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Saturday, October 20, 2007

God Is Not Like Your Uncle Ernie

Uncle Ernie worked for the railroad for over forty years. He could tell stories of his glory days when he did things that saved many disasters. The railroad was eternally indebted to Uncle Ernie. The railroad gave him a gold watch and nice retirement.

Uncle Ernie and Aunt Martha lived frugally. She took ten percent of each of her husband's paychecks and invested it. By the time Uncle Ernie died they were millionaires. That did not change anything about the way they lived.

A couple of years ago Aunt Martha died. It broke Uncle Ernie's heart. It seemed that the only thing that mattered to Uncle Ernie was family. Of course, Uncle Ernies wealth kept the family coming over. Now, Uncle Ernie can't seem to take care of himself so he is in a nursing home. The family still visits.

Each family member thinks that there is a good chance that Uncle Ernie will make him rich if he continues to visit. Each family member hopes that Uncle Ernie will give him something everytime he visits the nursing home. They all believe that Uncle Ernie has no use for all that money and each of them believes he can make better use of it. So, they visit and hope that Uncle Ernie will give them something for their troubles.

Uncle Ernie knows why they have come. He is truly glad to see them. He actually does give them a little of his money at times. It isn't regular. This way they keep coming and Uncle Ernie only has to give them something some of the time.

The family has made it clear. Uncle Ernie lives for them.

Some of Christianity has become like this. We go to church to see our Nursing Home God. He is so glad to see us that some of the time He gives us what we want. We all hope that He will make us rich someday. We tell the story to others. He has so much and He just wants to give it away. If we just believe and keep coming our ship will come in. God will give us more than we can imagine. He doesn't expect us to confess or have true hearts that please Him--O, No we can't even mention that when we meet! He really lives for us; certainly not us for Him.

So books are sold and huge churches are filled with this message of the Nursing Home God. He has had some really great stories to tell in His past but now His only power is to give away everything that He has.

Does this seem really shallow to you? Do you not think that God expects us to become conformed to the image of His Son? Don't you think that means there will be times when our devotion to Him will force us to look at our sins and see how horrible they really are?

No, I don't think God is like your Uncle Ernie.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Did You Hear What They Said?

The infomercial was telling of another amazing invention. They were selling a razor that would never get dull, would never need to be replaced; it was the last razor that you will ever have to buy. It also came at an amazing price but if you would order right now you could get two of these razors!

Think about it. If it never gets dull, never needs to be replaced and it is the last razor you will ever have to buy--why do you need two? Yes, you could use one for travel- but why not just pack the one you have? Yes, you could give one away--oh, come on, who gives one of those double bladed razors as a gift? The only real reason people would buy two is to replace the first one.

Why is it that people want to believe in a pancea for all things that could go wrong? People want razors that never wear out, knives that never get dull (Yes, I bought the Ginsu years ago.), Dust cloths that last forever, etc.

Why do we buy the books that say that there are remedies that others don't want us to know about? Why do we buy these natural miracle herbs which will make us lose weight, grow hair and take the wrinkles out of our faces? Why don't we read the disclaimers that are on the infomercials: "These results are not typical" "The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these claims" "Results vary" Do we really believe there is a vast conspiracy to keep us from living healthy lives?

Most discoveries in medicine or science are not made in someone's garage. Most of the things people take which are an easy way to get what they want don't work. Eating right and exercise will do more to make you healthy than most of the supplements being sold.

Its all down to what put inside yourself and how you work those things out that make a difference. I heard one guy say that there was a pill that would help you sleep better, increase your energy level, control your blood pressure, increase your red blood cells, help your respiration, help you get to the ideal body weight and improve your looks. The only problem was that this pill had to be taken every day and it took THIRTY MINUTES TO SWALLOW IT! The pill is called exercise.

Most of the things in life worth having are worth fighting for. There is no "last one you will ever need" or any other panacea for the ills in your life. You want a good marriage- you will have to fight for it. If you want a good bank account- you will have to fight for it. If you want a good walk with the Lord- you will have to fight for it.

The next time you hear an infomercial make sure you check it out. Make sure you listen to what they have said.

I heard one person say that their success was due to luck. "Yes," they said, "pure luck. I have found the harder I work; the luckier I get."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Do All Dogs Go to Heaven?

We have a Jack Russell Terrier. (Several of you are nodding at this point and already know what I am about to say.) Her name is Jackie. She is the most loving dog we have ever owned--though I use the word "owned" loosely. No one owns this dog. She is her own person.

Once we had a ham which was pushed back in our freezer until we forgot about it. We found the ham when we cleaned out the freezer. My wife simply threw it in the trash. We left the house with the ham in the trash and the dog in the house. Upon returning the trash was strewn all over the house. Jackie's punishment for getting in the trash is having to stay outside. She was waiting by the door in acticipation of her banishment. We put her out and picked up all the trash but forgot about the ham.

That night we let her back into the house and she went to sleep in the rocker recliner next to our bed right after we went to bed. About thirty minutes after we went to bed I heard the recliner squeek as it does when Jackie gets either into or out of it. About thirty minutes later I hear it squeek again. Then, every hour later the same sequence of events occurs.

When we got up Jackie is desperate for water. We filled her bowl twice and she drank it as fast as she could. On the way out of the bedroom my wife tripped over the ham bone. Jackie had eaten the entire ham overnight. We put the whole crime together from the evidence.

After finding the ham Jackie ate as much as she could while we were gone. She made sure that she had hidden the ham in our bedroom before we got home. She did not touch the ham as long as we were home and awake but had every intention of having snacks all night as soon as we went to bed. She waited until she thought we were asleep before she got up and ate as much as she could. Then, she would take a little nap in between snacks so that she could eat more. This ham made her incredibly thirsty since one bowl of water would not slake her thirst.

This nefarious crime was premeditated. It was not a crime of passion but one in which she carefully thought out her actions. She took her punishment for getting into the trash knowing we would forget about the ham since she had taken everything out of the trash can, scattered it to the maximum limit of the house and hung her head like she was really sorry for her crime just before we put her outside. She cleverly deceived us.

I think Beagles will probably go to heaven. We had a Beagle and she was one of the sweetest dogs you could ever own. I think sheep dogs will go. They work hard for their keep. However, I don't think we will find any Jack Russell Terriers in heaven--at least not Jackie!

What do you think?