Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs ~ Rest in Peace?

As I read about the creative life of Steve Jobs, I can’t help but wonder how he missed that there is a Creator. For over thirty years Steve and his associates brain-stormed, had huge vision and made grand goals, many of which came to life and have affected the entire world as well as much of the space that can be seen.

How did such a brilliant mind lead the way in bringing the needed intelligence from basically nothing to the overwhelming and incomprehensible pocket brains that many of us hold in our hands?

The Apple creator missed the Creator of the apple. Instead, he chose to follow Buddha. Buddha’s teachings reject a Creator and contend that questions on the origin of the universe are “worthless.” They embrace that Nirvana (alleviating stress) is the highest attainable goal, that yoga lends itself to spiritual insight and tranquility, and that karma is the influence behind cause and effect. They cling to the belief that this life carries on into multiple lives or the “consciousness in the new person is neither identical nor entirely different from that in the deceased, but they form a causal continuum or stream.”

I believe in one true God (God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son). I believe that good (Christ’s death, burial and resurrection) have won the battle over sin. I believe that we are free because He lives again. I believe that those who trust in God’s gift of salvation are freed from sin. I believe in a kingdom without end. I believe to be absent from the body is to be with Christ!

Peter 3:18-21 “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Forever 27 (Amy Winehouse)

Amy Winehouse is the latest addition to the Forever 27 Club. What killed her? Fame? Pressure? Loneliness? Fortune? Image?

Why do special people with amazing talent live life to the extreme and then die before they discover true life? Jimmy Hendricks, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Amy lived very different lives than most of us. They gave a special gift to the world, but they left with less than what they could have given.

They became entangled within the all consuming web of drug and alcohol abuse. They were enticed by the sideshow of themselves and were ultimately crushed by the deceiver.

I believe that God created everything that exists. I believe that God is merciful and just. I believe that he loves us more than we could ever love him. I believe that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge him as the Lord. I wonder how many will acknowledge him as Savior.

Philippians 2:9-11 says, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not Guilty? Are You Serious?

From what the media bias presented to the American public it would appear that Casey Anthony was guilty of pre-meditated murder, lying, deceit and acts of revenge. However, she was acquitted: discharged completely.

As I watch the re-runs of the verdict being stated and the relief that consumes Casey's demeanor, I sense a glimpse of what salvation must feel like.

One day we will all stand before the Lord knowing the crimes that we've committed. The crimes are murder, lying, deceit, acts of revenge and many, many more. The "acquitted" verdict will be given to those that have acknowledged their condition and have claimed Christ as their Savior. For those that have not claimed Christ as their Savior, that day will be the beginning of a prison sentence that will never end.

Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Impressions

There is much to be said regarding first impressions. Most people will say that the first impression is the most important. It is said that once you make a good first impression the rest is easy.

I disagree. Not that I disagree with a positive first impression being important, I just think that the last impression is the most important. Especially if the first impression and middle impression were positive.

I put in my two week notice as a mobile Paramedic twelve days ago. I am finished "working" as a medic. I have been working off and on an ambulance for twenty years. It has been a great learning experience. It has helped in my ministry career because I have learned to understand the immense hurt, shame and grief people experience daily.  

The problem is, I don't want to work for the next two days. I want to quit today. Actually, I wanted to quit twelve days ago. However, I can't. Of course I could, but that would make a poor last impression.

I have tried to be a Christ reflector as I've worked side by side with many Christians, atheists and agnostics. Though I have built friendships with these partners, I know they're watching. They've been watching all along.

The last impression is the hardest to produce, but it is the most important. Especially as followers of Christ.

Matt 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sleeping Pickle

Almost every night as Wendy and I are getting ready to go to bed, I look into the refrigerator for a little snack. As my eyes scan the contents, I most often choose a piece of turkey lunch meat and a dill pickle

As I climb the stairs leading to our bedroom, I pace my bites of pickle so that the last bite takes place as I approach my side of the bed. As I crawl into bed, I receive the same response from Wendy that I get every other night that I crawl into bed with pickle breath, "again, Michael?" Then she turns and faces away from me. So, I get up and brush my teeth to remove some of the offense. 

Why do people do the things that annoy those they love the most? Why are people so selfish? Why am I so selfish?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

That is the kind of love that never fails! That is the kind of love that the Lord has for us. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fat Boy

Needing to lose about 20 pounds, I recently attempted the diet plan of Weight Watchers. I lasted for exactly 9 hours. I skipped breakfast the first morning and had a turkey sandwich for lunch. I was trying to accumulate "points" for later. As I began preparing dinner, I realized the limited amount of food that I could eat (including my extra points and weekly bonus points) and it wasn't enough. I decided I wanted more than what I was alloted. I quit Weight Watchers while I was cooking dinner. 

What if God handled the human sin condition that way? What if every new day we were alloted a certain amount of sin? What if we accumulated sin points if we were "good enough?" How about if we received weekly bonus sin points for the nice things we did for other people? What if there was a plan that balanced out our sin? There is: 

Ephesians 1:7 "In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us." 

I'm counting on moderation and exercise.
I'm depending on forgiveness through His sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

F Bombs

It happened again. I went to work today as a Medic, met a new partner and started the day as normal. We made sure that we had all of the needed supplies in the unit to handle any type of emergency call and headed out to serve those in need. 

Apparently, my partner thought that I was 'cool' enough and began to express himself explicitly. I was amazed at how creative he could be with the F bombs. He had a bomb in every sentence. He was able to drop in two bombs in one sentence! At one point, he dropped two bombs in one sentence along with a couple of other well know explicit words. 

As the day progressed we began to talk about each others lives, interests and hobbies. He asked about what I do in my off time and I mentioned that I serve/work full time in ministry. He thought that was 'cool' too. From that point on I didn't hear another bomb get dropped. Not even an explicit term. I was impressed at the way he could tell a story without bombs!

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

Be you. The you that you were created to be.
Worship Him today.