Monday, September 26, 2011

Get Even God's Way

“A Christian lady owned two prize chickens that got out of their run and busied themselves in the garden of an ill-tempered neighbor. The man caught the hens, wrung their necks, and threw them back over the fence. Naturally, the woman was upset, but she didn’t get angry and rush over and scream at him. Instead, she took the birds, dressed them out, and prepared two chicken pies. Then she delivered one of the freshly baked pies to the man who had killed her hens. She apologized for not being more careful about keeping her chickens in her own yard. Her children, expecting an angry scene, hid behind a bush to see the man’s face and hear what he’d say. But he was speechless! That chicken pie and apology filled him with a burning sense of shame. But she wasn’t trying to get even. Her motive in returning good for evil was to show her neighbor true Christian love, and maybe even bring about a change of heart” (

It is very difficult not to want to take revenge on those who mistreat us, isn’t it? For most people, the urge to “get even” is strong. We feel justified in responding to any negative action or word directed toward us with an equally negative action or word. After all, fair is fair! Sound familiar?

There is a better way! “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).

“Kill” them with kindness. They won’t know what hit them!

God loves you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Is Your Grade?

In a recent article in MoneyTalksNews titled “8 Reasons Why You Are Getting An F In Personal Finance”, Len Penzo shared several factors that can lead to financial failure. Following are the reasons he listed in his article: (1) You don’t have an emergency fund, (2) You don’t know how much you have in your bank accounts, (3) You don’t understand the difference between a want and a need, (4) You don’t know how much money you spend, (5) Your tastes exceed your spending capabilities, (6) You can’t say no, (7) You’re an impulse shopper, and (8) You worry about what others think about you. You don’t have to be a financial wizard to see the wisdom in the words that Penzo writes. Fiscal freedom isn’t rocket science! If I want to avoid financial ruin, I need to be prepared, aware, informed, and disciplined. It really is as simple as that!

I would add one more reason to Penzo’s list of contributing factors to financial failure: (9) You are leaving God out of your financial plans and decisions. While I’m confident that my financial health is not God’s primary concern in my life, He does take an interest in how I handle money. “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU" (Hebrews 13:5). “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Let God help you improve your finances. His advice is free!

God loves you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Space Junk

It seems that the “last frontier” is rapidly becoming a junk yard. “Space junk” refers to the growing collection of debris that is currently found in orbit around our planet. It includes things like spent rocket fuel boosters and satellites that have become useless. Then there are the remnants of collisions between satellites and anti-satellite weapons testing. Astronauts have lost gloves, tools, and cameras during space walks that are now orbiting earth at tremendous speeds. One monitoring agency reports that there are approximately 22,000 objects in orbit that are large enough to track from the ground. Left uncounted, of course, are the numerous pieces to small to be tracked.

This may not seem to be a huge problem until you realize the danger it poses to current space missions. If a piece of debris hits a manned space vehicle, lives could be lost or critical components could be irreparably damaged. A working satellite could be rendered useless by one piece of junk. And it doesn’t even take a large piece to do some damage. A fleck of paint hit the front window of the space shuttle in 1983 and left a pit over 1 millimeter wide. As the junkyard grows, so does the potential danger (Sources: Yahoo News and Wikipedia).

That sounds like life, doesn’t it? There is a lot of “junk” that comes with living my life in this modern world. Some of it is avoidable -- some is unavoidable. But the more of it that I allow to accumulate, the more dangerous it becomes. When I allow “junk” like bad attitudes, hurtful words, and selfish ambitions to remain in orbit around me, I am flirting with disaster. A stray piece of debris can damage my ability to fulfill God’s mission in my life. I can’t afford to hoard my own trash. I can’t afford to become a dumping ground for others. I need to be diligent about cleaning up the “space” around me. How about you? Is your “space” in need of cleaning?

God loves you!


There is a new addiction that should be of concern to those who fly commercially. Researchers refer to it as “automation addiction.” Due to advances in electronics, modern airliners have the ability to almost fly themselves. Typically, autopilot is turned on about a minute and a half after takeoff and is turned off about a minute and a half prior to landing. In flight adjustments, when needed, are made by the pilot entering data into the computer rather than physically touching the controls. “Look Ma, no hands!”

But even though all of this automation has been beneficial in many ways, it has also resulted in some problems. An over-dependence on automated flight controls has apparently weakened the skills of some pilots in reacting to in-flight emergencies. There have been some fatal errors in judgment and reaction when parts of the automated electronics failed or gave false readings. We are learning that pilots who spend less and less time in actual control of the plane begin to lose some important flying skills. As one official with the FAA said, “We are forgetting how to fly” (“Automation In The Air Dulls Pilot Skill,” Joan Lowy, Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Did you know that “automation addiction” can also be a threat to our relationship with God? It happens when we put our discipleship on autopilot. You’ve seen it happen. We sing the same songs. We pray the same prayers. We hang out with the same crowd. We hide behind the same excuses. We do the same things. We don’t do the same things. We go through the same motions. And when life is running along smoothly, autopilot can get us by. But, slowly, bit by bit, we forget how to fly...

God wants us to soar. “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:11). Turn off the autopilot! With God’s help, you can really spread your wings!!

God loves you!