Monthly Archives: August 2017

Ouch! Falling hurts.

So, as the folks at Clover know, I fell a couple of weeks ago. Wish it was a better story, but there were no heroics; I just slipped and fell. I was trying to wrestle a pontoon boat onto a trailer, slipped, and slammed into the trailer on the way down.

Of course, getting injured is never fun. Despite a small ding to the pride, a couple of stitches in the knee, and some back pain, I’ll be ok. It certainly could have been worse.

The fall reminded me, though, how quickly we can lose our footing and injure ourselves. And if physically slipping causes an ER trip, just imagine what can happen from a spiritual fall. A sprained back and banged knee are no fun; but a damaged soul can end in disaster!

In fact, falling is such a dangerous and important topic that we describe all of man’s experience in Adam as “The Fall.” Paul warns us to be careful that we do not fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). Peter warns us to be on guard against a “fall from your own steadfastness,” (2 Peter 3:17).

So what can we do? We can’t undo the fall. That’s done. There is no going back.

But, moving forward, there are two solutions:

  • First, we need to see the great physician. When I went to the doctor, they examined me, cleaned out the wound, and patched it up. Going to the Lord when we sin is similar. We honestly confess, ask for healing through forgiveness, and receive treatment.
  • Secondly, we need to do our best to remain on solid ground. The sure footing of salvation is in God alone. Scripture warns that we had better be careful so we don’t fall, especially when we think we are “fine” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

We all slip in sin. When we do, John comforts us with these words: “if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (1 John 2:21). He picks us up when we fall and helps us to stand securely when we live in Him!

Lighten Your Spiritual Baggage!

My Expedition fits 8 people…well, it is possible to get 4 adults and 4 children into the car with the 3rd row up. I found this out last week when we had friends visiting from overseas. It was a tight squeeze, but we managed to fit both our families while traveling to NC and TN. I’m glad to say our friendship survived the trip!

At first, it seemed so simple: 8 seats for 8 people. But it was complicated by one obvious issue – luggage. Several rounds of “luggage Tetris” were needed to put bags in small spaces, under feet, and in laps…and that was with packing bare essentials only!

Truth is, most of us need luggage when traveling. That’s obvious. Still, we probably bring more than we need. Lightening our load would make things easier.

But as much of a nuisance as luggage can be, spiritual baggage is an even greater burden. And the worst thing about carrying spiritual baggage is that it is unnecessary! With size 14 shoes, I need a big bag for my stuff, but big spiritual luggage doesn’t help anyone.

Spiritual baggage comes in many forms. We cram past hurts in our backpack; we haul sins in a suitcase; we strap Satan’s lies to the luggage rack, and we schlep our worries and fears everywhere we go. No wonder many people don’t want to begin the journey to recovery!

The Hebrews writer tells us to:

lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). Running the race is easier when we unload our baggage.

Isn’t it time you dropped a few bags? Jesus told the weary and heavy laden to come into His rest and unburden themselves (Matthew 11:28-30). What could you unload today at the foot of the cross? Live in the freedom Jesus provides. He carries it all.

And if you want to know how, get in touch; I’d love to help.

Instructions With A Good Warning! “Common Sense Required”

Recently I finished a tile project in the kitchen. I had never used this tile cutter before, so, I decided to do something smart; I read the instructions. I came across the most interesting paragraph. It read:

“The warnings, precautions, and instructions discussed in this instruction manual cannot cover all possible conditions and situations that may occur. It must be understood by the operator that common sense and caution are factors which cannot be built into this product, but must be supplied by the operator.”

Now that is a disclaimer!

In other words, they have explained the right way to use the product, and they have given reasonable warnings. But no manual can devise warnings for every possible misuse of their product. A little “common sense and caution…must be supplied by the operator.”

When it comes to the Bible, the same is true. The Bible is a tremendous collection of law, history, poetry, wisdom, prophets, letters, and apocalyptic literature. It tells us how to be saved. It tells us the proper way to live in order to go to heaven.

But it can’t list everything in the “don’t” category. Even if God tried, which He doesn’t, people would look for loopholes. Yet, people seem to want to hold the Bible to a ridiculous standard: “It doesn’t say I can’t!”

A little common sense would go a long way for reading God’s Word. That’s why Paul writes in Philippians 2:12, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” In doing so, we receive the grace God provided through His Son.

So…give the Bible a read. It isn’t a list of every “don’t;” we must supply a bit of common sense and caution. But it does reveal the words of eternal life (John 6:68).

There is one main reason for using a tile cutter – to cut tile! There is one main reason for reading God’s Word – to be assured of eternal life. If you skipped reading the instructions, you probably missed something important!

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26).

Be Careful How You View The Sun…And The Son!

The eclipse is coming August 21st. It is the first total eclipse viewable from the United States since 1979. It is an exciting time to see a rare phenomenon. But in order to safely view the eclipse, special glasses are needed. And that has given an opportunity to scammers.

According to the American Astronomical Society, glasses must meet international standards in order to be safe. Otherwise, as Mom always said, “don’t stare at the sun!” But fake glasses are flooding the markets, and they might cause serious harm to those who use them.

Just as some people take advantage of eclipse interest, there are false teachers selling fake “Jesus-viewing” glasses…

Of course, as a preacher, I’m always asking people to look at Jesus. But we must also be careful how we view the Son. Using the wrong lenses when looking at the Son of God could cause far more damage than how we look at God’s sun!

Fake “Jesus-viewing” lenses attempt to filter out the real Jesus. They ignore His “politically incorrect” teachings. They block out His claims of deity. They shade His miracles from sight.

But the real Jesus wants to be seen, just as He is. And, if we come to Jesus with innocence, an open heart, and an open mind, we can view Him clearly with the naked eye. No special lenses are needed.

Some people prefer “rose-colored” glasses that tint God the way they want to see Him. Some will wear blinders that reject the light. But there is only one way to safely view the Son – the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Seeing Jesus through lenses of truth makes all the difference. “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12). And nothing can eclipse that Son!