy access to Solomon’s wisdom today through God’s Word? In fact, we have access to the wisdom of one far greater – the God who gave Solomon his wisdom. We have access to the King and His Kingdom.

Sadly, though, few will take the opportunity to hear His wisdom. Even fewer attempt to enter His Kingdom. Consider this: People will jump fences to try to force a meeting with the President. Will the children of light be so bold as to approach the throne with confidence in Christ?

Now here is the great news: if you are in Christ, you truly are a friend of God’s and you do have an appointment. In fact, He desires to spend eternity with all who are willing to come to Him through His Son!

He Took My Mail…And That’s Ok!

Remember the Seinfeld where Newman was hoarding mail? Well, Joseph Brucato made Newman look small-time. Plagued by depression and alcohol addiction, Brucato, a New York mailman, admitted to stashing 40,000 pieces of mail, weighing over 1 ton. The mail was stashed in his apartment, his car, and his locker at the post office. It spanned a decade of “lost” mail.

Brucato is not alone though. Patrick Pascett was found guilty recently of dumping 1,000 pieces of mail in dumpsters along his route because he didn’t feel like delivering them. In North Carolina, Gary Collins hoarded enough mail to fill two dump trucks. And in California, postal worker, Sherry Watanabe, was hiding 48,000 pieces of mail at her home.

To say the least, the slogan “neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow” has taken a few dings because of the actions of a few disturbed people.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t miss most of my mail – junk mail, solicitations, etc. I’d especially like it if they kept my bills. Of course, it wouldn’t do any good unless they paid them too! After all, “my mailman stole my letter” won’t work with creditors. We are responsible for our bills, whether delivered or not.

There is a striking resemblance to salvation. We have all fallen short of God’s perfection because of our sins (Romans 3:23). And the paycheck in the mail, or wages, “of sin is death.” But thanks be to God, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God intercepted our letter of death, and He paid the bill Himself! We have a new letter (2 Corinthians 3:6). It is a letter of life that has been written, not in stone, but in our hearts. It is signed in the blood of Christ.

Our new letter reads: “Paid in full, with love, Jesus.” Now that is mailman hoarding I can get behind!