Monthly Archives: January 2018

Simmer on Truth Before Throwing Out The Crock Pot

It is an old story. Esau sold his brother his birthright for some stew. Then Esau got mad and blamed the slow cooker and threw it out the window. Wait, what?

Don’t remember that part of Genesis 25:29-34? That is because it didn’t happen. But what happened next is just as irrational and could be good lesson for “This Is Us” fans.

If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll catch you up. Jack, a popular character, recently died, and fans were really upset. Even though they know it is just fiction (I think), they lashed out against the villain who killed their “hero.”

The only problem? The villain was a slow cooker!

A faulty slow cooker burst into flames and burned the house down. So fans took to Twitter vilifying Crock Pot. Some wrote that they were throwing their Crock Pots out; others said they were removing Crock Pot from their wedding registry; and others disparaged Crock-Pot for making a faulty product!

The backlash was so bad that Crock Pot issued a statement:

“For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode… the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”

So…back to Esau. He blamed Jacob for the loss of his birthright. Now, to be fair, he didn’t blame the stew. But just as irrationally, he blamed Jacob! Instead, his foolishness was to blame.

Of course, we act the same. We refuse to blame ourselves so we pick a villain – no matter how irrational it is. We should blame the true villain, our own sins (James 1:14-15).

Am I disappointed when things don’t go my way? Sure. But do I throw out my Crock Pot because a fictional character on a fictional show has a fictional death? Please.

And stew on this…my sins and yours caused the real Son of God to come and really die on a real cross. That’s no fiction. How will you react to that?

Allow simmering for 6-8 hours…

Sinkhole or Firm Foundation? Better check before things go BOOM in the night!

It happens to every homeowner. Tucked in bed, sound asleep, and you hear a noise. You get up and look around, but don’t find anything. So you go back to bed. The next day, you discover a mess somewhere, and with an “Ugh,” head to get the broom.

Now imagine an extreme version. That’s what the Bushes, an Idaho family, experienced recently. They heard a loud noise and looked around. They didn’t find anything so they went back to bed. The next morning they checked their garage…and the floor was completely collapsed in a sinkhole!

Turns out, their garage had been built over an old basement. In the “secret room,” they found shelving, old toys, letters, and other items. Engineers told them it is amazing the floor hadn’t collapsed years ago since it was just 2” of concrete!

What would you do if the floor fell out from beneath you? Would it surprise you to know that it can reveal a lot about you? There are many warnings in the Bible about maintaining firm footing on the proper foundation.

In one example, King Ahaziah “fell through the lattice in his upper chamber” (2 Kings 1:2). Scholars debate the full meaning of this. Some claim it is a lattice “wall,” others say a “window,” while many teach, “skylight.”

Regardless of what exactly it is, he trusted in something that collapsed under him. And when he fell through, he became bed-ridden from the injury. What happened next reveals a heart issue. He didn’t call on God or look to godly advisors.

Rather, he sent messengers to enquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether he would live or die. Therefore, God, through Elijah, told Ahaziah that he would die in that bed. He trusted in idols – a flimsy foundation.

We all have secret rooms filled with junk. We hide them with flimsy walls and floors. But they will all crash eventually. Like a BOOM in the night, when Christ returns, all will be revealed.

Therefore, be careful how you build and what you build on! Christ is the only firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-17).

What’s This Button Do? Oops. #ThreatNoThreat

In the immediate wake of Hawaii’s false Ballistic Missile threat, news agencies began reporting that the “wrong button” had been pressed. Not true. Actually, the wrong link was clicked on a drop-down menu. Nevertheless, it was a big mistake!

In addition, it took 38 minutes to notify the public that there was no threat. By then, thousands had sought shelter, entered manholes, or called loved ones and waited. After all, there is no running from an inbound nuclear missile on an island.

Now, if you’ve seen the drop-down menu, you know it was very confusing! (See Picture)

Needless to say, the system is being updated and new, clearer options have already been added. We simply can’t allow false reports of impending doom being spread to millions of people or we will have “boy who cried wolf” syndrome.

It would be nice if a warning system was 100% accurate and never had fake notifications, right? Well, did you know that the Bible has that? It has a 100% track record of prophecy and fulfillment!

Jesus warned His followers not to be deceived by false alerts. More than three decades before the Temple was destroyed, Jesus gave specific warnings about what would happen, where to go, and when to go. Because Jesus’ followers listened to His words in Luke 21:20-24, historians confirm that not a single Christian lost their lives when the Romans sacked Jerusalem.

And Jesus’ followers know that there will be no false alerts when He returns.

“The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

There won’t be any accidental “clicks” in that day. It is a day that the Father set aside from the foundation of time. Accept the forgiveness He freely offers and live faithfully for Him today!

Reset – It’s Not Too Late!

So, maybe you are a New Year resolution person and maybe you aren’t. Of course, we all know the statistics. Only 8% of people are able to successfully stick to their resolutions. That is a 92% failure rate.

Additionally, if you have a vague goal such as “losing weight,” or “exercising more,” and you fail consistently, you’ve probably gotten stuck in a rut. These kinds of failures can lead to year after year of sedentary life. You may be thinking there is no turning it around – “why even try?”

But thanks to work by doctors at Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, a study was recently published showing some very good news. You can actually undo the effects of years of sedentary life! It isn’t too late!

Of course, it is going to take some effort. But researchers showed that the 45-65 year-old age group could undo the effects of decades of sedentary life on the heart and lungs. Two years of light exercise (30 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week) changed lives substantially.

You see, when we make general resolutions like, “exercise more,” or “eat less,” we will generally fail. But when we know that victory is attainable, and we are truly committed, great things can happen. We can “reset” the clock in many ways.

There is no greater way, certainly, to reset the clock though, than in our spiritual disappointments. No matter where you are in life, no matter how sedentary you have become spiritually, you can be renewed by the saving grace of the gospel. It isn’t too late.

The amazing news is that the hardest part is done! Jesus already died on your behalf. He did the heavy lifting! Because of His righteousness, we can start over today, a new creation, undoing the judgment for sin in our lives.

But it will take some effort on your part: a dedication to life in faith of His saving grace (Revelation 2:10). This could be the day you recommit yourself to following Christ. It isn’t too late…and the benefits are amazing!