Grow  UP!

I understand that change is inevitable (Sigh) and progress is necessary but it seems to me that changes are happening at a phenomenal speed. Some changes are good. Medical technology is becoming so advanced it is a challenge for doctors to keep pace. Our automobiles have technology that was only dreamed about 20-25 years ago. My granddaughter was riding in my Chevrolet El Camino (If you don’t know what that is, ask your grandfather) and she could not figure out how to lower her window because she never saw a car that you had to “manually” lower it.

But there are some changes that do disturb me. My greatest concern is we are not properly preparing our children for adulthood. That became glaringly true during our current Presidental election. Some people were greatly disappointed, devasted, and downright angry, so they protested, rioted, and we “helped” them cope by creating ‘cry rooms.’ 

When I heard that, I instantly remembered Tom Hanks saying in the movie, A League of Their Own, “There isn’t any crying in baseball!” He was saying to his all woman team when things do not go well, (as the kids say) suck it up and go on.

Schools are failing our children by not allowing them to compete in sports. To keep children from being damaged emotionally, they give everyone a trophy! There are no winners! But how does that work in the adult world when they are disappointed and did not get the job they applied for? Or someone gets the promotion. Or the candidate they voted for did not win! 

The reality is life is filled with disappointments. “Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it. 2 Timothy 3:12 MSG We cannot blame our children for reacting the way they do because we have not prepared them for the future.

Someone said; “The surest way to make life hard for your children is to make it soft for them.”

We Were There

When I was a boy, my mother bought me a series of books. They we called “We Were There.” They were stories based on historical events as though you were personally part of the story. That probably contributed greatly to my love of history.

I have often wondered what it would have been like to personally experience the events recorded in Scripture. I think we have a tendency to view Biblical characters as totally foreign to modern man. But the fact remains that man has basically been the same through the ages. Solomon wrote, “Everything that happens has happened before; nothing is new, nothing under the sun.”

So figurately, the characters involved in the Nativity basically represents mankind of all ages. There were three groups of people, of the three groups, you will find you were there.

Group One: True Worshippers; the Magi. This group recognizes who Jesus Christ is and worships Him. 

Group Two: The Indifferent; Chief Priests and teachers of the Law. These learned men knew all the Scriptures concerning the coming of the Messiah and yet they totally ignored the most important event of history. This group represents the majority of people today; they knew all about Jesus but they are indifferent. They are not against Him but they do not see how Jesus can make a difference in their lives.

Group Three: The Hostile; Herod. The Roman Senate had given Herod the title King of the Jews since he was part Jewish but when Herod heard there was another King; he sought to kill Him. You do not have to look far to find those who oppose Jesus: Radical Moslems, the Human Rights Campaign, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the list goes on. The Washington Times has identified 200 ‘openly bigoted’ anti-Christian groups.

So the question is which group represents you? If you were there, which group would you identify with?

Prayer “Triggers”

One of the greatest aspects of Christianity is prayer. If you have been a Christ-follower for any amount of time, you know how important it is to have a consistent prayer life. True prayer can sometimes be a challenge. That is why it is called a Christian “discipline.”

I firmly agree that every Christ-follower needs to have a time set apart for personal prayer. But I also believe that prayer needs to be a natural part of our daily lives. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “pray continually” but how is that done?

Bill Hybels, author of Too Busy Not to Pray, suggests a way make prayer a part of our daily routine. For example, when you shower, allow it be a “trigger” to pray for cleansing and purity in your life. If you take medication on a regular basis, allow that to be a “trigger” to pray for good health and healing for you and others. Don’t just read or listen to the news, allow it to become your prayer list. Pray for people that are hurting and facing tragedy. When you see an automobile accident or an ambulance rushing to help a needy person, pray for those involved.   When you get a glass of pure, clean water, pray for those who do not have access to clean water.

The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.  Start today, making your own prayer “triggers.”