Archive for January, 2006


What’s The Zip Code For Steeler, PA??

January 31, 2006

The folks in Washington, PA are what you’d call hard-core football fans.As evidence of their support for their favored team in Super Bowl XL, the mayor and council voted unanimously to change this city’s name, according to a Jan. 28 AP story.

Welcome to Steeler, Pennsylvania.

According to AP, “The name change for the city of about 15,000 people south of Pittsburgh will last through Feb. 5, the day of the football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit.

“I know the folks in the state of Washington are rooting for the Seahawks, so we wanted to make sure everyone knows the city of Washington is fully in support of the Steelers,” Mayor Kenneth J. Westcott told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

If you’re sending a letter to anyone in Steeler, however, you’d better continue addressing them to Washington, since the name change is not recognized by the U.S. Postal Service.

They must be Seahawks fans.


A Whale Of A Tale

January 30, 2006

This is from the San Francisco Chronicle 12/15/2005

A female humpback whale became entangled in a web of crab traps & fishing lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of rope wrapped around her body – her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth, and had to struggle to stay afloat.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralon Islands & radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, a rescue team arrived and determined that the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could accidentally kill a rescuer. But they worked for hours with knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles, She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them!

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The diver who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May we all be so blessed – to be untangled from the things that are binding us.

Thanks Melba For Sharing This Story!


Quote Worth Remembering

January 29, 2006
God gave us free choice because there is no significance to love that knows no alternative. – James Dobson

Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so.~ David Grayson

“The battles you engage in are his battles. The circumstances you face are familiar to him. The burdens you bear may be placed on his shoulders with his permission. The weapons formed against you are, in a real sense, formed against him, and they will not prosper. You are a conqueror. Nothing will ever separate you from his love or care.” – H.B. London Jr.,


Forgiveness: Seventy Times Seven?

January 28, 2006

“Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matt. 18: 21-22.

A part of the reason the teaching of Jesus on forgiveness is so hard to understand, comprehend and do, is that we fail to realize that what he commands of us, He does for us. Until we understand the forgiveness we experience in grace from the Father, it will be difficult to extend that type of grace to those who sin against us.


Holy Water

January 27, 2006

They were the “Army Rangers” or “Navy Seals” of their day. They were the elite of the elite. Their chests would be covered with metals if they were in today’s military. Who were they? They were David’s mighty men. There were thirty of them in all, but three of them stood head and shoulder above the rest when it came to their valor and accomplishments. These three men killed hundreds by themselves, they stood and fought when the rest of the army was in full retreat, and they turned the tide and direction of the battle to victory. Their loyalty toward David was without question. They would have died for him at the drop of a hat. You can read about them in II Sam. 23:8-39.

David sat in a cave looking over the valley of Rephaim toward his home town of Bethlehem. The Philistine army was not only in the valley below, they were the occupying forces that now controlled Bethlehem. There was a well by the gate in the city of Bethlehem where David had quenched his thirst often. As his mind wandered back to those days he thinks out loud. “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” Verse 15 NLT. It was not a command, it was just a thought, but to the three mighty men at his side, their King had spoken. And his wish became their command.

These might men of valor marched into the mouth of the Lion and fought across the valley of Rephaim. Blow by blow, step by step until they reached the well by the gate in Bethlehem. As two continue to fight one puts his sword in its sheath, takes the gourd from his side and fills it with water. He then affixes the now full gourd to his side, pulls his sword and joins the battle with the other two. Back across the valley, up the hill to the cave and their they present the gourd of water to their King.

David had watched these events take place. As he looks at the gourd filled with the water he had requested, he turns it over and pours the water out on the ground. “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me”. So David did not drink it.” Verse 17 NLT.

It was just H2O, just water. But because of the price that had been paid it became holy water. No longer ordinary, it was holy, set apart unto the Lord.

Each time I read this story I think of the price that was paid for you and me. Paul refers to us as having been bought with a price, I Cor. 6:20. Peter calls that price paid, “precious blood”, I Peter 1:19. To live our lives selfishly would be like David drinking that water. Because of the price paid for us we are no longer our own. We no longer seek to do our will, but the will of the one who paid the price for us.


There Are No Degrees of LOST

January 26, 2006

In his book, “End of the Spear”, Steve Saint shares the last letter his father wrote at Christmas time in 1955. Nate Saint and five others would be speared to death in the next few weeks. While his thoughts deal with his concern for the Aucas, they touch my heart as he speaks of the attitude that we all should have toward the lost and what it would take to reach them.

“Would that we would comprehend the lot of these Stone Age people who live in mortal fear of ambush on the jungle trail…those to whom the bark of a gun means sudden, mysterious death…those who think all men in all the world are killers like themselves. If God would grant us the vision, the word ‘sacrifice’ would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short; we would dispise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ. May God help us to judge ourselves by the eternities that separate the Aucas from a comprehension of Christmas and Him, Who though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor so that we might, through His poverty, be made rich.” (Page 309)

In our day an age it seems easier to think of the lost if we can see them running around scantly clad and speaking some unknown language. Yet the lost pass us each and every day. They wear nice clothes, smell good, look good, but are just as lost as that savage tribe. As long as people are lost, there will be an urgency to reach them. One day their life will end, just like ours. It may not be at the end of a spear, but death by any means without Christ leaves a soul just as lost.

Father open our eyes to the lost in our world. Give us the courage and since of urgency to speak a good word for Jesus.


Ugly People

January 25, 2006

A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck and everyone inside dies. When they get to meet their maker, because of the grief they have experienced, He decides to grant them one wish each before they enter Heaven.

They’re all lined up, and God asks the first one what his wish is. “I want to be gorgeous.” So God snaps His fingers, and it is done. The second one in line hears this and says, “I want to be gorgeous too.” Another snap of His fingers and the wish is granted.

This goes on for a while with each one asking to be gorgeous but when God is halfway down the line, the last guy in the line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, laughing his head off.

Finally, God reaches this last guy and asks him what his wish will be. The guy eventually calms down and says: “Make ’em all ugly again.”

So, the next time you are last in line…smile!


Old Paths or Old Ruts

January 24, 2006

If you are a grand parent I am willing to bet that the front of your refrigerator looks a lot like ours. It is literally covered with drawings and pages out of coloring books, the works of art done by our grand children. As time passes the quality of art and ability to stay within the lines improves. Sadly, one day those works of art will stop as maturity sets in.

If at the age of 19 or 20 my grand children were to still bring me this child like art, I would be concerned and you would too. My son works for an institution that was established to take care of these type of children who are now living in adult bodies. When bodies mature and minds don’t there is a problem, a big problem. It is especially sad from a spiritual perspective. “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word…” Heb. 5:12 NLT. The basics are stepping stones to take us on to maturity, or as this same writer calls it, the meat of the word.

When some chant long and loud for the “Old Paths”, I fear what they seek are the “Old Ruts.” The church is going through a process of maturing these days. Maturity brings about change. Truth is still the aim of the pursuit, but truth applied in the 21st Century, not as in the 20th. or 19th., etc. Truth that is based on the meat of the word and not just the milk. There was a period of time when those of my tribe were controlled by a hand full of leaders. Their interpretations and understandings ruled, even though we preached long and hard that we had no official headquarters or governing body. Those days are long gone and may I say good riddance. What has resulted is not only alive, it is refreshing. It is worship that flows from the heart. It is devotion based upon a relationship, and not knowledge alone.

We have not arrived. The process of maturity is life long. And what we pass on to the next generation should not be just the “way we did it”, but the ideals and principles that caused us to do it the way we did it.


Unseen Hero Has A Simple Formula For Service

January 23, 2006

Barb and I went to see “End of the Spear” Friday night. It was even more moving that when I saw it during the special screening some weeks ago. Part of the reason may have been that I had finished reading Steve Saint’s book by the same title as the movie, on Friday afternoon.

The book picks up with Steve’s return to Waodani to bury his Aunt Rachel. In her early eighties cancer had taken her life after over many many years of selfless service to the Waodani. As I thought about the powerful message of the movie, and the information provided by Steve Saint in his book, that filled in a lot of information not covered in the film, I became impressed with the fact that an untold hero of this whole story was really Rachel Saint. Rachel along with Elizabeth Elliott were the first to go to the Waodani and share the Gospel with them. Rachel translated the scripture into their language. She ministered to the physical needs of this tribe as well as their spiritual needs. From a young woman to a lady in her eighties she lived with them and gave her life for them in selfless service. Steve shares a wonderful insight to this special lady in his book on page 184,

“Just before I said good-bye to Aunt Rachel after our last filming session, she grew uncharacteristically sentimental. “Isn’t it something,” she asked, “that the Lord Jesus would have used someone like me to do His work in this special place? I was too old by the time I could apply for missionary service. I couldn’t help the Waodani much medically, I was not a Bible scholar, and I was never really a superior translator.” I wondered why she was revealing her lack of qualifications for what she had spent half of her life doing.

Well, Aunt Rachel, why do you think God gave you the assignment? What do you think He saw in you that He could use?” Her eyes brightened, and this eighty-two-year-old hero of mine responded with a formula for living: “Well, Stevie Boy, I loved the Lord Jesus with all my heart, and I trusted Him completely.” She paused before continuing, “And I guess I just learned to persevere in whatever He gave me to do.”

What a simple yet powerful formula for service. Love Him with all your heart, trust Him completely, and persevere in whatever He gives you to do.

“End of the Spear” is now playing.


Where Has Jimmy Been and The Wittenburg Door Green Weenie for 2005!!!!!!

January 21, 2006

On a recent business trip to Montgomery, AL I was in my motel room early in the morning and flipping channels and there he was, Jimmy Swaggart, on TV again. I had not heard much from him since his spiritual tail spin back in the late 80’s, but there he was selling his Expositors Bible for the entire 3o minute program. But apparently he has been doing more than selling bibles. His recent comments about killing gays landed him in the number 11 spont on, The Wittenburg “Preacher Police Blotter”

Here’s the transcript: “I get amazed, I can’t look at it but about 10 seconds, at these politicians dancing around this, dancing around this, I’m trying to find a correct name for it, this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men.” (shouts from crowd)

“I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry.” (shouts, applause) “And I’m gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.” (laughter, applause) “In case anybody doesn’t know, God calls it an abomnation (sic). It’s an abomnation (sic)! It’s an abomnation (sic)!” (applause)

“These ridiculous, utterly absurd district attorneys and judges and state congress and ‘well, we don’t know’… They ought to, they ought to, they ought to have to marry a pig and live with them forever.” (laughter) “I’m not knocking the poor homosexual, I’m not. They need salvation just like anybody else. I’m knocking our pitiful, pathetic lawmakers. And I thank God that President Bush has stated,” (applause) “we need a Constitutional amendment that states that marriage is between a man and a woman.” (applause)

Swaggart did apologize, but Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy what were you thinking?

But the coveted “Green Weenie award for 2005 goes to Pat Robertson. Here is the award notice from the Wittenburg Door.

“As you might imagine, it has been a BANNER year for religious foolishness, by people with no aim other than to make a buck in God’s name. Our stable of wizened media wizards, political wonks and necromancers have been meeting around the clock, trying to narrow the list.

As of a few minutes ago, our exhausted troops finally came to a fateful decision, as the news arrived: Israel is pulling out of a $50 million deal with Pat to build a biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee. Seems Pat’s remarks about Sharon’s stroke really teed off the Israelis, the US government and American Jewish groups.

We’ve got no choice gang, Pat Robertson forcefully seizes the day yet once again to claim his rightful prize: The Wittenburg Door Green Weenie for 2005!!!!!!

Congratulations, Pat! No single human being has done more to damage the cause of the Cross in a single year since the hey-day of the Inquisition!!! “

And to think, this guy wanted to be President!