Thursday, July 30, 2015

When Life Throws You a Curve

I always wanted to know how to pitch a curve ball. Unfortunately, in the Little League where I played, the curve ball was an illegal pitch. No matter - I had enough trouble just getting the ball over the plate. Actually, in Little League, I had trouble getting the ball to the plate. As a pitcher, I was a very good right fielder.

We quickly learn that life is not Little League. Sometimes, it seems like life is pitching us curve balls every day. When life throws you a curve, when things don't work out the way you planned, when disaster strikes, what do you do? This week's message focus's on what a man named Naaman learned about handling life's curve balls (2 Kings 5:1-15).

Hope to see you Sunday!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lunch Box

I went through several lunch boxes in my day. I had a red and black checked lunch box that looked like a miniature checkerboard. I stuck Chiquita Banana stickers on all the black boxes until I had covered the entire lunchbox. It was great - until my mom threw the lunch box away.

Then I had a Beverly Hillbillies lunch box with a photo of the Clampett truck that now resides down at the College of the Ozarks. The lunch boxes are currently selling for $175 to $250 on Ebay. Unfortunately, my mom threw that one away, too.

For the rest of my academic career, I had brown paper bags. That way, I could throw them away, and save my mom the trouble. The good news is, mom always packed a great lunch. I had exactly what I needed to get me through the day - a peanut butter sandwich, a bag of chips, and a banana with a sticker just the right size for the squares on my first lunch box (as well as a great hat for Ellie Mae in the Clampett truck).

This week's message describes a story from the life of Elisha (2 Kings 4:1-7) that demonstrates why we don't have to worry - we serve a God who has everything that we need.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dad's Boots

I remember the day my dad let me borrow his boots. After finishing a golf tournament I was wearing golf shoes with metal spikes, but needed to go to an awards dinner. My dad had his boots in the trunk, so he let me borrow them. I was in the eighth grade. My feet were in the twelfth grade. I looked like a pencil wearing swim fins. On this particular day, however, big feet were an advantage. Dad's boots actually fit. Even though my award was basically only a participation medal, at least I could walk up to the podium in style.

This week's message is from 2 Kings 2, the account of Elisha taking up the mantle of Elijah. It was more than just a coat. Elisha was stepping into the ministry of proclaiming the word of God to His people. The question for us is, are we ready to take up the mantle?

Hope to see you Sunday!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lessons from the forecast

I listened to the weather forecast and groaned....there it was again....rain, flooding, saturated. The radar map was once again bright colors of red and yellow, with more moving our way, they said. I thought of our yard, which may soon need a sickle for me to keep up, I see my flowers bent over from another soaking, and I ponder the errands I must run in the pouring rain.

And then.....I hear the birds chirping....I see the most beautiful cardinal hoping around, collecting the wonderful worms the rain has caused to surface. I see the hummingbird going from flower to flower because that's what he was created to do. I doubt that either the cardinal nor the hummingbird complained before they started out about how their beautiful wings would get all wet or their feet would get muddy. And last, it occurred to me....didn't the forecaster also mention highs in the 70's instead of the 90's? What a blessing THAT is!

I bowed my head in humility. How many times when the rains of life come, such as sickness, conflict, or even just the inconveniences and interruptions that come up, do I groan and think, "not AGAIN!" I complain that it interferes with my plans, that it's 'unfair' or question. Instead, I should be thinking of all the blessings that come out of rain...friends who comfort, growth (if I allow it), and most of all, a God who faithfully PROMISES He will be right there with me and will provide peace that passes understanding. I should still sing because of the Hope I have, and I should keep moving...just like the hummingbird....just like I was created to do.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Celebration Xray

This weekend includes a celebration of the beginning of our nation, which includes outdoor cookouts, swatting mosquitoes and watching fireworks light up the night sky.

It will also include the annual Fourth of July trip to the emergency room. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 230 people per day go to the emergency room with fireworks related injuries during the days surrounding July 4. A few of the statistics: 74% of the injuries are suffered by males (no surprise there), 41% are to people over the age of 25 (shouldn't they know better than to try to relight that roman candle?), and 20% of the injuries are caused by firecrackers, followed closely (19%) by sparklers.

2 Kings 1 describes an injury by lattice work. King Ahaziah of Israel fell through one (perhaps while lighting his last bottle rocket). What he does after his injury is a lesson to all reminding us to focus on the one true God.

Hope to see you Sunday!


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