Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Herman, Han's father stood and said he would tell us "How the story began and how the story ended." He was drafted into Hitler's army and sent to a work camp in what is now known as Kaliningrad. Obtaining a weekend off, Herman, decided to ride the train to the Baltic sea and enjoy the beaches and water for the weekend. His plan was interrupted by a young lady, Else, who he spotted sitting alone in the back of the train. He liked what he saw and moved to meet and talk to her. He was so captivated by her that he forgot to get off the train at his destination and ended up traveling with her to visit her father in a hospital. Pacing outside the hospital until she finished her visit, he talked more with Else and eventually invited her to visit him in Hamburg, were he lived. The rest is a love story that had them getting married on November 14, 1936. Yes that is right, they have been married for 71 years!. The end was quiet and peaceful in her room at Clarehouse, a God anointed place for those in the last days of their life.
Else in her youth was a gymnast, performing in front of Field Marshall Hindenburg of Germany (go look up name and learn the history.) She loved swimming and became a lifeguard. She lived through World War II in Hamburg Germany. Had three children and waited for Herman to be released from French captivity after the war. On July 21, 1957 they arrived in the United States. Else was 44 years old. She began a new life with her family, learning to speak English, getting a job, raising a family. Herman said the two things that really attracted him to Else was that she did not smoke and, most important of all, Else had a deep faith in Jesus Christ. A faith that they have passed on to their children and their children's children and so on.
I grieved for the family and yet I walked away encouraged. I felt like I was given an honored look into the life of a special person. I would have loved to have known Else. I know I would have been a better person for it.
So as I always say, when you meet an elderly person - who you see is really not who they were. Remember that next time. And by the way remember you will one day be that elderly person and I pray someone will look at you and wonder who you were.
Monday, January 21, 2008
My wife wrote a devotion for the staff at my church that I feel is very appropriate. Here it is.
There have been more changes in the past 50 years than in the past 500 put together.
- 2 generations ago people did not move more than 50 miles away from their birthplace
- When we were kids, only 4% of church members had been raised in a different denomination than the one they were worshiped in as adults. Today that number is 40%.
- Well over 25% of the English language has developed in the last 20 years
- 70% of the Fortune 500 companies on the 1955 list are now out of business. 40% of the 1979 list
- 50% of the jobs in the today’s classifieds won’t even be around 10 years from now.
This is a time of great potential for us as a church & the church as a whole. How will we respond?
3 common responses
- denial – bury your head in the sand & do what you have always done or make 1 little concession - do it faster.
- retreat – Seal ourselves off & create an out-of-touch church counterculture.
- catch the wave – will we hoist the sails & catch God’s wave? It’s a bold move but with God’s guidance & strength we could sail with confidence & purpose over the waves.
The church is God’s lifeboat – we’re not called to be comfortable. We have been given the power to ride the waves, to rescue those who are sinking. We are guaranteed to reach the other side, so we may as well enjoy the adventure.
What happens when there’s no change?
The clinical definition of death is a body that does not change. Change is life. Stagnation is death. If you don’t change, you die. Bottom line: No Change, No Future
- By the time I finish this devotion (reading this blog), millions of cells in our bodies will have died & our body sheds them. For every one that dies, another divides to replace it with a new one.
- Skin replaces itself every month
- The stomach replaces it's lining every 5 days
- The liver replaces itself every 6 weeks
- A man’s whole body will have changed every 5 years & a woman’s every 7
We are old & new at the same time.
Dealing with Change – some commentary from Life Application Bible
Numbers: The Israelites wilderness trek - talk about feeling uprooted. They were constantly moving thru the wilderness. They were able to handle change only because God’s presence in the Tabernacle was always with them. The portable tab signified how God & his people move together. For us, stability does not mean lack of change but moving with God in every circumstance.
1 Samuel 2:2 : Hannah praises God for being a Rock - firm, strong & unchanging. In our fast-paced world, friends come & go and circumstances change. It’s difficult to find a solid foundation that will not change. Those who devote their lives to people, causes, possessions, or other finite things are trusting their security to that which is transitory. The goals & possessions to which we work so hard will all pass away. However, God is always present and ready to help, even when all else seems to be falling apart.
1 Chron 14: David’s battles with the Philistines – In almost every situation, David prayed for guidance. New developments offer new challenges as well as new risks. We should be open to seeking God’s guidance in each new situation because this will help us avoid certain dangers. Don’t assume that God’s will or way of working in your life will always be the same. If you seek God’s leading as circumstances change, you will not see change as a threat but as an opportunity to let God work in new ways.
God’s mercies are new every morning & in heaven every day will be fresh & new. Even though God has a lot of new things coming, which means more changes – He remains the same. He’s our anchor. Here are some scriptures you’ll recognize.:
The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God shall stand forever.
Heaven & earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
The eternal God is thy refuge, & underneath are the everlasting arms.
But whatever is good & perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
4. Little Caesars 2 for 1 pizza.
5. The trees around my house that were lost because of the last Ice Storm.
WHAT I REALLY DON'T MISS
1. A world without Internet and email.
2. A world without HD TV. (Large screen TV's in general. And to think I used to watch TV on a 19" TV and loved it.)
3. Electronics without remote control. (I lost weight more quickly, with all the getting up and down just to change channels but then again I don't remember having over 3 channels to watch then. I must be getting old.)
4. K-Mart stores - Sorry Kmart but Walmart and Target are much better. And what did I ever do without a Walmart or a gas station(GIT-N-GO) being open 24/7. Man it was tough then.
5. Having to wear a tie and jacket to work EVERY DAY. I pray they never return.
These are my lists. Send me yours. God bless..
Thursday, January 3, 2008
The most destructive habit - Worry
The greatest Joy - Giving
The greatest loss - Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work - Helping others
The ugliest personality trait - Selfishness
The most endangered species - Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource - Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm - Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome -Fear
The most effective sleeping pill - Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease - Excuses
The most powerful force in life - Love
The most dangerous pariah - A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer -The brain
The worst thing to be without - Hope
The deadliest weapon - The tongue
The two most power-filled words - "I Can"
The greatest asset - Faith
The most worthless emotion - Self-pity
The most beautiful attire - SMILE!
The most prized possession - Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication - Prayer
The most contagious spirit - Enthusiasm
The most important thing in life - GOD
Everyone needs this list to live by!!!
Psalms 27:4-5 NLT The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in His Temple. 5 For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Connie and I pray that you and your families will have a prosperous, joyous and fun 2008.