Can you remember looking up at your father and thinking he was a giant? My dad wasn’t that tall, but when I was kid he sure seemed big to me. While I was growing up all I could think about was getting older and gaining more freedom. When I was in the 3rd grade I used to walk by Willard Junior High school in Santa Ana, California and dream about being one of those older kids. Time has flown by and now I’m almost seventy years old. I’ll have to admit being older is no longer my goal.
Somehow it seems like all the things I thought getting older would bring haven’t materialized. I anticipated liberty from parental mandates, but discovered a whole new world of responsibilities. Time to do whatever I wanted has turned into a routine of obligations that must be fulfilled so that I don’t feel like life has no substance and meaning. As I grow older it seems like life has taken on a whole new set of priorities.
Once young and strong, now showing signs of age and weakness forces me to think about what is next. The Bible plants the seeds of eternity in our hearts. We can’t help but think about what happens when this life comes to an end. Is this all there is? Or is there something better waiting for us in eternity? Read More
There are many things I am thankful for, but few compare to the introduction my college buddies gave me to the vast Southwestern landscapes of Arizona. Jack, Lenny and I were best friends in college and did almost everything together. At one point we even shared a house to help cut back on expenses. We rafted, hiked, and drove hundreds of miles to explore unknown territory.
One spring weekend we invited some friends to join us for a hiking trip to Havasupi Falls, which is in the Grand Canyon. We entered the Canyon descending down a steep one mile series of switchbacks to a sandy stream bed that opened up eleven miles later into a spacious area with trees, beautiful horses and houses. At the end of the stream bed we passed through a village where the Havasupi Indians make their home. It was extremely remote, but overwhelmingly beautiful.
Soon after we had started down the trail, my feet began to hurt and I was overwhelmed by sharp, shooting pains that ran all the way to my knees. There wasn’t anywhere to sit comfortably so I thought the one mile down to a flatter spot couldn’t do too much damage.
When we finally stopped I took off my boots only to discover a series of small bloody holes in both my socks. Apparently the person who recently re-soled my boots used nails that were too long and they punctured my feet. Needless to say my feet caused me a great deal of misery for quite a while because of my foolishness. Read More
Hardly a day goes by that a good dose of encouragement is not a welcome blessing to our heart. In the Old Testament book of Nahum, the prophet assures Israel that God is their friend. Nineveh, their mighty enemy threatened their safety and the Lord tells them through Nahum in chapter 1 verse 7, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the darkness.” The God who made that promise over 2,000 years ago is the same God who wants to be your friend today.
In the New Testament John records the words of Jesus in chapter 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus proved He was not only good, but the right person to put their (our) trust in. He laid down His life and rose from the dead to prove He had the message of hope they (we) need to face uncertain times. Their world, just like ours, was filled with turmoil, fear, and questions about the future. Jesus gave them the answers they longed for. Their fears about death and dying where softened by His post crucifixion appearances. Faith in God provides the safest refuge possible because it offers us hope of deliverance from our greatest enemy, death. Death is not a pleasant subject but a reality everyone must face. Read More