Posts

All in a Day

September 29. It’s just one day. But it is a day that will soon be gone. So make the most of today that you can. Today is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.

A lot can happen in a day – this day. Let me illustrate.

September 29, 1399

King Richard II became the first English monarch to abdicate his throne.

September 29. 1829

The Metropolitan Police of London, later known simply as the Met, was founded.

September 29, 1951

The first live sporting event seen coast-to-coast in the United States was broadcast by NBC. The event was a college football game between Duke and the University of Pittsburgh.

September 29, 1954

The convention that established the European Organization for Nuclear Research was signed. It would be known as CERN.

September 29, 1984

The Chicago Tylenol murders began when the first of seven individuals died in metropolitan Chicago.

September 29, 2017

This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

 

The Rushmore Report: Foster Mom, Walmart Cashier, and Voice of God

The Walmart shoppers were growing impatient. It was late on a Friday night in Newcastle, Oklahoma. Many of the customers were grumbling about the lady at the front of the line. A foster parent, the lady had signed up for a federal program that would pay for her groceries. But the debit card wasn’t working. Suddenly, cashier Nicholas Tate stepped in. And what he did next blew everyone’s mind.

The 20-year-old cashier said, “I felt like God was calling for me to pay for her bill. It was without a doubt – God was saying, ‘Pay for this.'”

And that is what he did. He swiped his own card to pay for the groceries – a $60 bill. And the customer broke into tears.

Nicholas is a Christian, attending Austin Bible Institute, in hopes of becoming a missionary to Honduras. He said, “When God tells me to do something, I do it. God told me, ‘I put you in this place at the right time and I knew you were ready for this – to pay for this.’ So, without hesitation, I pulled my card out and swiped it.”

The news quickly spread. Looking back, Nicholas says, “I was just trying to bless someone and make their day and it turned into something incredible.”

He told the local news station, “It’s not what I did. It’s what God did through me. He took something so small and he glorified his name with it.”

The world needs more young men like Nicholas Tate. It is through random acts of kindness that we best proclaim the gospel. What Nicholas Tate did in a small town in Oklahoma, we each can do every day.

Who’s next?

Fireman’s Dog

A Sunday School helper was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children began discussing the dog’s duties.

“They use him to keep crowds back,” said one youngster.

“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”

A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrant.”

Not that’s interesting insight. The fact is, these dogs are now really just mascots, reminders of the past, when dogs were used alongside firefighters in horse-drawn carriages. The dogs served to keep the carriages on track and to dissuade attackers and other animals.

But the girl had a point. Most of us do need help with directions. We know where we want to go, but are not always sure as to how to get there.

Nowhere is this more important than in the spiritual realm. We want to get to heaven. Who doesn’t? But what is the right way? I suggest Jesus had it right when he said, “I am the way.” So let’s follow him. The one who has already been to heaven is our only hope to get there ourselves some day.

Enemy Attack

I loved an old comedy show, on in the 1970s when I was a baby. It was “The Flip Wilson Show.” The star of the show was, surprisingly, Flip Wilson. He did all sorts of silly stuff, and had some unique guests. But Wilson’s mantra was to get in trouble, then say, “The devil made me do it.” He was so funny that CBS kept him on the air for less than two years. But let’s talk about that statement. “The devil made me do it.”

Do you believe in the devil?” (I know, some of you ladies may think you are married to him.) Well, the Bible sure believes in the devil. St. Peter said, “Your adversary the devil, is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Lions roar when they are hungry. The “roaring lion” (Satan) is roaring because he wants to devour you.

I heard about a hiker who came upon a lion, but was pleased to see him praying. Then he heard what the lion was saying. “Thank you, Lord, for this meal you have now set before me.”

When the devil looks at you, he sees a “meal set before him.” But it doesn’t have to end that way. Submit to God, and the devil can’t make you do anything, despite what Flip Wilson says.

Heal Thyself!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity.”

Philosopher Teilhard de Chardin said it like this: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

The ancient Hebrews did not draw a sharp line between the physical and the spiritual. They understood the interplay between the two. Modern medicine is coming to the same conclusion.

A study by Purdue University found that people who practice their religion regularly develop only half as many medical problems as nonbelievers. “We have recently completed a systematic review of over 1,200 studies on the effects of religion on health,” the study concluded. “The vast majority of these studies show a relationship between greater religious involvement and better mental and physical health, and lower use of health services.”

This confirms what most of us already knew. Believers are happier, more at peace, and healthier. So if you are unhealthy, I suggest you visit the Great Physician.

Titanic

It was the greatest vessel ever imagined, a floating palace. She weighted 46,328 tons. She was indestructible. She was the Titanic. On her maiden voyage, the White Star liner churned from Southampton toward New York. The rich and famous were aboard. The band played, the people danced, and they all rejoiced. On the night of April 14, 1912, they had a great party.

Then is happened. The unsinkable did the unthinkable. The great Titanic ran into an iceberg, as the band was playing “Nearer My god to Thee.” Two hours, 40 minutes later, of the 2,340 aboard, only 745 survived. 1,595 perished in the icy waters. Just a few years ago, the last survivor died.

What are the lessons from the Titanic? Captain Smith ignored numerous warnings of pending danger. The spotlight was not installed correctly. The lifeboats were too small and too few. They travelled faster than they should have. They didn’t take icebergs seriously.

You know, all of our “ships” can sink. You need the right Navigator, One who sees the icebergs of life and knows how to deal with them. Your job is to obey his directions.

World Leaders

The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of England, and the Communist leader met and started discussing the dreams they had. The President of the U.S. said, “I dreamed that I was made President of the world.”

The Prime Minister of England announced, “I dreamed I was made Prime Minister of the world.”

Then the communist leader responded, “That’s funny. I have no recollection of appointing either of you!”

The fact is, we all want to be President, Prime Minister, or leader of the world . . . or at least, our world. But the truth is, we are good at leading everyone but ourselves. And that is where real leadership begins.

It’s good to have dreams. But start with yourself. Learn to lead yourself, and the rest will come easy.

The Rushmore Report: He’s At It Again

He’s at it again. A famous Floridian helped less famous Floridians through their worst nightmare – a Category 4 hurricane named Irma. Tim Tebow, winner of a national championship and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, took to Twitter to rally volunteers and support for shelters as the massive storm came ashore. Though a famous athlete, Tebow is an even better person than he is an athlete.

The college quarterback turned NFL quarterback turned professional baseball player stressed his love for God and fellow Floridians – not by what he said as much as by what he did. The head of the Tim Tebow Foundation, Tebow has raised significant support for CURE hospitals in the Philippines. His passion is caring for children with special needs.

Tebow and his Foundation also coordinate the annual Night to Shine, which the Foundation’s website describes as “An unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs.”

This was his Tweet: “FL, let’s bring Faith, Hope & Love to those taking refuge in our Florida Special Needs Shelters!” Then Tebow tweeted a Bible verse to encourage those weathering the storm: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Yes, Tim Tebow is at it again. He is the purest example I know of what St. Francis of Assisi was talking about when he said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”

Yes, Tim Tebow is at it again.

A Matter of Perspective

Sugar Ray Leonard was one of the greats of boxing. He was asked to speak to the intellectual crowd of Harvard.

“I consider myself blessed. I consider you blessed. We’ve all been blessed with God-given talents. Some of you have the talent to create rockets that will inhabit the universe. Others can cure disease. My God-given talent happens to be beating people up.”

That’s an interesting perspective.

Agatha Christie once offered this perspective on marriage. “An archaeologist is the best husband a wife can have. The older she gets, the more interesting she will be to him.”

The great Picasso once asked his friend Rodin if he liked Picasso’s latest painting that was yet unsigned. Rodin studied the painting from all directions and, only after careful deliberation answered Picasso. “Whatever else you do, sign it. If you do that, we will know which way to hold it.”

God has signed his handiwork with a sunrise, a rainbow, a gentle breeze. But until you recognize the hand of God, you will never know which way is up.

The Old Testament tells us of a man named Ahithophel, who killed himself simply because he never discovered the right perspective. Only a close walk with the Creator can give you the perspective you really need.

“When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb” (2 Samuel 17:23).

Father Benjamin

Winds blew the ship off course, and the sailors spotted a surprisingly well-developed unchartered island. The people were well-fed, irrigation systems were complete, and roads connected the villages. The captain asked the chief for an explanation. “How has this island progressed like this?”

He received a quick response. “Father Benjamin. He educated us, built schools, dug wells, and built clinics.”

The captain asked to meet Father Benjamin. He was taken to two medical clinics.

“Is this where Father Benjamin lives?”

The native guides look puzzled, then took him to the canals. The captain protesed. “I don’t see Father Benjamin here. Please take me to where he lives.”

They took him to a chapel where Benjamin taught them about God.

“Is this where he lives?”

“Yes,” they affirmed.

“May I talk to him?”

The natives said, “No, that would be impossible, for he died many years ago.”

The captain replied, “I asked to see where he lives, and you showed me a clinic, canals, and a chapel. You said nothing about his death.”

“You didn’t ask about his death,” they said. You asked to see where he lives. We showed you.”