GPS - God's Plan of Salvation

“God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart…”[Ecclesiastes 3:11]

If you do much traveling, you know that a good GPS is helpful in getting from one place to another.  I appreciate our TomTom on long trips even when I think I know where I’m going.  It’s always nice to know just how far it is to the next exit or rest stop.

Now, take that sophisticated technology and compare it to birds.  Yes…birds.  Did you know there are some pretty amazing birds God created that have a phenomenal internal homing instinct more sophisticated than the latest GPS technology.  I read about the Manx Shearwater.  These birds live off the coast of Wales.  They have an unbelievable homing instinct.  Some have been electronically tagged and released at different points around the world, testing to see just how good that instinct really is.  One was released in Boston (3200 miles from home).  In less than two weeks, that bird returned to its original nest from a place it had never been before.

Read more: GPS - God's Plan of Salvation

Trust

Millions of people tuned into NBC every weeknight to hear accurate news.  They made the connection of what can be seen and heard as truth with the voice of Brian Williams, the “news anchor.”  Millions trusted him…past tense.  They did trust him.  The most watched, most experienced news anchorman is now off the air for a while because of a lack of trust.  Williams told dramatic stories of time spent in warring countries of the Middle East and harrowing stories as Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf.  The problem was that he told different stories to different people.  And recently his accounts of truth have been challenged by other people who were there at the same time.

Brian Williams hasn’t just lost a job.  (Most likely, he’ll be back at the news desk.  He’s made plenty of money to cover what may be lost in the fallout.)  Williams has lost the one thing a person of influence cannot afford to lose – trust.  If you are reporting news, credibility is everything…especially if that news is life-or-death information.

Read more: Trust

Lifetime Achievement Award

"...'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'"  [Luke 4:14-21]

So, I guess I missed the Golden Globes award show the other night.  I think I may have been watching 'Worst Cooks in America,' or maybe it was 'House Hunters.'  Reading about the Globes show the next day made me wish I had paid more attention.  I understand George Clooney received some sort of lifetime achievement award.  (Seems like I always miss the finest moments of life...)

George Clooney's resume includes some pretty remarkable things...born in Lexington, Kentucky; studied a few years at NKU; did not make the roster of the Cincinnati Reds; moved to LA, where he became a star - Murphy Brown's Dr., Bobby on Golden Girls, Kip on Murder She Wrote, and all that propelled him to stardom as Dr. Doug Ross on ER, which ran 16 years from 1994 to 2009 – Oh, wait a minute...Dr. Ross left the show in 1999...

Read more: Lifetime Achievement Award

Timeless

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  [2 Timothy 3:16]

I am amazed at how folks will flock to prophets this time of year.  Predictions are made on TV and at the grocery checkouts.  Which celebrity is going to get married?  Which will have a baby?  Which will get married and then have a baby?  Which politician is going to admit to some indiscretion?  Is the Loch Ness monster going to be found in 2015?  Is this the year the world comes to an end from global warming...or is it global cooling...oh, let's just call it climate change, okay?

Read more: Timeless

A Promise Kept

"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'"  [Luke 2:10-11]

The angel's announcement to the shepherds began with, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy..."  [Luke 2:10]  You may be asking, "Where's my joy?"  Might I suggest we make sure that we are talking about joy and not happiness?  You see, happiness comes from things and places and conditions of our minds.  Joy happens in our hearts and comes as a celebration of grace from God in the realization of His presence among us.

Read more: A Promise Kept

Refuge and Strength

Wow!  The days have not been kind of late, have they?

Ebola, ISIS, Ukraine, Hong Kong, stock market freefall, political name-calling...and let's not forget Secretary of State's comment that the biggest problem we face right now is climate change, which is about to "end life as we know it."

Feel a bit discouraged?  There's obviously more, but you get the picture.  We can base our security on the news (and how the media portrays it), in which case our well-being is the product of the next story we read or see.  Or how about basing our security on our unchanging God and His never-ending strength and grace and love?

Read more: Refuge and Strength

Spreading Hope

I have lots of books lying around in my office.  One that I pick up from time to time, Jesus Freaks, reminds me of what it has meant to be an active follower of Christ in places and times of persecution – everything from Nero's Rome to Hitler's Germany, Hussein's Iraq, and today's ISIS.  People who have followed Christ throughout history have in astounding numbers chosen to die with Christ rather than conform to the ideologies and cultures of the world.

The things we tend to feel so well insulated against here in our comfortable America are increasingly on our minds.  Our national leaders are speaking in more ominous tones than we're comfortable with - fast spreading Ebola in Africa, beheadings and sobering warnings of terrorist groups, porous borders where killers could cross with relative ease...all serious stuff.  But for those who belong to Christ, we should be hearing our spiritual ringtones about now.  God is calling to say, "If you are ever gong to do something about the people who don't know Jesus, do it...now!"  In the midst of all the disturbing headlines are some life changing messages from God.

Read more: Spreading Hope