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Friday Friday Fri- Elevator Day

Phew, its one of those Fridays I have been looking forward to ( even though I don’t like to look past any days).  This Friday wraps up my 7 state, 1000+ mile driving, 600 mile flying week.  As I hopped out of the covers this morning, every part of my body screamed to get back in!  It’s one of  those Friday’s where I wish I were a coffee drinker ( and I mean a serious coffee drinker).  But instead, since I can’t hardly get the stuff though my lips, I will have to rely on something else to be a shot of energy in the arm ( or in the mind)

32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Psalm 18:32-34 (New International Version)

Just reading that reminded me.  How could I forget – this is the last Friday in July.  Its National Talk on an Elevator day!  That’s something that should give us all a little bit of motivation today.  So get your strength from the Lord and reach out to those on the elevator today.  ( I usually take the stairs to the second floor, but today – elevators all around!)

I feel stronger all ready.  Lets Go!

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One Faith

Tonight I am heading to camp.  Not as a camper but as a speaker!!! I remember those “guys” from my youth.  The mystery speakers that  show up at night and share a sometimes boring, sometime interesting camp talk.  The problem is that I know that I actually did learn stuff from these guys and so tonight I am extremely nervous as to what to say to a bunch of 8-14 year old children!

My topic is one faith (Ephesians 4) and since the topic is so broad, I am not sure whether to talk about mustard seeds, martyrs, righteousness or forgiveness.  Should I demonstrate a trust fall, or blind fold one of them and have them listen as I walk them through a maze.  Should I talk about the assurance of things hoped for? Should I do an exegesis of Romans!  What do you think?  I would love some ideas!

It’s so difficult because its so complete and big and complex, but at the same time it is so simple and straightforward:

8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.   9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  Romans 5:7-9

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Highway to Hell

Franticly trying to cancel out the doldrums of driving 300 miles last night, I was scanning the radio dial looking for Art Bell to keep me awake with his caller’s stories of human eating cows.  However, all I could turn up was two for Tuesday on a classic rock station.  So I crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina,  ACDC finished up Black in Black and starting rocking out Highway to Hell.  Could this be fitting I wondered.  And since I had started my trip by passing a church with a sign that said “No, its not as hot as hell!”, I thought maybe someone was trying to get a message to me!  
Anyway, as I arrived at my hotel, I was told that all they had was a small room with a small bed, not the majestic spacious king bed in the gianormous suite that I usually am granted at this establishment.  Then as I was brushing my teeth to head off to dream land, I discovered the stopper in the sink was stuck on stop.  (two strikes?).  Finally this am after I awoke and prepared to hop in a day starting shower, I came to the brutal reality that there was no hot water in this room! ( I would find out after the cold shower, that the entire hotel was without hot water).  Man, welcome to hell!  I could only think what else does this day have in store for me.  
But really, the entire time, as I tried to complain to myself, I was always stopped short by realizing how fortunate I am to be able to sleep safely in a cool dark room in a comfortable bed, and that I am actually able to take a shower in clean water ( hot or cold.)  And about the stopper, I just reached up under the sink and pulled the lever by hand – not really much of a problem at all.  None of these things even remotely resemble hell.  But boy, don’t we let them ruin our days often!  Little things that appear to be so big take us away from the blessings we are giving. 

This sort of reminds me of some of the words of Paul over in Philippians  

Do all things without grumbling or questioning,  Philippians 2:14 ESV 

 10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.   Philippians 4:10-13 (New International Version) 

 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NKJV) 

Well that reminds me of another sign I saw on this trip, at the Big Biscuit Barn just a few miles from my home.  “Praise the Lord, Eat A Biscuit”.  Hm,, I think I am heading to breakfast….

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Last week, I was also given the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington.  I know, not the most uplifting place to visit on a getaway without children.  However both Amy and I had not been there and decided this was the one museum we would take in while in DC.  It’s a place that I would recommend that everyone visits as it does put into perspective what can happen when we judge and let hatred rule in our lives.

Anyway, as we were leaving the exhibit there was a quote painted on the wall.  For some reason the quotation really resonated with me.  So, as we were leaving the museum and heading back to the last Tour Mobile of the day, we were stopped at the exit and were asked to be interviewed for a survey the museum was doing.  (I think we have sucker on our foreheads.)  So after a discussion about the exhibits with this nice college student, she presented us with a magnet with the same quote on it.  In fact she said it was her favorite.  It seemed worthy of sharing with ya’ll as well.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me. (Martin Niemoller)

Remember that no matter how big or small the injustice, it’s our responsibility to help others , and to stand up for what is right.

3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Psalm 82:3 (New International Version)

Daily Post

Living It Out

Yesterday on the way home I was listening to the radio trying to stay awake.  After a particular song was played, the DJ came on and told a story about how he loved that song and that it meant so much to him because his son’s youth group had performed a “phenomenal” black lite presentation to that song at his local church.  hm…

Later in the evening, I was given the opportunity to watch  Harding University’s drama team called Theatron perform several skits with a message.  In one particularly impressive skit, the final message was, “it took us two minutes to write and practice this skit, and it may only stay with you for two minutes – unless you do something about it”.

So since I received the same message twice within two hours, it seemed fitting to share it with you this morning.  We can’t just talk it.  We can’t just say love each other.  We can’t just say, yes I care about people.  We can’t just say I love the Savior Jesus, we have to live it out!  We can’t just sit in our churches and bounce the message off the interior walls.  Live it out today!

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.   James 1:22-24 (New International Version)