A “Bring Your Own Board” Kind of Church

A man named Squire Hughes was one of the first settlers west of the Miami River in Ohio. Being a religious man, he would ride twenty miles on horseback just to worship at the Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. There was a problem, however, the first time he attended worship at that church. The church’s pews were the style that had a door on the outside of each one, and all those doors remained closed to Hughes when he initially walked down the church aisle. That meant that not one person from one pew was hospitable enough to open their door and invite him into their pew to sit with them.

After Hughes had walked all the way down to the front of the church, he started making his way back up the aisle. By this time a few of the “good Christians” were feeling ashamed enough of themselves to open their doors for him, but Hughes had a temper and the damage had already been done. So, he angrily stormed back up the aisle, past all the pews, and walked out the back door.

A short time later he came back into the church, this time carrying a board he had found. He walked all the way back down to the front of the church, sat down on the board, and remained there until the end of the service. Then he picked up the board, put it on his shoulder, walked out the back door, and rode away. And what do you think happened the next time he attended that church? Every pew door was opened to him!

Have you had any visitors to your church lately? If so, how did you treat them? Did you greet them with a smiling face, a warm welcome, and a hearty, “Here, sit by me”? Or did you look at them with an upturned nose and think, “Now what are they doing here?”

Ah, the church of the “frozen chosen.” Most towns have at least one. It might be a rich church or it might be a poor church, but it’s the one where the folks have the mentality, “We’ve got our select group and we don’t need anyone else.” I’m telling you, Christian, beware of that mentality. Why? Well, first and foremost, it is highly displeasing to God because it is lethal to outreach. But second, you just never know when some Squire Hughes type might put you in your place one Sunday.

Posted in Church, Church Attendance, Evangelism, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One is Enough

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. (1 Corinthians 12:7, N.L.T.)

When a person is born, he or she comes wired with certain talents, skills, and natural abilities. Obviously, these must be recognized and honed as the individual grows, but the point is that these things are inside the person even in infancy. They simply need to be put to use.

Along the same lines, the New Testament teaches that when a person believes in Christ as Savior, God the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside that person’s body (Romans 8:9-11). Thus, the person is born again (John 3:1-21). And one of the things the Spirit does is impart to the person at least one “spiritual gift” (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:7-11).

What is a spiritual gift? It is a talent, skill, or ability that the person did not have before becoming a Christian. As with natural talents, skills, and abilities, it might take the new Christian (who is called a babe in Christ: 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2) a while to identify the spiritual gift and hone it, but the gift is present from the moment of salvation. Some Christians are given more than one spiritual gift, but every Christian is given at least one (1 Corinthians 12:7). The good news is that one is plenty by which to serve Christ in great and mighty ways.     

A young man who lost his left arm in an automobile accident wanted to learn judo. His family, delighted that he wasn’t letting his disability keep him down, hired an old Japanese master to teach him judo’s throws. After three months had passed, the master had taught the young man only one throw, but that specific throw had been perfected. Surprisingly, the master felt that it was time for the young man to enter his first competition. Even more surprisingly, the young man actually won the event, defeating the defending champion in the finals.

After the finals, the young man asked the master the question that had been on his mind: “Why did you teach me only one throw?” The master replied, “There are two reasons. First, by mastering that one throw you have mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that throw is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

You see, that young man knew only one throw, but one was enough. Likewise, Christian, God the Holy Spirit may have imparted to you only one spiritual gift, but that one is enough. So use it, use it, use it, over and over and over again in service to Christ. Why? Because Satan won’t have a defense for it and it will surely help others.

Posted in Adversity, Attitude, Doing Good, God's Provision, God's Work, Ministry, Salvation, Satan, Spiritual Gifts, Talents, The Devil, The Holy Spirit | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Arms of God

A family was awakened one night by the blaring of their smoke detector. Sure enough, their house was on fire. The father immediately raced into the kids’ room and came out carrying his eighteen-month-old baby with one arm and holding his four-year-old son’s hand with the other. They were halfway down the stairs when the four-year-old realized that he’d left his teddy bear in his room. Impulsively, he broke away from his father’s grip and ran back to get the bear. With the house beginning to fill up with smoke, the father made the split-second decision to get the baby out and then go back and retrieve the four-year old. He calculated that he’d have enough time.

Unfortunately, however, the fire accelerated faster than the father expected, and by the time he got the baby outside, the flames had trapped the four-year-old in his second-floor bedroom. Frantically, the father looked up to the window, and through the thick smoke he saw that the boy had raised the window and was trying to get out. The man yelled, “Jump, son, I’ll catch you!” The boy, who was now engulfed in smoke, said, “But I can’t see you, daddy.” The father’s reply was, “That’s okay, son. Jump. I can see you!

Tell me, is God calling you to make some “jump” in your life right now? In other words, is He asking you to do something that you’re just not sure about? Maybe you are hesitating to obey Him. Maybe you are arguing with Him. Maybe you’ve passed through the stages of hesitation and argument and are now in full-blown disobedience.

Well, if any of that describes you, I want you to remember that if you know for certain that it’s God who is doing the calling, you needn’t worry about not being able to see where you will land. Where you will land is in the strong arms of a God who loves you more than you can imagine and knows what’s best for your life. You see, if God is calling you to “jump,” He is already standing with His arms open wide to catch you, and the reality of life is that His arms are always the best place to end up in the aftermath of any decision you will ever make.

Posted in Belief, Choices, Faith, Fatherhood, Fear, God's Omnipotence, God's Omnipresence, God's Will, Obedience, Submission, Trusting In God | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Overturning of Roe vs. Wade

Not only did I not expect to hear today that the Supreme Court had officially overturned Roe vs. Wade, I’ve spent the last thirty years not expecting to hear it. That’s how long I’ve been preaching. During those years I have preached anti-abortion sermons more times than I can remember, but I never preached even one of them with full expectation in my heart that Roe vs. Wade would ever be overturned. And yet, I’ve now lived long enough to see that day. Praise God.

More than eleven years ago, on January 25, 2011, I wrote a blog post entitled “What the Bible Teaches About Abortion.” Today, I’d like to republish that post in honor of this historic day in American history. I’m republishing this post for two reasons. First and foremost, it provides the Biblical case against abortion. Second, it stands as just one example in a vast sea of them of how Bible-believing Christians have doggedly held the scriptural line in the battle over abortion. Even as I write these words, I am reminded of Galatians 6:9, which offers encouragement to committed Christians by saying: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (N.K.J.V.). Needless to say, today is a “due season” in which we are reaping a good harvest for our labor. No, the battle over abortion isn’t 100% won yet, but there’s certainly no denying that today is a watershed moment in that battle.

So, here now is the old post. Even if you don’t agree with it, I trust that it will help you better understand what the Bible teaches about this topic. All the scriptural references come from the New King James Version, with me adding emphasis to certain words and phrases by placing them in bold print and italics:

This past Saturday, January 22, marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in the infamous Roe vs. Wade case. That ruling legalized abortion in America. As it so happens, yesterday I dropped off some items our church had donated to our local Tri-County Pregnancy Center. These two occurrences have brought the issue of abortion front and center to my mind.

The number of babies reported as aborted in America now stands at over 53 million. Please stop right now and read that sentence again. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews in World War II, and history rightly labeled it a holocaust. It makes you wonder what we should call 53 million forced deaths. Tragedy? That’s too soft. Atrocity? That’s a little closer. Barbarity? Now you’re getting warmer. Savagery? That might be about as accurate as we can come.

And the plain fact is that the death toll actually stands at more than 53 million. I say that because it is common knowledge that abortion is oftentimes a “cash” business, and in such businesses the books aren’t always, shall we say, exact. Why pay the I.R.S. when you can cheat, right? Before she became a Christian, Carol Everett was the head of multiple abortion clinics, and she freely admits that her clinics routinely kept two sets of books — one for herself and one for the I.R.S. In light of such typical operating procedure, there’s simply no way of calculating a truly accurate number of the abortions that have been performed in America.

But it’s not my purpose here to try and figure out the exact number of babies that have been lost since Roe vs. Wade. It’s also not my purpose to bring politics into the discussion. No, what I really want to do with this post is take the Bible and explain just what it teaches about abortion. So, if you have a problem with what I say, your problem will be with God’s written word, not with me. Keep that in mind as we go along.

Now, I want to ask and answer three questions, and question #1 is:

According to the Bible, when does life actually begin?

The answer is: at the moment of conception in the womb. As proof of this, I’ll cite seven passages and ask you to read them carefully, with an open mind.

  • Psalm 139:13-16: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed…”
  • Psalm 22:10: “…From My mother’s womb You have been My God.”
  • Isaiah 49:1: “…The Lord has called me from the womb. From the matrix (inward parts) of My mother He has made mention of my name.”
  • Job 10:8-12: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity; yet You would not destroy me. Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay. And will You turn me into dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk, and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews? You have granted me life and favor, and your care has preserved my spirit.”
  • Jeremiah 1:4-5: “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…’”
  • Luke 1:13-15: “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.’”
  • Galatians 1:15: “…it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace…”

Alright, now, question #2 is:

According to the Bible, is a mother’s life ever more important than her child’s life?

The answer is: no. The Bible contains seemingly countless passages that sing the praises of selflessness, love, sacrifice, motherhood, and concern for others, but I think a good singular proof text here is Genesis 35:16-20. That passage tells the story of how Jacob’s beloved wife, Rachel, died giving birth to their son, Benjamin. What’s interesting is that despite Rachel’s great importance in the life of Jacob, to say nothing of her importance in the unfolding of the history recorded in Genesis, God let her die and her baby live. That right there ought to tell us something about His mind on this question.

And then, question #3 is:

According to the Bible, does an unborn child have the same standing with God an adult has?

The answer here is, yes, and the passage is Exodus 21:22-25. I understand that these verses are specifically a part of God’s Old Testament law for Israel, and we don’t live under that law. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t glean truth from it. As you read these verses, pay careful attention to how God rates the health of a baby in a womb on legal par with someone who injures that unborn child. The verses say:

If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (N.K.J.V.)

Well, now that I’ve asked these three questions and provided their answers, I’d like to think that I’ve said enough to convince you of what the Bible teaches about abortion. But, just for further proof, here are a few more “quick hits.” Hopefully, you’ll find these instructive too:

  1. A man and a woman can have sex, but only God can create life. Thus, He is the only one who should have any say over how that life is ended.
  2. The argument that a deformed fetus can be aborted without repercussion because such a child doesn’t come with God’s full “stamp of approval” is not a valid one. In Exodus 4:11, God says to Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeingor the blind? Have not I, the Lord?”
  3. In Job 3:11, Job asks, “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” Think about it, you have to be alive to begin with in order to die or perish at birth.
  4. In Genesis 25:23, God refers to Jacob and Esau as two nations even as they were still fetuses in Rebekah’s womb.
  5. A Christian woman has no right to say, “My body is my own, so I’ll do what I want to with it.” Why doesn’t a Christian woman have that right? It’s because 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says to Christians: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
  6. Psalm 106:34-43; Deuteronomy 12:31; 2 Kings 17:17; and Ezekiel 16:20-21 describe how the people of Israel learned the idolatrous ways of the people of Canaan and ended up sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols, which in reality was sacrificing them to demons. God called these sacrifices the shedding of innocent blood, and His wrath was kindled against Israel as He began to abhor His own people. Should we Americans not expect Him to respond to us the same way in the wake of the millions of innocent babies we have aborted? Keep in mind that Proverbs 6:16-19 says that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”
  7. Christians simply do not have the option of remaining silent on the issue of abortion. Proverbs 31:8-9 says: “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Now, in closing, let me be sure to say something to any man or woman who has been the cause of an abortion: GOD STILL LOVES YOU. Abortion is not the unpardonable sin, and there is a full and blessed life that can be lived even after an abortion. You need to understand that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses and forgives all sin. Heaven isn’t divided into the camps of mothers and fathers who aborted their children and mothers and fathers who didn’t. For that matter, neither is hell.

Furthermore, while we’ve seen that the Bible has a lot to say about abortion, it has even more to say about the forgiveness that is offered to all in Jesus Christ. That forgiveness certainly extends to the sin of abortion, and Jesus is more than willing to shower it upon you if you will place your belief in Him as Savior (John 3:16). So, I assure you that the purpose of this post has not been to demoralize you by clubbing you over the head with the Bible. What it’s been is an attempt to provide a faithful and fairly thorough analysis of what God’s written word teaches on a highly controversial subject.

Posted in Abortion, Bible Study, Children, Current Events, Fatherhood, God's Word, Motherhood, Parenting, Scripture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Beautiful Music Coming from You?

Old stories are just that: old stories. Some are true and some aren’t. Here’s one that comes from the late seventeenth century. I can’t testify to it’s authenticity, but it’s a good story.

As a wealthy man from London was traveling across Europe, he found an old violin in a rundown little shop in Paris. The violin’s finish was flaking. Its bridges were broken down. Its strings were gone. But something about the instrument intrigued the man, and so he bought it for a small sum.

He took the violin to his room and tinkered with it a bit before realizing that repairing it was far too great a task for him. He then began a systematic search to find someone to do the job. In Cremona, Italy, he asked a man on the street if he knew anyone who repaired violins, and the man directed him to a certain house. The wealthy man went to that house, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a servant who instructed him to leave the violin and come back in one week.

When the man returned to pick up his instrument a week later, the door was answered by someone other than the servant. This other man looked quite elegant and wore distinguished glasses, and when he brought forth the violin, it was restored completely and sparkled with beauty. It didn’t even look like the same instrument from a week earlier.

The wealthy man took his violin and tried to play it, but the sound that came from it was harsh and unpleasant. He thought, “Oh well, it was worth a try to fix it. At least it looks better now.” Then he asked the other man for the bill and was appalled at what seemed to be an outrageous price, considering that the violin’s sound still left much to be desired.

At that point the man with the glasses took the instrument back and began playing it, producing a sound that was indescribably beautiful to the ear. The owner, with his eyes bouncing, quickly changed his mind about the restoration fee and agreed to pay it. As he handed over the money, he asked the gentleman, “Who are you, sir?” The answer came back, “My name is Antonio Stradivari. If you will look closely, you’ll find that name inside your violin because I made it.”

The spiritual application of this story is two fold. First, just as Antonio Stradivari knew how to restore one of his Stradivarius violins, God knows how to restore you, His creation. Second, just as Stradivari knew exactly how to play one of his violins to produce the most beautiful music from it, God knows how to play you to produce the most beautiful music you have in you.

Posted in Change, Doing Good, God's Love, God's Omniscience, God's Sovereignty, God's Work, Grace, Individuality, Service, Spiritual Gifts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Word to the Adults

I once had the privilege of speaking at the chapel service of our local Tri-County Christian school. Trust me when I tell you that wasn’t an easy assignment. If you doubt me, you try coming up with something that will keep the attention of young people whose ages range from K-12.

I began by having us all read Matthew 26:36-44 together, and then I spoke on the subject of surrendering yourself completely to God’s will. For a focal point of emphasis, I talked about the “nevertheless” way of living. That concept comes from Christ’s garden of Gethsemane prayer: “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” I really don’t know if my sermon made much of an impact on those young folks, but if even one of them got hold of the “nevertheless” concept, I accomplished a lot that morning.

After I left the school that day, I found myself thinking about Ecclesiastes 12:1: “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” As I reflected back upon the days of my own youth, I had to admit that even though I had remembered my Creator to some degree, my track record in that department had been a few billion miles from perfect. My prayer for those kids of Tri-County Christian school was that their efforts at serving the Lord during their younger days would far outdo anything previous generations had done.

The truth is, however, that much of what kids do or don’t do will always depend upon what kind of mentoring and guidance they receive from adults. That’s why us adults must never stop remembering our Creator, no matter how old we get. For one thing, God desires the obedience. For another, we need the blessings that come from such obedience. And for yet another, our young people need the role models. You see, it’s a win-win-win situation. So, adult, I ask you: What kind of a role model are you? That’s a good question to ask yourself right now, no matter what season of adulthood you currently find yourself.

Posted in Aging, Character, Children, Discipleship, Doing Good, Dying To Self, Elderly, God's Will, God's Work, Holiness, Influence, Parenting, Personal, Personal Holiness, Sanctification, Service, Submission, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith

Flywheel was the first movie done by the Kendrick Brothers, who are associated with Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. It’s not as well known as the brothers’ other movies (Facing The GiantsFireproof, Courageous, War Room, and Overcomer), but I like it. At the end of Flywheel, the lead character names his new baby girl “Faith.” This comes on the heels of all the lessons about faith that God had been teaching him.

I once heard a preacher say, “The faith walk is on a need-to-know basis,” and my own walk with the Lord has proven the truth of those words. God never gives me the full revelation of what He’s doing in my life. Instead, I only get the guidance and instruction I need to take the next step. And whenever I think I’ve got the path figured out and can run ahead, He throws me a curveball to keep Me looking to Him.

In the New Living Translation, Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen” and “the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” Tell me, are you “hoping” for a particular thing from God? Are you desiring something you “cannot yet see”? If you are, then rest assured that if the thing is God’s will, He will bring it to pass in His timing and way.

In the meantime, though, He wants you to have sincere faith that He is going to get that job done. There really is no substitute for this faith, and you having it will make an incalculable difference in your overall attitude and mindset. You see, faith creates optimism, hope, and joy, but a lack of it creates pessimism, despair, and gloom. So, if you were naming your baby girl today, could you honestly name her “Faith”? If not, what you need to do is have a long talk with God about why you couldn’t name her that. The truth is, whether you like it or not, even the answers you are looking for in regards to your lack of faith can only be found in Him.

Posted in Adversity, Belief, Faith, God's Timing, Patience, Perseverance, Personal, Prayer, Reward, Trials, Trusting In God, Waiting | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slander

Ray Donovan was the Secretary of Labor under President Reagan. His time in office was marked by a highly publicized case in which Donovan and six others were tried in New York on charges of larceny and fraud. In the end, Donovan and the six other defendants were acquitted. However, at the conclusion of the trial, Donovan pointed out a lingering problem when he famously asked, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?”

Proverbs 22:1 says: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” (N.K.J.V.). In light of this, we should all guard ourselves against committing the sin of slandering another person. And as proof that slander can take place, let me point out that some of the Bible’s greatest characters were slandered. I’m talking about the likes of Joseph (Genesis 39:7-20), David (2 Samuel 10:1-3), Stephen (Acts 6:8-14), Paul (Acts 24:5-6), and, of course, Jesus (Matthew 11:19, Matthew 26:59-68). Even though these men were all innocent of the accusations leveled against them, much damage was done to their reputations.

To be clear, all criticism is not slander. If the criticism is legitimate and valid, that’s another subject altogether. Furthermore, God’s word certainly does allow for not only the proper voicing of appropriate criticism but also the proper prosecution of criminals if a situation merits it. Christians are even scripturally mandated to rebuke sin. But we must tread carefully in the midst of this potential minefield, especially in these days when anybody can use social media to accuse anyone of anything. Ray Donovan was spot on when he noted that there is no way for a person to reclaim his or her unjustly destroyed reputation. As Proverbs 11:9 says: “The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor…” (N.K.J.V.). That’s why we must make sure that our words are marked by both accuracy and discernment. Otherwise, we’ll cross the line into sin ourselves by damaging someone’s reputation who doesn’t deserve it.

Posted in Character, Communication, Criticism, Discernment, Doing Good, God's Work, Holiness, Honesty, Influence, Personal Holiness, The Tongue, Truth | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Church Bulletin Humor

There’s nothing wrong with using bulletins in your church, but you’d better make sure they are done well. Otherwise, they can make your church look kind of stupid. Today’s post offers a few examples from that category. I got these from an article that Bob Terrell ran in the December 17, 2000, edition of the Asheville Citizen Times. According to him, they were sent to him by Bea Pyle of Ormond Beach, Fla. See if you can spot the problem with each bulletin announcement.

-Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church. Come and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

-Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday in the recreation hall. Come and watch us kill Christ the King.

-Miss Charlene Mason sang “I Will Not Pass This Way Again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

-The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

-Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

-Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.

-Don’t let worry kill you off. Let the Church help.

-At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What Is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

-Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

-Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

-The Lutheran men’s group will meet at 6 p.m.: steak, mashed potatoes, beans, bread, and dessert will be served for a nominal feel.

-Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered.

-Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

-Potluck supper Sunday at 5 p.m. Prayer and medication to follow.

-The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

-This evening at 7 p.m. there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

-Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the BS is done.

-Low Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. Please use the back door.

-The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

-The associate minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”

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Making Your Time Count

During the Desert Storm invasion of Kuwait and Iraq, Col. William Post received an urgent fax from headquarters. The fax was a complaint that 400 cases of jelly were not accounted for in the Colonel’s records. Consequently, he sent a private to find the jelly. But the private couldn’t locate it.

After not receiving a reply from the Colonel’s office, headquarters promptly sent a second fax, one that sounded more urgent than the first. It said the end of the month was approaching and that every effort must be made to either find the jelly or account for it. Colonel Post, having already ordered one attempt to find the jelly, chose to ignore the second fax.

As a result, it wasn’t long before a third fax came, and this one had a tone. It demanded that the Colonel immediately respond to the need to find the jelly – or else. At this point, Colonel Post got mad. In reply, He sent back a fax that read: “Look, I can find the jelly or I can kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Which do you prefer? I can’t do both.”

I ask you, are you wasting too much time on non-essentials? Do you spend a good portion of your days “finding jelly”? If you will do an honest assessment of how you spend your time, you might be surprised to learn how much fluff makes up your day. God, of course, wants us to be good stewards, and that involves stewardship over our time. So, always remember this: Others may be more skilled, talented, or gifted than you, but no one is allotted more time per day than you. Make that time count.

Posted in Choices, Doing Good, Entertainment, God's Will, God's Work, Priorities, Service, Stewardship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment