Love in Action

Hello, friends!  Awhile back I posted an interview with Kathy Coomer.  I need to report, asking for prayer, that her husband Roger passed away this week.

Kathy was a full-time caregiver for Roger since 2011, when he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him severely disabled and unable to do anything for himself.  In addition, Kathy essentially single-parents their special-needs son.

I’d like to salute her.  When she said “for better or for worse” she MEANT it.

Please be in prayer for her.  Roger was a devout Christian and we know that he’s delivered from the prison of his crippled body and having a wonderful time right now.  And Kathy knows that she’s going to see him again.  But right now she has to completely readjust her entire life, come to grips with the loss of her great love, and figure out the future.

Thanks for reading, friends, and God bless.  Hope all’s well out there.

Billy Graham–Advice for, Well, Everyone

Billy Graham, so sources say, died yesterday.  Dr. Graham claims otherwise.  To quote him:

Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it.  I shall be more alive than I am now.  I will just have changed my address.  I will have gone into the presence of God.

I normally like to do these pretend interviews as though the interviewee and I are having an actual conversation, and I’m using their recorded words as their answers.  Not doing that this time.  Dr. Graham’s graduation to Heaven is too new, too fresh, and it feels disrespectful.  But I’d wanted to share some of his wisdom:

“I feel sorry for the man who has never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine. Like a shot of adrenaline, it floods the spirit with vitality.”

“What is the greatest surprise you have found about life?” a university student asked me several years ago. “The brevity of it,” I replied without hesitation. … Time moves so quickly, and no matter who we are or what we have done, the time will come when our lives will be over. As Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).

“My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.”

And, as he neared the end of his earthly travels, he shared this:

No, I don’t know the future, but I do know this: the best is yet to be! Heaven awaits us, and that will be far, far more glorious than anything we can ever imagine. I know that soon my life will be over. I thank God for it, and for all He has given me in this life. But I look forward to Heaven. I look forward to the reunion with friends and loved ones who have gone on before. I look forward to Heaven’s freedom from sorrow and pain. I also look forward to serving God in ways we can’t begin to imagine, for the Bible makes it clear that Heaven is not a place of idleness. And most of all, I look forward to seeing Christ and bowing before Him in praise and gratitude for all He has done for us, and for using me on this earth by His grace—just as I am.

I’ll close with one of my favorite sayings from Dr. Graham, one I quote on a regular basis:

“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.”

Thank you for your life, Dr. Graham, and all glory be to the God Who did such great things through you.  God bless, friends.

 

Unburdening

I said this was going to be a happier post than the last one.  I try to be a man of my word.

Let’s talk about sin.

I’m going to paraphrase a few Bible verses here.  Just for the sake of writing flow, I won’t be giving the references, but I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to check to keep me honest.

The Scriptures tell us that we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  We know that we often hide sin in our hearts, and refuse to own up to it.

Unconfessed sin cuts us off from fellowship with God.  His joy, His peace, His power can’t and won’t come into a sin-hardened heart.

Ah, but confessing sin?  Better yet, asking God to search our hearts and reveal our sin to us so that we can BETTER confess it?  It brings a tremendous freedom, and a tremendous peace.  I speak from personal experience, as one who likes to stubbornly hold on to pet sins.

….okay, I’ll quote two verses.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9

And, a favorite prayer: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

Unburdening, friends.  Pouring out our sins before God, agreeing with Him that we are sinners, and asking for (and receiving) His mercy and forgiveness.  There’s nothing like it.

Violence in Schools

This is not the happy post.  I promise, Monday I’ll try to be witty again.

Doing lighthearted stuff is sort of my thing.  I want to be the guy who gives you a break from the world, not the blogger who pushes it at you.

But, yeah, ANOTHER school shooting.

And, Lord help us all, we’ve gotten to the point where this is commonplace.  Where it’s not really “big news” anymore.  Where our teachers and students are, rightfully, afraid to go to school.

I don’t want to be alarmist, I really don’t.  And I tend to lean conservative politically, whatever that means.  But if any leaders have plans that could stop this, whatever their political persuasion, we’re years past due to do something about this.

But, yes, I know “thoughts and prayers” are mocked.  And they are indeed empty if that’s as far as they go.  But may we indeed pray for the families and mourn the loss.

And may we pray that God may turn the hearts and minds of this nation back to Him.

God bless, friends.

Sunday School Antics

I was filling in for a children’s Sunday School class.  The regular teacher is taking a cruise and completely neglected to invite me.

The lesson was on Jesus and His healing miracles and on how we should show His love for others.  We eventually got to it.

First we apparently had to talk about movies.  Then Adam was flipping a coin, and he dropped it and I thanked him for bringing me a coin.  He protested that it was his lucky coin, and I told him okay, but put it back in his lucky pocket.  He grinned and complied.

Then Mark was on the floor on his back because he said he was a turtle and he couldn’t get up.  I flipped him over and said “okay, shell-boy, get in your seat.”  And he did.

Some other shenanigans, but we got to the lesson.  And then they answered the review questions correctly and had some very sweet and insightful comments on being loved and showing love.  So, you know, no big deal with the antics, because they’re learning something.

I love kids’ Sunday School.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Miscellaney February 8, 2018

Various–

  1. I’ve had “Lead Me to Some Soul Today” stuck in my head and been praying about it.  It’s hard to sing, because I don’t know QUITE all the worlds, so I have to hum along until I get back to the lyrics I’m comfortable with.  I should probably look it up.

2. I took a chunk out of a fingernail this morning.  It doesn’t bother me until I hit the “w,” “s,” or “x” key, then it stings.  Typing Wessex is kind of painful and I should probably avoid working it into the post.

3. I had an injection in my knee Tuesday, and was warned there would possibly be some discomfort for a couple of days.  Um, yeah, I’ll say.  Tuesday afternoon I had to go home and lie down, yesterday was pretty rough, this morning honestly is much less sore.

4. I’ve interacted with some VERY cute and sweet children the last couple of days and really wish I could show you pictures, but I’m leery about that since they’re not actually my kids.  I have one of a three month old baby girl staring at my camera with a “what’s this all about” look.

5. You can’t do ANYTHING when the doctor insists you use two crutches.

6. The doctor and I disagree about “avoiding strenuous activity.”  I personally consider that moving tables and chairs isn’t all that demanding, but he rather unreasonably sees it differently.  My wife, friends, and co-workers are siding with him.  Frustrating.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

To Blog, Or Not To Blog?

The picture shows what the “posting screen” looks like on the nuts-n-bolts side of the blog.  I like it–it’s intuitive, user friendly, and lets me do pretty much whatever I want to do.

I’m not new to blogging–I had a blog for about three years called “Confessions of a Supermarket Bagger (and other minimum wage wisdom).”  It plateaued at a few hundred regular readers, largely because I was too general with it.  I talked about any and everything.

This blog feels like it’s starting to go the same direction.  I really, really, really need to get back on the stick and get more interviews going.  Those were fun.

Life’s been crazy, lately, but that’s no excuse.  I just need to make it a priority.

We’ll see how things go.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Setting Up A Straw Man

I have a lot of fun with logical fallacies.  You know, errors in thinking, mistakes in debating, intellectual dishonesties.

You can find a wonderfully comprehensive list of them here.

They’re entertaining to talk and learn about, and knowing more about them does help people see through manipulative people and arguments.  I haven’t personally found that it helps much in dealing WITH such people, because pointing out to someone that their argument is logically flawed hasn’t often had such positive results for me.

Every once in a while, though, you wind up with an honest person willing to examine their own thinking and position, and then knowing something about fallacies might get you some headway.

One example of a fallacy that I see a lot (and have probably been guilty of myself) is the “straw man” fallacy.  In this you’re not responding to the argument of someone with whom you disagree; you’re first distorting their position and attacking that distortion.  You’re, in effect, setting up a straw man as a target, attacking that straw man, and claiming victory.

For instance, if my son has missed his curfew and suggests to me that it’s not a big deal because he’s only five minutes late and that he’s usually on time and I then state that he’s saying that commitments and punctuality are unimportant and I start lecturing him on THAT, I’m setting up a straw man, because he didn’t say that.

Now, if I start to lecture him on how I expect punctuality every time, that may or may not be unreasonable of me, but it’s logically consistent, because I’m responding to what he said.

As it happens, I didn’t lecture him, because he’s usually on time and because I allow him a few minutes’ grace period anyway.

But logical fallacies are fun.

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.