Love in Work Boots and Our Police Officers

I just can’t get past the rioting and looting going on in Ferguson, Missouri. I also refuse to be judge and jury as the mainstream news carriers are doing in their reporting. Such civil unrest, in my opinion, is uncalled for.

Every life is important to God. Every life. The color of the skin does not matter. What does matter is the hatred that would cause a person to rob and push around a store clerk, then disregard the ones attempting to keep that person safe by not allowing him to walk down the middle of the street. I am going to call it sin. Sin is the transgression of the law. I John says it clearly: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.” Police officers have the charge of maintaining safety and peace. Romans 13:3 clearly defines those who keep us safe as “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.”

I ask this: Where are the clergy in Ferguson? Either the news is not reporting it, or the clergy are inside their pristine offices rather than out on the streets ministering healing love to the distraught. The clergy and followers of faith need to put on their work boots and with prayerful hearts spread some love. Spread that love like a six-year old spreads peanut butter. Generously, and without regard for social class.

While some laws seem senseless and burdensome, (I don’t care for the mandatory seat belt laws) but the laws are meant to protect us personally and when a police officer separates you for your own safety, just obey whether you understand it or not. It is as easy as saying, “Yes, Sir” and showing respect.

Today, put your shoes on with peace and love in your heart, and work at every opportunity to bring forth good. If you decided to transgress the law, then that police officer may seem a terror. If you desire to do good, the police officer will praise you. It is just that simple. So, as the saying seems to trend currently, “Do the next right thing.” Let your Light shine because that Light sheds Love.

P.S. I have a grandson who is entering college this fall in the area of law enforcement. My heart yearns for his safety as he may have to face the sin of transgressors who not only disregard street safety, but the very lives that surround them.

What in the World is Going On?

My street is usually just a normal flow of traffic. It is a city street in a small city. Early in the morning and in early evening it is common to see people walking, running, jogging, dog-walking, and biking. For a short stretch, there are no sidewalks and everyone uses the street safely. Running parallel to my street, however, is a State Road.

So this morning I found my quiet street unusually noisy. Semi-trucks are navigating this narrow street turning left and holding up unusually heavy traffic. “What in the world. . .” I think when I hear the noise of screeching brakes and roaring engines of trucks! Standing at my window I can’t quit watching and I am not alone. Foot traffic has also slowed and diverted its route. I suppose that there has been an accident on the State Road and the trucks, vans, cars, and service vehicles are being rerouted.

This is for about a half hour. What will it be like when Christ returns in the sky to snatch the living and dead Christians away? “In a moment. . .” the Apostle Paul states in I Corinthians 15:52. One amazing moment! The rerouted traffic on my corner is nothing compared to what that moment in time will be like. Everything will change in one single moment.

Now you have something on which to think. I would help you with an outline, but you can do it on your own. A crown of righteousness awaits those who love Christ’s appearing. II Timothy 4:8 declares: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not me only, but to all them also that love His appearing.”

As the morning light awakens our senses, or nightfall signals quiet slumber, keep in mind that the moment may be soon With John at the end of writing down the revelations given him, I repeat: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

Remember the Sabbath

This is the fourth commandment The first four commandments deal with our relationship to God while the remaining commandments deal with interpersonal relationships on earth.

This commandment is in two parts: remember the Sabbath; keep it holy. Both parts of the commandment are imperatives. They have an understood subject: you. In a grammarian’s book, it would read (you) remember the Sabbath; (you) keep it holy. Both imperatives seem difficult for the general population to follow.

There have been times when I have been guilty of apologetically saying, “I won’t be participating because the event falls on a Sunday.” When I turned down attending a political event that started at noon on a Sunday the event planner haughtily replied that if these political rallies were not held the future of Sunday worship is in jeopardy. The event planner tried to back me into a corner. It didn’t work. A political event is not nearly as important as setting aside time to spend in quiet reflection on my Savior and in support of brothers and sisters in Christ. How could I ever justify attending a rowdy event and say that I was keeping a day set apart for worship holy?

In my long working career, there were times when I had to take my turn at Sunday work, but I usually was able to trade or maneuver hours so that I did not have to miss both morning and evening services, sometimes even worked in choir practice. What about other days for reflection? That is possible too. Some jobs require work on all seven days of the week; for instance, hospitals are open every day of the week. So, when I worked at a hospital during my college years, I made it a personal goal to take additional time in Bible study another time during the week. When we do that, it makes the time set apart a holy time.

It is a mystery to me that when I take time for God, the rest of the day takes care of itself. Everything gets done that has to be done by day’s end. God blesses the remembering, and the keeping that time set aside holy.

In a culture where “me” is all important, it becomes even more necessary to practice the Fourth Commandment. In addition to that one day of quiet, reflective rest, let’s remember to also keep a portion of every day to practice some holy time with our Savior. He longs for our conversations as He speaks through His Word and we respond with pleasure to be in His company.

Wet Pants

I read this story a few years ago and passed it on in an e mail. Since this is the first week of school in our school district, I searched for an inspiring story to pass along to my teacher friends from years past and my current teacher acquaintances. This seemed a good fit.

Wet Pants

Come with me to a third grade classroom…

There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, “Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat.”

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy’s lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, “Thank you, thank you, Lord!”

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the
object of sympathy.

The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful.

But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been
transferred to someone else – Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You’ve done enough, you
klutz!”
Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Susie whispers back, “I wet my pants once too.”

May we all see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.

Author Unknown

The Obituary

Not wanting to be bothered with such writing, the Northeast Argus editor assigned me the job of writing obituaries and weddings. It did give me a break from proofreading and taking counter classified advertising. Since I find people so interesting, I really didn’t mind the assignment. As a person reads through I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, and II Chronicles he has to notice that at each death of a monarch, there is a short obituary.

Usually it reads something as this: “And David slept with his fathers. . .” or whichever king. Recently I took notice of King Hezekiah’s obituary. It reads, “And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. And Hezekiah slept with his fathers and his son, Mannesseh reigned in his stead.”

He is remembered for many things, but his pool and conduit is mentioned several times in Scripture. It is mentioned here in II Kings 20, II Chronicles 19, Isaiah 22:9, and again in Isaiah 36. That conduit brought life-saving water hidden underground from sight of any enemy that might surround the city. Psalm 46:4 speaks of that water when it says, “There is a river that makes glad the city of God.”

Hezekiah is remembered for many things, but his obituary remembers the phenomenal underground tunnel. That 1,750 foot long waterway was no easy feat in 750 BC.

Will you be remembered for your walk with Jesus? Your upstanding integrity? Your willingness to help others? Let’s hope we won’t be remembered for being grumpy, dishonest, and a mean short temper.

Next time you are tempted to do less that your best, or even something “shady” think about how you will be remembered. Stop. Think. Do the next good memorable thing. You may not be a king, but if you are a child of God, live so that you will be remembered fondly.

Survival

ATwo of my grandsons make survival bracelets. Like their entreprenaur mother, they manage to sell them. Made of paracord, the reason to have one of these bracelets if you hike and explore, is that the powerful paracord may be able to rescue one from peril!

Today, right now, there are Christians who are under fire because they have stood for their faith in Jesus Christ. We cry in dismay for them and for our own religious freedom in our own beloved United States of America. Any time satanic forces can snatch away a Christian Believer’s freedom, it will happen. Even if the freedom is lost temporarily, and courts prevail, it still delights the forces of the enemies of God.

Today the forces of radical terrorist followers of Islam are shooting rockets of demolition into the country of Israel. Those terrorists have one desire: to annihilate Jews. Yet, from the days of the initial promise to Abraham in Genesis 12, the Hebrew nation has survived. It has not been easy and there were years of captivity because a great percentage of Jews turned from God to idols. When reading through the Prophets, we see repeatedly that God always left Himself a remnant. From that remnant who continued faithfulness to Mosaic Law, God built a nation.

These two truths filled my heart and mind this morning when I read Acts 28:22. The great Apostle Paul had freshly heard the pronouncement of his own imprisonment in Rome. Part of the message is a phrase in verse 22: “. . . for as concerning this sect [Christians] we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” Everywhere. How did Christianity survive? It is the power of the Word of God. God keeps His promises. The Ottoman Empire wiped out thousands of Christians, yet, Christianity survived.

This week a woman persecuted and sentenced to death in Sudan was released. Meriam Ibrahim, who stood through horrid torture, would not renounce her Christian faith. God won a victory. For that we should shout in unity “Hallelujah!” Praise the Lord for the power of the Word of God, handed to everyone, everywhere, from the hands of faithful Jews. What a Book! On the flyleaf of my personal Bible is this quote from Dr. Charles Stanley: “Open your Bible prayerfully; read it carefully; obey is joyfully.”

Remember Me?

More often than I want to admit, I meet people whom I knew twenty years ago or more and instead of introducing themselves in a gracious way, they say, “Remember me?” I weakly reply, “You look familiar but. . .” Now, some people just don’t change with age and if I taught them for a number of years, I do remember them. Others, not so much.

Readers, I have a request. Introduce yourself to long ago acquaintances by saying, “You might not remember me, but I . . .” and let the person graciously reply with, “Oh, I do remember!” It is just good manners.

One way to remember people is to pray for them regularly. At least their name is before you, and it reminds you of times you experienced with them. Take an interest in people. The more you know about a person’s likes and dislikes, the more apt you are to remember them, even if years pass between your meetings.

One thing I know for sure, Jesus knows me. He has my best interests in mind. He knows me better than I know myself. I will never have to walk into His presence and ask, “Remember me?”

In my old, old Scofield Bible I have this little rhyme written that someone quoted in some class or chapel:

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim,
He gives the very best to those,
Who leave the choice to Him.

You may be wondering, however, if you really can have that kind of relationship. Of course you can. Jesus is as near as calling on His name. He is waiting to hear from you. It has now been 56 years ago since I had my first conversation with Jesus. He was there then when I called on His name, confessed that I was a sinner, and accepted His gift of salvation. In simple faith, you can do the same. Ephesians 2:8-9 give the directive: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” He knows you now, He will remember you always.

The List: More on Remember

Grandchildren are good teachers but of course, I must also have a teachable spirit.

When I suggested that she put a stray lip gloss in her purse so she would not lose it, Kamryn immediately fetched a purse with many pockets that once belonged to my mother. One by one, my granddaughter pulled items out of the many pockets. Comb, mirror, bracelets, a necklace, a tissue, and then with all seriousness she pulled out a folded piece of paper and announced: “This is my list.”

I curiously wondered what her list included since she is a mere four years old.
“So, what do you have on your list?” I asked as she carefully unfolded it.

“It’s my shopping list, so I won’t forget what I need.” She was so serious I also had to be very serious. I expected to see childish loops and dashes but instead, I saw actual grocery items. The list had been my daughter’s grocery list and I suppose she let Kamryn hold it to keep her occupied.

Like the list in Kamryn’s purse, we have a list too. We carry it in our heart. Item one on the list is: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Nine other items are on that list. Don’t lose that list because none of those items have ever been crossed off. You will find that list, in case you do not know about them, or in case you need a review, in Exodus chapter 20.

Just think of what a good world we would occupy if only everyone carried that List and checked it regularly.

Remember

The word, remember, appears in the Bible 210 times according for the search at Bible Gateway. The word, remembrance, its noun relative, is found another 53 times. When I first thought about the word recently, it did not occur to me the many connotations that the word conjures. At first impulse, it would be the first word in an imperative sentence.

So, put to the test, what is the first thought that remember brings to mind? “Remember the Alamo!” or “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”

A lonely soldier sitting on his cot may think, “I wonder if my friends remember me?”

An upper rank executive may sit in his office wondering if the employees ever remember what he has afforded them, or do they just complain and beg for more.

Cold grave markers give way to memory just by the inscription of the years of birth and death. With a lonely voice they seem to say, “Do you remember me?”

In our lonely moments, here’s a verse: “And God remembered Noah. . .” (Genesis 8:1) The fact is, God never forgot Noah. While Noah was floating on the sea of waters over the earth, Noah had no idea of when he was going to get out of the ark. He sure hoped, you can well think, that he was going to see land again. One hundred fifty days after the gully washing flood washed them above all land, God gave Noah hope. God remembered.

David cried out to God on many occasions, “Remember me. . .” as if God could forget. We forget. God does not forget.

I am not through with this subject. I will return. I will remember to continue! This is a mere introduction.

Threading the Needle

Macular degeneration in my case means I have to have good light in order to read or do things that require keen eyesight. However, if there is a glare, it is equally difficult. It is the nature of my “hard-of-seeing” status. Without the innovative tool on my computer that magnifies what I am reading, or writing, I would not be able to use a computer at all.

Saturdaya mending job was imperative. The sewing machine would be necessary. Well, it didn’t matter what color thread was on the machine because all the stitching would be on the inside. The machine was threaded with a khaki color on the top and light pink on the bottom. Big stuff was done: the machine was threaded.

A little more than half way through the mending job—you guess it—the top thread broke. Pulling aside the fabric, at first I attempted to rethread the needle with only the use of my trifocals.

Failure.

Next step: find my 3X magnifying glass.

Even with the magnification, I could not see the hole in the needle!

I stopped. I prayed, “Father, I can’t even see the hole in the needle, please help me.”

Next attempt: Success! Still, I did not see the hole; the thread just found its way.

It is one of those times when I know that I prayed about something that absolutely no one else could have possibly prayed on my behalf. God guided my fingers to do an impossible task.

Dear Ones reading this: Nothing is too difficult for God. Luke 1:37 is just one place of many references to that fact.

If this were the first time this happened, I probably would not have mentioned it. This is the second time within a month this has happened. Just here to brag on my Amazing Shepherd!

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