Friday, September 24, 2010

Believing what you know "ain't" so


There are those who scoff at the school boy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the school boy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so. --Mark Twain,

Is there any way to verify faith?
How can you know if you really have faith? I’m not talking about faith that defines your religious philosophy. I’m talking about faith like you have in a big rubber band just before you bungee jump. If you jump, are you exercising faith or stupidity?  What is the determining factor that verifies that it was either faith or stupidity?

For me to jump would be stupid because I wouldn’t take a chance on the rubber band. But for you to jump might mean that you had a faith that I didn’t possess. It could mean that you had a wonderful experience, while I missed the “Joy of the jump” because I am hunkered down some place sucking on my thumb of fear and unbelief.

One dictionary defines faith as: “belief that is not based on proof”. Do you buy that?

How does that stack up with Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.” Does that mean you have faith if you are hoping for something you don’t have, or looking for something you can’t see? I don’t think so.

Let’s look at the Hebrews definition again and notice the bold underlined words. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen”.

Substance is something that has weight and occupies space, and evidence is something you see that confirms a claim or charge. So is faith in the hoping and seeking, or is faith the tangible substance and evidence that results from our hoping and seeking?

Maybe here is what I am asking, “If we don’t see tangible results from our hoping and seeking, did we really exercise faith?
I am way in above my head and I have already told you more than I know. But you think about it. Sometimes it is good to get the old cogs turning until the rust comes out of our ears…

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stuff, Things, and Friends

A man was once asked, “What is your purpose in life?”. He replied, “To get all I can, and “can” all I get”. That is not a new philosophy is it? It reminds me of a parable Jesus gave about the rich farmer that, instead of sharing the abundance of his current crop with others, said he would just build bigger barns so he could “can” all he had and keep it for himself.

What if you could back off far enough to see the entire “Time Line” of your life from the womb to the tomb? Would you see yourself as a person who spent the entire span of your life never being able to get enough “stuff and things?” Always trying to build bigger barns? Why do we work all our lives accumulating all this junk so when we die our kids will  just auction it off to the highest bidder?

Have you noticed that we always seem to channel our time, money, and talent toward the things we really love.

Do I love myself more than I love my wife?
Do I Iove myself more than I love my husband?
Do I love myself more than I love my children?
Do I love myself more than I love my parents?
Do I love myself more than I love my God?

John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man (or woman, or boy, or girl) lay down his life for his friends... (and all of the above should be our friends)...And you know what?   I don't think that means you have to die for them. I think it means you have to live for them. “Lay down” or “live out” our life for others...

Have you ever heard of a Nurse Tree?

Arizona is the home of the Saguaro. That is a large majestic cactus that stands in the desert with it's arms held up toward heaven. Often as you drive through that state, you will see one of those great plants growing right up through the middle of a small tree. That is a Nurse Tree.

At some point in time, a small bird, probably a Cactus Wren, flew into the tree carrying seeds that were dropped onto the ground beneath the branches, and a new Saguaro was born. The tree “nursed” that small seed into an adult Saguaro by providing shade from the harsh desert sun and sharing it's moisture and nutrients with the young plant. But in time there is a twist in fate. The tree that shared it's life nursing the cactus withers up and dies, giving it's life that the cactus may live.

Some day, just like the Nurse Tree, you and I will wither up and die. Will our memorial service be attended by a “Crowd of Witnesses” who are there because our love for others compelled us to nurture them by sharing our time, money, and talent, instead of building bigger barns?

The story of the rich farmer is found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke....And now “Here is the rest of the story”........... "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. (and their other friends)"


Monday, September 13, 2010

Cherokee Legend...

 Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youths' rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm.  The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!  Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.

It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.  He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us.  When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Psalms 30:5........Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

God, when hard times come, don't let me lose my faith and remove the blindfold before the "Joy Comes In The Morning".

(I sure wish I could say that I wrote this but it is a story passed on to me by Dick Green, and since he reads my blog, I don't dare take credit.....Just kidding Dick.  Thanks for sharing the story....Dale)


Friday, September 10, 2010


Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked...”

If you sat at the breakfast table with Jo Anne and me each morning, you would enjoy a concert of what seems to be dozens of happy birds each trying to out sing the other. We hear the songs of Robins, Chickadees, Bluejays, Sparrows and other song birds, and it is a wonderful way to start the day.

But there is a mystery about these morning melodies. The mystery unfolds when you go outside to see the birds. They aren't there! It's true, you can hear their songs but search as you may you will only find one bird.

Northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)Image via Wikipedia
You guessed it!
 It's a Mockingbird.
 How sad that such a beautiful bird with such a wonderful voice doesn't have a song of his own.

 Whose song are you singing today?

 Like the Mockingbird, we can imitate the things of God. We can sound like God. We can know all of the "Christian" songs, and recite all of the "Christian" verbiage,  but our appearance betrays us. It's who we are and not what we say that makes us genuine.

If we talk the talk, we had better walk the walk. The world will not be fooled, and GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!


“Lord, put your song on my lips today and touch my heart that it might be my very own.”

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