Saturday, December 5, 2009

Electric Power Backup

In the last three years that we have lived in this house the Electric Power has been out about a dozen times. Most outages have been short term as in less than a day but four of them have been four to eight days long. That is too much! A very kind lady across the stree lets us run our 100 foot extension cord across the street to power our freezer and refrigerator. The only thing about that is she has also been with out power some of the time.
During the Ice storm’s eight day outage last January we decided that a better backup source was needed. Small portable gasoline generators don’t do enough and are dangerous. The also get stolen and you can not run them in the house or garage and be safe from carbon monoxide gas. Refilling the gas tank every few hours is a pain and you need to let it cool off first or risk an explosion or fire.
Cross Bones
All year I have been searching for an automatic whole house generator powered by natural gas. Most were too expensive and in the range of $15,000. But Lowes to the rescue this week they had a sale to an affordable price and I have one on order. Yea no worries this winter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Moving Force

She was a long time member of the church I served and I was the last person in her nursing home room after they took her body to the funeral home. I stood there staring at the empty bed. The rude truth strikes me that this woman who was so powerful in the congregation was gone. She had been a moving force in the church and a woman of both a great faith and a great love. Even from her nursing home bed her influence had been felt through out the church.
Enduring the pain of bone cancer she always radiated joy to her visitors and prayed with them before they left her room. She had a saying that was repeated over and over by the women of the church for years after her death:
“When you are at your wits end and have used up all of your resources remember that God will pull you through. Life is not about self-reliance but about but about turning your challenges into opportunities to serve God.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009


As I read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians it is clear that Paul expected the second coming of Christ soon, as in his life time. He praised the Christians in Thessalonica for their deed of love while waiting for Jesus to return. There was an expectation of it could happen at any moment. Paul reminded them that the return of Jesus would happen like a thief in the night - that is without warning.
Christians have been waiting in expectation for almost two thousand years. Still we wait, we serve Christ and pray Come Lord Jesus come!  During this season of Advent we celebrate the first coming of Jesus as a babe in Bethlehem we are reminded that still we live in the expectation of His second coming.
He is coming SOON!!!! What ever that means in God’s time. God who live in eternity soon is a relative term. For us it is at any moment and we must always be ready. Enjoy this Advent season in Expectation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Book of Esther

Like the Book of Ruth the story of Ester has all the drama of life plus the intrigue of the Royal Court of Persia.
Esther is a young Jewish girl who is an orphan being raised by her uncle in the foreign land of Persia. A sad state of affairs to say the least.
At the court the King throws a seven day drunken party and in the process his number one queen makes him real mad and he demotes her. To select a new queen he holds a Miss Persia beauty contest to find the most beautiful virgin in the empire.
Esther wins the contest and is made Queen of Persia. Happy Days are here.Flowers

DRAMA: The evil advisor to the King tries to have all the Jews in Persia killed. More sad days for Esther’s people. Esther’s uncle asker her to help and she does. The story of how she turns things upside down for the evil advisor is well worth reading. It is a wonderful story.
Cloud Nine

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bible Stories

The Bible is full of truly wonderful stories that have drama, disasters, love and even some happy endings.
One of the most beautiful stories in the Bibles is the account of Ruth. - Read the Book of Ruth - This story  has it all. Naomi and her husband and two sons are forced to leave their home because of drought. The moved to nearby Moab where living is easy. Her two sons meed and marry local girls - happy days.
Cloud Nine
Happiness does not last for long. Death takes Naomi’s husband and both sons - sad days.
She sends both daughter-in-laws back to their families but Ruth will not leave her. - Both widows go back to Naomi’s home in Judah. Ruth’s loyalty and service to Naomi is noticed and rewarded when she marries one of Naomi’s kinsmen Boaz. This Moabite woman becomes the grandmother of King David.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weak Faith

A few days ago I was talking with a man about the Bible and talked about the process for choosing which books went into the Bible we have now. He almost put his fingers in his ears! He actually said to me; “God gave us the Bible exactly as it is in the King James Authorized Bible. How can you preach the Word of God if you don’t believe that?” He did not want to hear anything else. His faith is so weak that change in his preconceptions would shatter it.
It is scandalous for Christians if we remain content about our own ignorance and understanding of the Bible. This includes the history of how the Bible came to us and the movement of people in the Holy Land. The more I learn and understand about the scriptures the more powerful they become for me. This even includes all the human frailties the produced it. We must understand that God did not dictate word for word the Bible we have today.
To accept what that man believes about the Bible is to make an idol out of the book.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday In Advent

Today is the First Sunday in Advent and I have been meditating on the meaning of that word. Mathew, Mark, and Luke describe the birth of Jesus as a human boy. John tells us about the ADVENT of God coming to live with us.

I have been enchanted by the power of words since I learned how to read. When I learned in English class how to diagram a sentence and name its parts, nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, I was enamored by the various uses of words. Though in some ways I was like the boy when asked by the teacher, “What is a synonym?” he replied, “It’s a word you use in place of another when you can’t spell the first one.”

The English translation of the Gospel according to John says, “the WORD became flesh.” This is so much more than “W-O-R-D” it is an expression of power. While it is an accurate translation it does not quite bring to us all of the power of the original Greek text. What is translated as “Word” in English is “Logos” in Greek and carries a lot more information.

Logos is normally used to denote the command of a king to his people. It carries the weight of authority and it must be obeyed. Of all the Greek words John could have used Logos caries the very essence of active power and energy. It was the creative power of the first chapter of Genesis.

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.4And God saw that the light was good;

The Logos of God was present in the act of creation as by the power of the spoken word creation happened. It is no accident that the Gospel according to John begins the same way as Genesis “In the Beginning.” John intended for that very idea to be expressed. According to John the Logos of God went forth and created EVERYTHING.

Compare John with the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. They are so simple that we are almost bored to death by the begets. Joseph the son of Heli, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi and so on and so on until we get lost. In the Gospel according to John the genealogy is very simple, Jesus son of God. What could be clearer than that?

Now we listen closely to John and hear “The logos became flesh and lived among us.” He was with God, he was of God and he was God. How do we grasp that idea? The Logos placed himself in the midst of our human condition and we were never the same again.
The LOGOS was God, here is an identity of unity as one with the creator of all things. This is an expression of an idea of the uniqueness of the eternal. As Christians we get a view here of the idea of the unity of one God doing different things. The Word created and we refer to those actions as God the Father or creator. The Word is also becoming flesh and we refer to God as the Christ. The Word as the light of all people is moving among us as our guide and we refer to God as the Holy Spirit.