Wednesday, February 29, 2012

THINGS TO PONDER


Can you cry under water?



How important does a person have to be before they are considered

assassinated instead of just murdered?



If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?



Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?



Why do you have to "put your two cents in"...but it's only a "penny for

your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?



Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried

in for eternity?



Why does a round pizza come in a square box?



What did cured ham actually have?



How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be

a good idea to put wheels on luggage?



Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like

every two hours?



If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?



If you drink Pepsi at work in the Coke factory, will they fire you?



Why are you IN a movie, but you are ON TV?



Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars

to look at things on the ground?



How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty for Miss

America?



Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you

naked anyway.



If a 911 operator has a heart attack, whom does he/she call?



I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting

clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in

the first place!



When I was young we used to go "skinny dipping," now I just "chunky dunk."



Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply

press 'Ctrl Alt Delete' and start all over?



Stress is when you wake up screaming and then you realize you haven't fallen

asleep yet.



My husband says I never listen to him. At least I think that's what he said.





Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.



Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in

prison?



If raising children was going to be easy, it never would have started with

something called labor!



Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

IS FACEBOOK A PART OF YOUR LIFE?


The other day, I read a posted comment in Facebook made by Joe, a friend of mine. He wrote something like the coffee is flowing and it was snowing and proceeded to reveal to everyone what he was having for dinner. That was it! He had nothing more to say. The incredible part of the whole thing is he actually received comments from other friends. He has even posted a comment that he is going out to eat and even a note that he pinched a nerve in his back. On the other hand, my fourteen year old grandson is constantly putting thought provoking one-liners on Facebook such as, “Is it wrong to tell a homeless person a knock knock joke?”



For the longest time, I considered such trivia talk as a waste of time and a direct reflection of the writer’s mental I.Q. I couldn’t help but wonder why people don’t use this median for something a bit more profound. Maybe a discussion might break out over an important and worldly matter such as politics, tension in the East or the price of oil. However, lately, I have been leaning the other direction. I’m beginning to think that Facebook is best if left for the over-the-back-fence talk. We get way too much serious and depressing talk by just turning on the news. Besides all that, people get enough bad news at work. They want to come home, fire up the computer and see what Joe is having for dinner.



So, you tell me. Are we missing the boat by talking about the weather and such? Should we be using this median for the exchange and sharing of insightful and provocative ideas? There is a comment thingy just below this blog. Just click on the Comment button and let me know what you think. I’ve been wrong before as my wife will certainly attest, so give me your spin on this.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!


I recently read that the average American working 49 years amasses around $900,000 in Social Security benefits. They, religiously, deduct this money from your paycheck; even your employer pays into the pot. So, my question is who claims ownership of that vast amount of money? The Feds refer to the payments that are made to retired folks as a gift or charity even though it originally came from our paychecks. Actually, I don’t care how they regard that money, just keep it coming.



I always considered the money that was taken from me over the all those decades as money deposited into a savings account to be returned to me in payments when I retired. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable by believing that money is mine. The Feds on the other end didn’t do anything to earn it. I didn’t buy anything. It wasn’t payment for some service. So, where is my money? Several years ago, you decided to tap into Social Security and embezzle our money to pay for things you can’t afford. Notice, I used the word, “embezzle” for after all, if a company in the private sector was to take money from such a fund, it would be called embezzlement and someone would be going to prison.



Now here’s the part that gets my panties in a bunch. If a guy works for 49 years and dies before he can collect his rightful share of the pie, what happens to that money? It rightfully belonged to him right down to the penny. Shouldn’t that money go to his heirs? What if I die before I collect all that I deposited into it? Shouldn’t the remainder of MY money be returned to my family? Once again, if such a practice was happening in the private sector, someone would be in big trouble.



I guess what I’m saying is I don’t want to do business with crooks, so give me back the money I was forced to relinquish, and, by the way, I want it back with interest. So, you tell me. Am I out of line here? Am I missing something? There is a Comment thingy at the bottom of this, and I’d really like to hear from you.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

"TEBOWING" by Pastor Pentti Maki


My wife, who serves as our church’s wedding hostess, mentioned to me following a recent wedding that the groom and groomsmen were “tebowing” for a picture before the wedding service.  Since it was my first time hearing the expression I asked her what she meant.  She had walked into the sanctuary when the photographer was taking pictures of the wedding party prior to the wedding ceremony.  She saw the groom and the groomsmen kneeling on one knee, elbow on knee, clenched fist touching bowed forehead.

“Tebowing” – dropping on one knee in prayer anytime anyplace – has found its way into our cultural vocabulary.  Don’t be surprised if some Sunday morning I have a “slip of the tongue” and say, “Let us tebow.” instead of “Let us pray.”  Oops! 

As many of you are aware, Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.  As a collegian he was a Heisman Trophy winner with two national championships to his credit and a first-round NFL draft pick.  He took over as the Bronco’s starting quarterback in week 7 when Denver had a 1-4 record.  In the successive weeks he earned six game winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. At the end of the regular season, the Broncos earned a wildcard berth in the AFC play-offs.

For those of you who may have missed it, the Broncos won the first round of the play-offs when Tebow threw a game winning 80 yard touchdown pass on the first play in overtime upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Tebow took 11 seconds to throw the longest overtime touchdown pass in the shortest overtime in playoff history.  Immediately afterwards, Tim Tebow “tebowed” on the football field – knelt in prayer – and when asked his thoughts when the game suddenly ended said, “First of all, thank you Lord.”

When it was all over, Tim Tebow had completed 10 passes for 316 yards.  His favorite Scripture passage is John 3:16.  He etched this Bible verse in his eye black while winning national championships at the University of Florida.  Think about it.  316 completed passing yards.  That’s 31.6 yards per completion.  And to top it off, CBS’s final quarter TV rating was 31.6.

Coincidence?  Maybe, but probably not!  I would venture to say that somehow the hand of God was at work. 

Bob Glessner used to say, “A coincidence is a small miracle in which God wishes to remain anonymous.”  The Bronco’s upset victory over the Steelers was probably considered a miracle in the eyes of many.  But in this case, God hasn’t remained anonymous.  It appears that God has used Tim Tebow to point others to the gift of salvation in his Son, Jesus.  After that game, many people have gone to the Bible to look up John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

God can use us just as he is using Tim Tebow to bring people to Himself.  We can learn from Tim Tebow how to genuinely express our Christian faith.  We don’t have to hold back.  We can give God the credit and glory for the successes in our life.  We can pray in public without being embarrassed.  We can let our faith flow naturally as an expression of who we are as disciples of Jesus.  We don’t need to worry about what others may think.  We can be simply sincere.  Our faith can be a natural expression of the person we are . . . a genuine extension of our personality.

In our contemporary culture where exemplary role models are” few and far between”, Tim Tebow breaks the mold.  He’s a terrific role model of Christian living for all of us, especially our youth.  He says he’s a virgin (a 24 year old virgin!) and has never tasted alcohol. 

Even though we are not in the media spot light, we too can be an inspiration to others in modeling the Christian life.

                                                                                                                        Pastor Pentti Maki

Saturday, February 11, 2012

THE PASSING OF ANOTHER GENERATION


I stand here in my father’s house, alone and my heart aching. He’s gone now. Dispatched so quickly, cremated, and inserted into the ground as one more statistic is created for the records. We mourn and we shed tears at his passing and soon we are back to living our lives, his memory committed to the ages. 



I stand here in my father’s house, and the memories sweep over me, snapshots of a life lived to the fullest. A young man rugged and a tireless worker doing his best for the family he loved. An older gentleman he began searching for yet another person to help, to touch, and love. The goodness of God taken refuge in this tired old body, he wasted no time spreading God’s love with everyone he met until God said, “You’ve done enough, my son. It is now time for you to rest. Come take my hand, Lawrence Fields your work here is done.



I stand here in my father’s house, with this emptiness here inside. I miss this man whom I called my dad. I miss him so much. Gone are so many things we shared. Gone are the baseball games, antique shops, walks out to Grandma’s, playing catch on a warm summer day. Goodness is a virtue we spend our lives in pursuit, yet for this one man it came with ease. His tired body is gone now, its usefulness no longer needed for his spirit soars on high and dwells in the hearts of all he touched.



I stand here in my father’s house, and I marvel at what he has done. Not a rich man or a man of fame, he left little of himself behind. But ask the black man behind bars in prison or the six year old learning to read, ask them about the hole left inside, ask them if this old man made a difference. For in the final analogy, it isn’t the rich man that God searches for, it’s the man who made a difference. This man came into the world some 85 years ago. He left behind a world that’s just a little better for his being here. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that he did make a difference.



I stand here in my father’s house a little sadder and yet a whole lot wiser. The march of time is unceasing, it’s cruelty relentless as it devours the last of a generation gone by. The hopes and dreams of youth are consumed by the passage of time. I silently bow my head in respect for the passing of my father and the passing of yet another generation into the ages.   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WINTER HAS COME


You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was a young man, just married and embarking on my new life.

And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all...  And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams...

But, here it is...the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my babies go? And where did my youth go?

I remember well...seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...

But, here it is...wife retired yesterday and she's really getting gray...she moves slower and I see an older woman now. She's in much better shape than me...but, I see the great change...

Not the one I married who was dark haired and young ... but, like me, her age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore...it's mandatory! ‘Cause if I don't on my own free will...I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things.

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...This I know, that when it's over...I will enjoy the Spring in the arms of my loving Father...and wait for my loved ones to come when their winter is over too...

So, if you’re not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly!

For remember that scripture...our life is but a vapor, it vanished away...So, do what you can today, because you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so, live for the Lord today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...

  




Sunday, February 5, 2012

JESUS IS COMING FOR DINNER


    Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.

    There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:



     Dear Ruth:



     I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.

    Love Always, Jesus



     Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me?

     I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer."



     With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner." She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."



     She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.



     A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand total twelve cents to last her until Monday.

    Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.



     "Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"



     Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags



     "Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we'd really appreciate it."



     Ruth looked at them both.

    They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.



     "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."



     "Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."

    The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.



     As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.



     "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest."

     She handed the man her grocery bag.

    "Thank you lady. Thank you very much!"



     "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. "You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.



     "Thank you lady!

    Thank you very much!"



     Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him.

    She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

    "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.



     Dear Ruth:

    It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

    Love Always Jesus


     The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.