Preparing for impact

SASWe’re traveling quite a bit recently, seeing family and all.  Our children have dispersed globally—if there were reasonably inhabitable colonies on the moon, at least one of my kinder would be there.   Even our nearest kin are out of state.  I told our youngest daughter, (the one currently residing in Scandinavia), that her software engineer husband needs to hurry up with that transporter beam.  Until then, however, it’s the car or the airline.

I’ve flown plenty, but Bob still gives me the window seat.  There’s just that wonderful rush when the plane speeds noisily down the runway, then the cabin gets quiet as the ground just falls away.  I love it. 

Of course, not long after that happens, the flight attendants begin their little demonstration that no one pays attention to, but should.  Instead we go back to staring out the window or reading the magazine in the seat pocket.  I think it’s somewhat comical when they instruct us on how to put on the life jacket under the seat when we’re flying from Missouri to southern Cal…?? Continue reading “Preparing for impact”

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Welcome to Crete

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I have opinions.  Some are strong ones, like Purdue should win the NCAA tournament this year, (just kidding, but that would be nice.)  Some a bit more ambivalent, you know, mashed potatoes with or without gravy, (unless, of course, it’s Thanksgiving.)

And, like everyone else, I also have my own sense of timing.  I’ve come to the opinion that this faculty is a product of both nature and nurture.  I have recently decided there must be a part of the brain that controls one’s awareness of time, and since Bob’s very nurturing family typically ran late, perhaps this furthers my DNA connection.

I also have opinions about how I like to spend my time.  Actually, the word I should italicize is “my”, which, as a Christian, is usually a theological typo.  As obsessive as I can be about getting out the door “on time”, when it comes to God’s plans, I have a tendency to either drag my feet or ring my hands impatiently, both of which waste His time!

Enter one of the intriguing characters of the New Testament, Titus.  In Heaven, I want to talk with this guy; he’s kind of a personal hero of mine.  A non-Jewish convert to the new religion of Christianity, Titus became a trusted friend and faithful co-worker of Paul.  We read of him overseeing financial transactions, going on missionary excursions with the apostle, as well as being sent into a sticky situation in one of the churches in Corinth.

But my personal favorite is his assignment in Crete.  Paul himself writes this to his younger cohort:

“I left you on the island of Crete…”

Wow!  Paul had intentionally chosen Titus for the task—now that’s an impressive project!  Not bad in one’s C.V. for future ministry options; that is, until we read a bit further down the page with Paul’s travel guide description:

“Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, ‘The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.’”

And then, as if to underline that statement, Paul adds: 

“This is true.” 

Great.  Just great.  Not exactly a K-LOVE cruise with your favorite artists.  Even though Titus was himself a Greek, he had been with Paul, a very learned scholar with high standards of moral living.  Perhaps not a good initial fit for the younger man.  Why did Paul leave Titus there?  To complain?  To despair?

“…so you could complete our work there and appoint elders in each town as I instructed you.” 

Titus was not without resources.  He had been instructed, prepared, and now the Holy Spirit was strategically placing him for reasons of His own choosing which, I can only surmise, had to do with Paul’s earlier statement:

“…at just the right time he has revealed this message…”

Not only had God now revealed his reconciling message of Jesus to the world, but the time was right for those “lying and lazy” Cretans to hear it also.  God had been working.  Preparing hearts.  Using circumstances.  Arranging and developing and “calling those things that are not as though they were.”  (I love that one.) 

Thankfully, God is still working.  Preparing hearts and using circumstances.  In loved ones, in the government, in the most unlikely and personally uncomfortable situations and scenarios.  We all have our own “Cretian calling”, (sometimes within our own hearts.)

And God is not obligated to ask me about my opinion or sense of timing. 

Titus 1:12,13, 2  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Find me on page 12

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Billy Graham was probably one of the first evangelists to use that new social media known as television.   I remember watching with a certain sense of awe as hundreds of people left their seats in a huge auditorium, making their way to the stage upon Dr. Graham’s invitation to give their lives over to Jesus Christ, as ‘Just As I Am’ was playing in the background.  Even watching on TV, it was seriously impressive.

Impact: to influence, alter the course of something (or more importantly, someone.)  Yup, that pretty well describes Billy Graham’s ministry.  Funny to think that he touched more lives during his lifetime than Jesus did during His own.  And yet, who had the most impact?

I remember hearing Dr. Graham say (and I paraphrase) that once in Heaven, he expected to pick up the angelic Continue reading “Find me on page 12”