Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Chihuahuas in Heaven

It occured to me as I watched Wolfie walking across the back yard: now that's what a real dog looks like!

I know, I know. You love your little rat/dog crossbreed with its bug-eyes, its squeaky voice and its complete inability to shut up even for half a second.

But let's face it. Jesus has said he will make all things new. That means everything will be restored to its Original perfect state. VERY GOOD, in other words.

So not only will you and I be our young, handsome and/or beautiful selves; but everything will be restored to perfection.
So obviously no yapping crossbreeds need apply. Actually good news for Wolfie who will be restored to his 100% Huskie self. Or maybe the 100% wolf. I don't know.

Also, while we're on the subject, of course there will be CHOCOLATE in heaven! The tree of life on each side of the river will yield twelve crops of fruit, one for each month. For the healing of the nations. If there's anything more healing than CHOCOLATE, I don't know what it is!

Which brings us to the logical question of who will process the cacao beans into actual CHOCOLATE. Hershey is out. If companies could go to hell, well they've moved their factory to Mexico. Need I say more?

So I don't know. Some Swiss company, I'd guess. Probably the guys who made the special CHOCOLATE for John Calvin's 500th birthday back in '09.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts

My mind is like a speeding locomotive. My thoughts rush on in a train to whatever destination I choose. I arrive (sometimes in a timely manner) at conclusions. My thoughts are freighted with meaning (though many times only to myself).

I am blessed of God. He has promised that if I aim my thoughts toward heaven, my hunger and thirst will be satisfied. If I seek Him out, He will reveal Himself to me.

There is an urban legend that pennies placed on a railroad track will derail a train. I have personally busted this myth. It takes a larger obstacle than a penny to offset the weight and speed of a train.

My thought process is much more fragile. Even the least distraction can deflect the mind from things sacred to things profane.

So I pray: Deliver me from the evil one. Yes, Jesus has my soul firmly in his grasp. My desire is to be rescued from the power of evil to sway my thinking. From the bright and shiny things which distract me from the necessary things.

Fiery darts? Satan has no need of those.

The devil has a penny.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Wednesday Night Youth Bible Study Class Prays For God to Send Them a New Teacher

My name is Samantha, in case you haven’t guessed. My mom named me after some t.v. character she saw when she was a little girl. Everybody calls me Sammy.

I guess you’re wondering what we were doing praying for God to send us a teacher. It went like this: Ms. Beth just finished telling us that she was stepping down. She felt like we needed someone nearer our age, with more energy, you know.

She was a sweet lady and I hated to see her leave, but the others were pretty distraught; the girls crying and hugging her neck and the guys hanging back and looking sorta glum. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I think a lot of it was guilt.

From what I had seen during my few months, the group did pretty much what they pleased. I’m sure we were a pretty discouraging bunch to deal with.

So afterward, we sat around wondering what would happen next.

“I think we should pray,” said Chad; at least I think it was Chad, I hadn’t learned to tell him and Brad apart yet. Everybody else nodded. We were all silent for several seconds.

“Who’s going to start?”

“You were the one who thought of it,” said Jimmy. If we had had a preacher’s kid, Jimmy would have been it. His dad was only a deacon but Jim was pretty rowdy nontheless. The rest of us looked at Chad expectantly.

“Okay.” He ducked his head and began. “Lord, you know Ms. Beth is leaving and we ask for you to bless her and restore her good health. Lord, we also ask that you forgive us because we know we were not always the best bunch that we could have been to her. But we mostly pray, God, that you bring us a good teacher, one that knows a lot about the Bible, but who is interesting and everything and help us to be better students. Amen.”

Chad looked up.

“Oh, uh did anybody else want to pray?”

“No, you did just fine,” Lizzie assured him. We all agreed that it was a good prayer and also that we really would try harder if God would only send us someone not boring but at least a little bit fun.

I myself didn’t have any problems having my dad as a teacher like some people might have with their dads. I mean like I said before he was the best storyteller ever, plus sometimes he was just as goofy as one of us. None of my friends knew that, though. We were fairly new and though my dad had made friends with all the grown-ups, these guys really didn’t know him. Being the new kid, I just kept quiet and waited to see what would happen.


Monday, August 6, 2012

In a Clearing in the Forest of Ephraim

As well as Eleazar was able, he had prepared Josheb for burial. All around him, survivors of the blocking force were doing the same for their fallen comrades. The wounded, all but the worst cases, had been loaded in carts and taken to Mahanaim.
Eleazar stood on the portion of the ridge where the heaviest fighting had taken place and gazed across the clearing. Where only an hour ago, the battle had raged, groups of soldiers had now begun stacking the enemy dead.
As many battlefields as he had stood upon after the slaughter had ceased, he was always dumbstruck to observe how men could massacre one another. The slain lay in heaps along the ridge and in front of it. Friend and foe together were locked in the enbrace of death.
The charnel-smell assailed his nostrils and he breathed a prayer of thanks that darkening clouds had covered the sun as it inclined toward evening. It would rain, he thought. Strange how almost always, after these contests of butchery, the rain would fall. I was as though God were weeping torrents of tears over his fallen creatures and washing the earth clean of the bloodiness of their hateful awfulness.

He saw, as he looked, a lone figure stumbling toward him and recognized the slender form of Ethan. As his adopted son drew nearer, Eleazar saw that, though unhurt, he was covered head-to-toe in the blood and grime of battle.
He moved stiffly toward the lad to embrace him and saw that Ethan’s begrimed face was streaked with tears.
They clung tightly to each other and Eleazar was overwhelmed by the memory of the long distant battlefield where he had first encountered this youngster.
“Father, how could they have slaughtered each other so?”
As many times as he had heard this question asked and as many times as he had asked it of his own heart, Eleazar had no words to answer and so, remained mute. Instead, he was awash with memories of his own first experience of the aftermath of battle. He had stood, stomach churning, gazing on the slain as Jonathan had tried to comfort him.
“How have men been created in the image of God,” Ethan wondered aloud, “that the only way they can settle their quarrels is to blaspheme Him by murdering one another?”
Again, having no reply, Eleazar kept his silence. Watching as the funeral details began to heap wood around the piles of enemy slain, he glanced at his son.
“You have been helping to gather the dead.”
“Yes,” Ethan replied.
“An unpleasant but necessary task.”
“If were left to me, they could rot where they lay.” Ethan’s face flushed with anger. He stopped short as his eye fell upon the ordered rows of the dead laid out along the ridge. These had died holding the trap shut on Absalom and his rebel army. The boy flushed a deeper crimson.
“I meant the enemy.”
“I know.”
Ethan looked down at the lifeless form of Josheb. The shattered halves of his broken spear lay across his breast. His arms were crossed over them as if he grasped them to himself. Eleazar had tenderly washed his face and his countenance bore the expression of one who had just laid down to sleep.
Eleazar laid a gentle hand upon the young man’s shoulder.
“Come, we must attend to these.”