Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 To Do List

1. Implement the “Love Dare”
2. Teach Riley to ride his bicycle
3. Add to Deana’s bracelet
4. Spend more time doing photography
5. Complete three seminars and one workshop in DMin work
6. Take a day off each week
7. Make ten personal visits each week
8. Lose 100 pounds
9. Start a quarterly planned preaching method

Monday, December 29, 2008

What an idea!

Sandra Kirk with Fox 16 News in Little Rock just reported that bars in the River Market in Little Rock (and other areas of central Arkansas) are paying Yellow Cab to take drunks home on New Year’s Eve.

Matt Hogue, the general manager of the Flying Saucer, said this is a cheap way to get people home safe. Apparently, he doesn’t intend to get them home sober, though. He also said it was less liability for the bars. Did you hear that? He wants the people to come into his bar, get wasted, then get home safely so he won’t be held responsible.

David Wages with Yellow Cab explained that the ride is free to the drunk, up to $25, but only from participating establishments. With a grin he said that the “patron” gets a safe ride home plus when they wake up in the morning they know where their car is. How do they know? Because the bar put the “patron’s” keys in an envelope and the driver gives it to him when he takes him home. How do they plan to explain the tattoo or the STD or the empty wallet?

Kirk reported that bartenders said they had to wait for cabs last year because so many people were using this service. Anchor Kevin Kelly said it was great that the program is available year-round so people can “take advantage” of it.

What happened to the biblical principle of not being controlled by anything other than the Holy Spirit? What happened to the biblical principle of looking out for others? What has happened to decency?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Picking up after Christmas

That was fast! As I get older the Christmas schedule gets more cluttered and each stop shorter and shorter. Zig Zigler says “love” is spelled “T-I-M-E.” Seems like we’ve lost that. Now it’s time to put away the decorations and take down the two strands of outside lights. The garbage can is stuffed and so am I.

But think about the reason for Christmas. It marks the birth of Jesus; the coming of the Messiah. Before his birth the world was locked in a period of God’s silence. But, from the world’s perspective, things really started to pick up after that first Christmas. Now there was hope and the promise of eternal life.

The winter solstice was just a few days ago, and although we face several weeks of cold and gray days (days I really like, by the way), we know that Spring and new life are on the way. Each day is getting longer and more daylight fills each day. Everything – nature, spiritual realities – is picking up after Christmas.

The first Christmas was the end of nine months of pregnancy for Mary and Joseph. But as any parents know, the birth of their child does not mark the end but the beginning. Seems that now days Christmas marks the end of a holiday season when it should really remind us of the beginning of hope and joy.

For me, things are really picking up after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ice Days

Today is Day 2 of Riley’s days off from school due to the ice storm. Yesterday was understandable because the roads were pretty bad in some out of the way places and the temperature never broke the freezing mark. But today? I don’t get it.

We spoke with a teacher from the district yesterday – in Wal-Mart, the roads weren’t that bad! She said that Friday was the end of the semester and she is trying to get to the end of a teaching unit so they don’t have to carry it over through the Christmas break. She also said that the higher grades were trying to get in their semester tests. Needless to say, one day off (much less, two) is an inconvenience.

Life isn’t always about what is convenient, though. How we react to inconveniences really says a lot about what is within us. Peace and patience should rule the day; but when agitation and complaining characterize our response, we have an inner problem. When Paul said he could do anything through Christ who gave him strength, he was talking about facing the inconveniences or difficulties in life. He knew he could handle it because of Christ within him, not because of any other inner source of strength.

So the ice may cause some inconveniences in your normal routine. That’s OK, you can handle it. Today is a good opportunity to practice the right attitude.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Time

“Nothing says ‘Happy Holidays’ like the smell of turkey coming from the oven.” That’s what she read in the cookbook. “She” is the lady in the movie who is trying to cook Christmas dinner for the first time.


I’m thinking that “Merry Christmas” or “Jesus Loves You” might be better than the smell of a turkey. Seems like we’ve lost track of what is really important. Don’t get me wrong, I love turkey and dressing. I enjoy the holiday food as much as anyone. But can’t we at least give credit where credit is due? Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Life is empty, without direction, and hopeless without Jesus.


Leave off the turkey and what do you get? Chicken, pork, beef. Perhaps just a vegetable plate. But you still can have a holiday meal. Leave off Jesus and what do you get? Everlasting punishment separated from God in a place of eternal suffering called hell.


Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Merry Christmas.