Monday, July 29, 2013

24 \ 7 Christianity

This past week I read a book titled “While The World Watched” by Carolyn Maull McKinstry and Denise George.  In the book, Mrs. McKinstry tells her story of growing up as an African American in the deep South during the 1950’s and 60’s.  As a fifteen year old, she was in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963 when a bomb planted by racists exploded.  She escaped death, but four other young girls, all friends of Carolyn, died in the blast.  This church bombing was one of the main sparks that helped to ignite the Civil Rights movement of that era of American history.
Being just a young child in the 60’s and growing up in the Midwest, I was really unaware of what was happening in our nation during the turbulent events of those years.  The farm I grew up on in my little corner of the world seemed to be pretty tranquil.  McKinstry’s eyewitness account of how black people were treated in much of our country at that time, even by “church” people, was a sobering read for me.  The battle to secure equal rights for every American, regardless of race, was a costly one for so many.  Many gave their lives for the cause.
Early on in the book, McKinstry said something that I highlighted: “It seemed that what people learned at their churches on Sundays about unity and love they placed on the shelf during the remainder of the week” (p. 36).  As difficult as it is for me to understand how people in general can treat another person with such hate and violence, it is even more baffling to me that many did it (and continue to do it) in the name of God.  There are really only two scenarios that make it possible.  Either the hate and violence was taught in such churches or the people ignored what they heard on Sunday as they lived from Monday through Saturday.
Lord, help me to live Your truth EVERY day of the week.

God loves you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Regal Residency

Queen Elizabeth of England was honored on June 4, 2013 with an impressive ceremony on the 60th anniversary of her coronation.  She was only 27 years old when she was thrust into the world spotlight as the successor to her father, King George VI, following his death in 1953.  Only one other English monarch in history has occupied the throne for a longer period of time.  Queen Victoria died in 1901 following a reign which lasted for 63 years and 7 months.  Given continued health, its possible that Queen Elizabeth could claim the title for herself in a few more years (Source:
Sixty years is an impressive time span for any leader, especially in a world where rulers and leaders come and go frequently.  But let me tell you about my King.  He was born some 20 centuries ago and an angelic messenger spoke to his mother of his regal longevity: "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end" (Luke 1:32-33).  In contrast to human kingdoms which rise and fall, the kingdom of Jesus Christ was established by God his Father as one which will “endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).  In fact, the reign of King Jesus will last until God’s redemptive and restorative work is fully accomplished: “...then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).
Queen Elizabeth’s 60 year reign, as impressive as it may be, can’t hold a candle to the enduring reign of Jesus Christ.  He was King long before England (or America) existed and will be King long after they are gone.  Every knee will bow before Him (Philippians 2:9-11).  Long live the King!!!
God loves you!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cutting Corners

“A wealthy man before leaving on an extended vacation said to a contractor, "While I am away, I want you to build me a fine new home according to these plans. Be sure you work with extreme care, and use the best of everything. Tell me the cost as soon as you have it and I’ll send you a check." During the process of construction the contractor discovered many opportunities to substitute inferior materials; he put in his own pocket the money he saved. His employer would never know the difference, and he himself would profit. But he soon regretted his dishonesty, for the wealthy man upon his return inspected the finished home and said: "You have built it exactly as I wanted it, and I’m sure that you used the best of everything in its construction. Now, in appreciation for your long years of service to me, I am giving you this new home for your very own. Here’s the deed!"” (
Reading this illustration brought to my mind the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15: “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Lord, grant us the strength and courage to not cut corners as we share in building Your kingdom.
God loves you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web celebrated its 20th birthday this past week.  It seems like it has been around forever, doesn’t it?  But on April 30, 1993, the public first gained access to the information highway that had previously been available only to the scientific community.  Depending on your affection (or lack thereof) for the internet, you may view this milestone as a cause for celebration or disgust.  But regardless of our personal feelings on the matter,  the internet has changed the world we live in.  Referring to it as a “web” is an appropriate description.  Like the individual strands of a spider’s web, we now have nearly instant connection points with people, places, and information from all corners of the globe.  That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how we use the connections.  It can be bad if we view, learn, or share things that are destructive to ourselves or others.  But it can be good if we use it wisely in healthy ways.  But, either way, it is a part of our lives whether we like it or not.
Long before the World Wide Web became the rage, God understood the value of connectedness.  He is the architect of a “web” known as the kingdom of Christ or the church (Colossians 1:23; Matthew 16:18).  As repentant sinners turn to Him in faith, God connects them with other believers (Acts 4:41,47).  From its initial launch in Jerusalem, the strands of God’s web eventually stretched into all corners of the known world (Colossians 1:6,23).  As Paul said, “...we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25).  As a disciple of Christ, I share a global spiritual connection with believers in all corners of the world.
Access to God’s world wide web is provided for through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  You don’t even need a computer -- just the blood of Jesus to cover your sins.  If you are not connected to God’s web, maybe its time to get online.

God loves you!