Tag Archive | Bible

Warning for all high school graduates

Since the first days of September, you’ve been thinking about graduation day, but more, perhaps, as a closing, and rightly so. It’s the end of a phase of your education and life. Now things will change. These changes will be far from subtle as were the ones from grade to grade. They will be drastic in comparison, and they’ll come at you fast.

Remember the sing-songy mantra you used to chant at the beginning of summer vacation? “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks”? In one sense, your dreams have come true. Seriously. Even if you’re going on to college, those days are gone. Nothing will be the same. Sure, you’ll have classes with pencils (now replaced by technology) and books (now coming with huge price tags and little resale value), but the classroom will change. The teacher’s dirty looks will no longer come as a result of mischievous behavior. Instead, they will challenge your previous 18 years at the core and possibly the entire foundation of your life, especially if you are a Christian or hold traditional values. Are you ready?

Many college professors project a persona of having all of the answers and view you as an unenlightened blank page on which to write their agenda. Their goal is not to see you learn to think so that you can become the innovators of tomorrow; rather, they want you to join them as they espouse their theories of the way the world should be based not on lofty ideals or fact, but on failed programs from the past. Their goal? Land you like a fish – hook, line and sinker. Are you ready?

One thing you’ll learn in your history classes is history repeats itself because people ignore the results achieved the first time around. Sometimes they just rewrite it altogether. I achieved my degree a lot later in life and watched professors distort facts about some of the time periods I had already lived through as an adult. This coupled with the way they changed the events themselves helped me recognize what they could do to young people unless they were prepared. Some of the sources they quoted had fancy names, but no real quantitative results to substantiate their data. To be fair, some of these proponents are only repeating what they had been taught and likely had not done their own research. If I were just coming out of high school, however, I might not have been as well prepared to see through their views. Are you ready?

With today’s ready access to technology, you have resources available to challenge the best classroom orators. Don’t be so quick to toss out your core values. God does not change nor do His principles. If you want to know truth, go to the source. The Bible will not take you down the wrong path. Are you ready?

Just for fun, check out this video to see how things used to be, why they were that way and how things are changing. You or even your parents, just might be a part of making a real difference. BTW — CONGRATULATIONS!

Just drink it

Are you interested in losing weight, having younger-looking skin, and having more energy? Who isn’t, right?

If I told you there is something that could help in all three of those areas, would you be interested? And if this commodity were easily accessible at practically no cost would I have your attention? The fact is, we – you and I – already have it in our houses, but we fail to use it to its full advantage. You may have guessed already that I’m talking about water.

It’s time for a true confession. It’s hard for me to drink it straight. When it’s hot outside and I’ve worked up a sweat, there’s nothing better than a cool glass of water to quench my thirst. Yet for some reason, I do not turn to this precious and valuable commodity at other times. It’s not my first choice. I’d rather have a cup of coffee or tea or flavor it with lemon and sugar to make lemonade. I figure you start out with water, so I should get the same benefits, right? Wrong. Instead of taking advantage of this natural appetite suppressant, I’ve been hindering my chances of losing unwanted pounds by adding extra calories. Oops! A hole just popped up in my logic.

Here’s something else I have learned. Pangs of hunger may not really be a craving for food, but in fact a symptom of dehydration and a body’s cry for water!  By not drinking enough water, my body actually goes to plan B to try to obtain some from food. Here I am with more calories and the ensuing pounds.

Water actually satisfies my body’s needs and provides a feeling of being full so that I don’t look for snacks. That’s a good benefit with little effort and no huge price tag. And there’s more. Drinking water can actually boost my metabolism by making my in-body furnace burn fat more efficiently. Just increasing my intake of water by 1.5 liters per day will burn an extra 17,400 calories which equates to a weight loss of approximately 5 pounds. 1.5 liters per day is equivalent to approximately 51 ounces or 6.34 cups. Hey, that’s doable.

There are so many more benefits we can gain from drinking water, but alas I’ll wait for another time. But here’s one you may not have thought about.  When you choose to get your spiritual nourishment from sources other than the Bible, you just get a “watered-down” version rather than the full blessing God intends. Just as I missed the health benefits of drinking pure water when I chose tea or lemonade, you may not get all that God wants to reveal if you depend totally on a godly speaker or author rather than going directly to the Scriptures. Just a thought. Now I’m off to get a glass of water.

Where’s hope when you need it?

Today’s headline about former NFL star Junior Seau’s suicide certainly impacts those closest to him: his family and friends, his San Diego Chargers’ team mates and countless fans. Yet, it touches more than those who knew him because it focuses on human need at the very core.

We may never know what circumstances drew Seau to commit this act, and in some respects, the reason is not important. What this tragedy points to is Seau did not know where to find hope and strength to carry on when he needed it the most.

Ironically, it was available 24/7, 365 days a year irrespective of his location or anything else. All he had to do was cry out to Jesus Christ. The Gospel is clear that Jesus died for all sinners and that includes each one of us. Whatever Seau could not cope with was not uncommon to humans, but he needed God to help him.

It does not take long to realize that a house with an ocean view, multiple cars in the garage, or any other material possessions do not bring lasting happiness, nor do they provide any measure of security. In an instant, they can be gone. Yet Jesus never fails. So whether you’re afraid, depressed, discouraged, lonely, tempted or experiencing any other trial, know that Jesus is there and offering you hope. One of my favorite Bible passages says it so much better than I ever could.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 – 39)

Where’s hope when you need it? That hope is in God, and He’s just waiting to give it to you – free.

Is there a GPS for life?

If you’ve ever gotten caught in a strange city during rush hour, you know how easily frustration and that sense of being out of control can quickly overwhelm you.  Your grip tightens on the wheel as you struggle to figure out where you are.  You sense your blood pressure rise as you realize you’re headed in the wrong direction.  You can’t stop.  You can’t change lanes.   You’re stuck.  You can follow the throng, but who knows where those crazy drivers will lead you or if you can get back to familiar territory?  If you can relate, then you know how having a GPS can save the day or relieve your temporary insanity.  It helps you refocus and get back on track.  

The economy, health concerns, relationships and other circumstances often push us into life’s traffic jams and take us down roads we’d not choose on our own. I’ve been there and you have, too, but have you ever thought about the Bible as the Lord’s GPS (God’s Pointer System)?  Not only can it identify my current position, but it also provides exactly what I need (emotionally, physically and spiritually) to get back on course. 

When I lose my way, become confused, or even discouraged about the negatives in life, the Bible offers me His correction, instruction and encouragement. Although it’s critical to spend regular time reading and studying the Scriptures, I think it’s also important to realize this may not always be enough. When life’s traffic gets me in a bind, I need to recognize it and my need to pull out the GPS. Then as I submit to His words, my frustration begins to melt and my grip relaxes.  My blood pressure returns to normal, and I begin to experience His peace.  The circumstances may remain unchanged, but I’ve allowed God to restore control.  Will I always understand what path I’m on? Probably not, but I can trust the one who allowed it. In fact, I tried it again today and it worked!

So the next time you’re stuck in traffic, think about the Lord’s GPS and trust Him to guide you in the paths of righteousness.

Are we ordinary or unique?

My answer is, “Yes.” 

Not long ago, I heard a radio speaker proclaim that everyone is ordinary. His main premise stood on the many Biblical accounts where God used ordinary people to do great things, asserting that the results came from God’s power rather than any special qualities of the individual.  

While I wholeheartedly agree that the Lord only needs willing vessels to do His will and that it is His power not ours at work, I think there are too many other accounts that indicate that God has created us uniquely for His purposes. Scripture reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He does have a plan for our lives although it requires the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to accomplish it.  

I wonder if the greater lesson I can learn here is rather than malign speakers who make statements I deem faulty, be proactive and check them out for myself. I should be wary of taking what any speaker, politician or others say at face value.  Instead, it would be so much better if I measured these statements against the principles of Scripture.  If they stand up there, I can make them mine. 

So, what do you do when you hear something that does not sit right with you?  Do you go to Google or the Bible?