Monday, October 31, 2011


“A Maine man and his car are celebrating a million-mile milestone. Joe LoCicero was given a 2012 Honda Accord at a parade in the city of Saco on Sunday after surpassing the million-mile mark on the odometer of his 1990 Accord. He reached the milestone last Thursday. A Honda spokeswoman tells The Portland Press Herald it's the first time the manufacturer has documented an Accord reaching one million miles. LoCicero says he bought the car in 1996 with 74,000 miles. The former mechanic did much of his own work. The secret he says is following maintenance schedules, using quality parts and driving safely. He swears the transmission and engine are original. Now that he has a new Accord, he's not sure what he'll do with the old one” (, “Honda’s First Million-Mile Accord,” 10-24-11).

How does a car reach such an incredible milestone? Many factors must come into play. As the article mentions, it is going to take careful maintenance, prompt replacement of broken or worn parts, and driving responsibly. No motor will last that long if the oil is never changed. Leaving broken parts unrepaired will eventually stress other critical components. A vehicle that is abused by it’s driver will never last as long as one that is driven properly. But there is another important factor that must be present for a car to reach a million miles. It is simple, yet vital. To reach a million miles, a car must go one mile farther than the last one. A million miles is accomplished one mile at a time. A car will never make a million miles if it is parked at any point short of that goal.

A life of faithfulness to God is accomplished the same way -- one mile at a time. It’s getting up each day with a renewed resolve to live for God regardless of past mistakes or future obstacles. It’s putting one foot ahead of the other even though you would rather quit. Mile after mile after mile until we reach the goal.

God loves you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Promise...

“So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:43-45).

Have you ever been the victim of a broken promise? Or have you ever been the promise-breaker? If you have lived for any length of time at all, you can answer “yes” to at least one, and probably both, of those questions. We live in a world that is littered with the debris of promises that were not kept. It’s so commonplace that we have almost come to expect it. The current political climate is a case in point. Candidates of every political stripe make extravagant promises to get elected and then seldom keep those promises. And, worse yet, we accept such antics as business as usual. We even joke about it: “Do you know how to tell if a politician is lying? Look to see if his lips are moving.” Now, are all politicians liars and intentionally deceptive? Of course not. But it happens often enough to make us cynical to the point of joking about such important matters. How sad!

Perhaps it is our experiences in this world that make it difficult to trust in God’s promises. We find it hard to believe when we read: “Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.” We instinctively begin to look for loopholes. We prepare ourselves for the eventually let-down. But it doesn’t come! God is completely faithful to every promise He makes! “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

God loves you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

What Did You Say?

“Accused bank robber Thomas Love may want to invest in a typewriter or a computer printer. He was arrested Saturday shortly after he slipped a note to a teller at the WSFS Bank in New Castle, Del., demanding money, but no dye packs, police said. The teller handed him back the note. “After receiving the note, the teller could not decipher what Love had written, and handed it back to him, and asked that he rewrite it so that it could be re-read,” said a news release from the Delaware State Police. Love, either panicked or frustrated, took back his note and left the bank with no money. After he fled, the tellers conferred and determined that it had been a robbery attempt. They called the police and a description of the suspect was given to state troopers and New Castle county police. A police officer located Love and arrested him for attempted robbery. Love was unarmed and no one was injured during the incident” (Christina Ng, ABC News blogs via Yahoo News, 10-12-11).

This story illustrates the need for clear communication. In this case, poor communication had a good result -- the failure a bank robbery. But in the vast majority of cases, a lack of communication causes problems. When people don’t communicate clearly, everyone suffers. Marriages are fractured. Churches are split. Friendships are destroyed. Businesses go under. Nations go to war. The fallout can be devastating and far-reaching.

One who desires to communicate clearly will avoid empty words (Ephesians 5:6, false words (2 Peter 2:3), arrogant words (2 Peter 2:18), and wicked words (3 John 10). To a citizen of God’s kingdom, a “yes” means “yes and a “no” means “no” (Matthew 5:37). To borrow the words of Paul as he dealt with the struggle in Corinth over speaking in tongues: “...unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken?” (1 Corinthians 14:9).

Lord, please help me to communicate clearly in every area of my life.

God loves you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give Me The Hill Country

“Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken” (Joshua 14:12)

I am always impressed when I read these words of Caleb. The past forty five years of his life had been spent enduring the wilderness wanderings of his people and fighting the battles necessary to conquer the land of promise. Now, at age eighty five, the time had finally come for him to receive his own inheritance in the land. Seems like a great time to slow down and let someone else do the hard work. For once, do the easy thing. Pitch your tent on a quiet cul-de-sac out of harm’s way and cheer others on to victory.

Not Caleb. He is still volunteering to do the difficult thing. “Give me the tough job,” he says. The sense I get from reading the text is not that everyone else declined the task, so Caleb reluctantly says, “Well, I guess I will have to do it if no one else will.” No, it appears that he was anxious for the opportunity. What a great example!

The Lord could use some “Calebs” yet today -- servants who volunteer for the difficult tasks. Instead of waiting for someone else to step up, let’s challenge each other to step out of our comfort zones. Teach the Bible class that intimidates you. If you don’t know how to teach, then learn! Support the missionary or the one training for ministry even though funds are tight. Commit yourself to being there for your spiritual family even if it is inconvenient. Reach out to that hurting person even if you don’t know them well.

Lord, please help me learn to ask for “the hill country” in my service to you. Give me the courage not to shy away from the difficult things.

God loves you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A World Of Hurt

A soldier called his mother from San Francisco Bay,
Said, “Mother, I’ll be coming home, but hear me when I say,
I want to bring a buddy, please Mom, if you don’t mind,
He has one leg, one arm, one eye, and he needs your love so kind.”
The mother told her soldier with a harsh and bitter tone,
“No, don’t bring your buddy here; find him another home.
We just don’t have a place for him, and if it’s how you say,
We sure don’t need a handicap to be here in the way.”
Then later came a telegram; the soldier boy was dead.
He took his life; they found a note, and this is what it said,
“No, don’t bring your buddy here,” his mother’s words were they,
“We sure don’t need a handicap to be here in the way.”
At last the wheels stopped turning, as the mother met the train.
She came to get her only son with tears that fell like rain.
She stared into the cold steel box to kiss her son goodbye,
And there he was, a handicap -- one leg, one arm, one eye...
(Author Unknown, The Art of Illustrating, pp. 105-06)

May we always remember that sin has disabled ALL of us. Everyone bears the battle scars of life. The body of Christ should be a refuge for the spiritually weak and crippled, not a shrine to the strong and capable. Let’s acknowledge our disabilities and support each other as we seek the Great Physician!

God loves you!