Life Lessons

What a ‘Drag’

Back in 1947, it looked cool to be a smoker.  In fact, if you were a cowboy, country singer or actor, you smoked and you made it look right!  But fast forward to 1964, that’s when the Surgeon General came out with a report that ties cigarette smoking to cancer.  “Heavy cigarette smoking is the principal cause of cancer of the lungs and the larynx and a health hazard so grave as to call for remedial action” a blue-ribbon science panel concluded.

What is interesting is that smoking cigarettes is still around.  Heck that report came out 50 years ago and you would think after all the cancer deaths caused by smoking that we’d wise up and “kick the habit.”  Even more amazing are the professionals in the medical field that will light up and have a smoke.  The same folks that try to help you beat cancer and stay healthy.

I conducted a funeral last week at a local funeral home here in the area.  As I was talking to the funeral director I noticed in his shirt pocket a pack of Marlboro Gold.  I thought, “are you kidding me?!”  The guy who sits with grieving families who have possibly lost a loved one to cancer because of cigarettes, talking about funeral arrangements?  Reminds me of a sketch on SNL!

I heard a person ask a preacher once, “will you go to Hell for smoking?”  Nope was the reply.  “But you will smell like you’ve been there!”

RB

First Kiss

Collin KI was very impressed when I heard a story about Kansas State’s starting quarterback Collin Klein. He made a pact with himself at 14 years old that he would not even share a peck until his wedding day. He kept that promise to himself when he and his wife finally kissed on July 21. That’s not the only unusual part of Klein and his wife, former-Kansas State basketball player, Shalin Spani‘s relationship. They never had a formal date until they were engaged.

Klein said that God told him that he would marry Spani, the daughter of former Kansas State and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Gary Spani. Spani said she heard a voice in her head saying the same thing about Klein.

Klein has been compared to Tim Tebow because they are both quarterbacks, have the same size, but more importantly share a faith in Christ.

A commitment like this is so against our culture and so so looked down by the media.  Was this story shared by the major news outlets?  NO.  The only mention of Klein was that he came in third in the Heisman voting.

Thank you Collin Klein for keeping that commitment and standing by your convictions when it goes against the grain of our society!

Speech Therapy

Been to the doctor lately?  I went yesterday to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) to see why my ears felt like they were constantly feeling plugged up.  I just love the part of the exam where the doctor say’s “Open wide,” and then crams an ironing board down your throat to a point just past your vocal chords!  It’s enough to make me wish I was a blue whale.

Perhaps I’d better explain.  The blue whale is the largest animal on the earth, and therefore has, not surprisingly, the largest tongue on the earth.  Of course, I’ve never checked the matter out personally, but they tell me that the tongue of a blue whale weighs as much as a full-grown elephant!  I’d hate to be the doctor who told one of those creatures to say “ah.”

Our tongues are smaller, a few ounces at the most, but much more dangerous in their own way.  They don’t weigh as much as an elephant, but they can tell lies twice the size.  They cannot physically crush someone, but can destroy him just as certainly by malicious gossip.  In the Bible, the book of James says the tongue is a fire, and that the source of heat is Hell itself (James 3:6).

The only thing that rivals the tongue’s capacity for evil is its potential for good.  It can speak an encouraging word to the downhearted, comfort the grieving, and tell a lost man how to find Jesus.  It cannot match the blue whale for sure size, but it can be a whale of a comfort to men in sin.

The fascinating thing is that the same tongue is capable of both of these things.  It all depends on the operator.  Give your tongue to the devil, and you can destroy lives; give it to Christ, and you can see them come to know Jesus.  The choice is entirely yours.

Resolve to use your tongue for Jesus today.  Speak a kind word to a stranger.  Communicate the Gospel to a lost friend.  Sing the praises of God.  Remember, you may not be a blue whale, but you can talk a blue streak, and all for the glory of our Heavenly Father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Deck of Cards

A little over 64 years ago, country/western singing legend, Tex Ritter recorded this amazing story about a soldier who takes his deck of cards to church.  Because he uses the cards as his bible, prayer book and almanac.

This is for the Birds!

I grew up in the ’60’s and like most boys enjoyed comedy and scary movies.  The God of all scary movies, Alfred Hitchcock, directed several moves like Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Dial ‘M’ For Murder to name a few.  But his two thriller movies of all time were Psycho and The Birds.

Ya birds…Yesterday, I was leaving the grocery store loading the car when my attention was drawn to thousands of birds squawking in the trees that were in the parking lot.  Now for a moment, I thought of the movie The Birds because there were so many of them.  If you’ve seen the movie, you remember they’d be hanging out on power lines waiting for the right moment to attack.  Especially that scene where the kids are leaving school and the birds go crazy trying to attack the kids leaving school.

Then I had a thought…Psalm 145:10 says, All your works praise you…  Now I know that this is a ‘feather brained’ idea thinking that birds would be praising God at the end of the day… I mean come on…and then this verse came to mind…Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

Then I thought of a chorus I first learned many years ago after becomming a Christian…

Love Him In The Morning

Love Him in the morning, when you see the sun arising,
Love Him in the evening ’cause He took you through the day,
And in the in-between time when you feel the pressure coming,
Remember that He loves you and He promises to stay.
When you think you have to worry,
‘Cause the things you have to do,
Remember He’s not in a hurry,
He’s always got time for You,
So… Love Him….

Maybe at the end of each day…we should praise the one who loves us…and make a big deal out of it!!

Just ‘Coasting’ Along

Back in 1958 a group by the name of the Coasters released a song that was one of a string of singles released by the group between 1957 and 1959 that dominated the charts, one of the biggest performing acts of the Rock and Roll era.  The song…Yakety Yak.  The lyrics describe the listing of household chores to a kid, presumably a teenager, the teenager’s response (“yakety yak”) and the parents’ retort (“don’t talk back”) — an experience very familiar to a middle-class teenager of the day.

Things have not changed today…there are chores to do and parents are reminding their teenagers to fulfill their responsibilities of getting those chores done (sometimes after multiple requests)…and all they are thinking is “Yakey Yak.”

So I began thinking…we do this in our relationship with our Heavenly Father?  We are probably not as bold as to say to God ‘Yakety Yak,’ but we ignore what He’s nudging us to do!  Maybe it’s to be more evangelistic – telling others about Jesus.  How about giving up a ‘habit’ that is not healthy?  What about a relationship that is toxic and need to end?  A marriage that needs to be gutted and remodeled?  Yet by our actions….we are saying to God, I don’t want to do that.  It’s our (Yakey Yak) to God.

As I begin a new week…I want to live with God’s direction and that means doing what He want’s me to do.  I get tired of ‘Coasting’ along doing my own thing.  When you made a decision to follow Christ, you gave up the ability to say, “me first.”

Jump!

You’ve been given an extra day…a bunch of hours; 24 to be exact!
How will you spend your next 24 hours?
Most will work wishing they had the day off to spend time with family.
Some will go throughout the day at their normal pace.
Others will have ‘Leap Year Babies’ then try to figure out what day they’ll celebrate their birth.
Some will continue to struggle through a tough economy, deciding how the mortgage will be paid on March 1.

How about you? Will you make today a new day where priorities will be ‘shifted’ and a new outlook appears?
Will you call a friend and catch up from days past?
Maybe you’ll take a drive and spend a few hours ‘lost’ in those moments just enjoying the day?

Consider this from Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

You have 24 hours…how will you spend your day?