Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time Marches On....

Dear Readers,

The clock keeps ticking. The days on the calendar keep turning over. Change keeps happening.

The hit country song “Time Marches On” by Tracy Lawrence talks about difficult things that happen to a family as time marches on. The family starts out with fairly innocent beginnings. As the years march by the family winds down a path of separation and heartache.

“Sister cries out from her baby bed; 

Brother runs in feathers on his head. 
Mamma’s in her room learning how to sew; 
Daddy’s drinking beer, listening to the radio.

Mamma is depressed, barely makes a sound; 

Daddy’s got a girlfriend in another town. 
Bob Dylan sings “Like a Rolling Stone”; 
And time marches on, time marches on.”

The last verse:
“Sister calls herself a sexy grandma;
Brother’s on a diet for high cholesterol.
Mamma’s out of touch with reality;
Daddy’s in the ground beneath the maple tree.
As the angels sing an old Hank Williams song;
Time marches on, time marches on.”

As I journey toward being sixty years old I am ever closer to my inevitable end. I am not trying to be morbid, but realistic. With my Dad and Mom’s families I had nineteen immediate relatives. Of these nineteen only three remain living. 

I firmly believe that most of my family members had hope from a source that Tracy Lawrence left out of his song. I also firmly believe that I will see most of them again in the future. I also want to fervently pray for the generation remaining and the generations to come that they have hope and joy… “As Time Marches On”.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

See you next time,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Look! Up In The Sky!

"Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

"Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman!"

Dear Readers,

Many remember the famous intro to the Superman television show. Every Saturday morning sandwiched between Sky King and Roy Rogers was the dream of almost every boy…Superman. My brother and I pinned capes (blankets or sheets) around our necks and “flew” to the rescue of people in distress.

During our monthly shopping trip to Millersburg, Ohio, the Holmes County seat, we occasionally entered Dewitt Drugstore where my brother and I went like magnets to the comic book section. We would try to scrape together the needed 12 cents to get a written and colorful dose of our favorite hero. We were little boys oblivious to our Amish and Mennonite heritage of peace and non-resistance.

As children we did not analyze too much whether Superman was real or make believe. We were drawn to his exploits of heroism and the ways he used to counteract evil.

Do we need superheroes today? Do we have the zest of a young boy or girl to pin on our capes to “save the day” from the likes of the dastardly Lex Luther who used green kryptonite to render Superman powerless?

And are we like the citizens on the streets of Metropolis who eagerly point to the sky to the real Superhero who is flying to the rescue?

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire;…. Jude 22, 23 (NIV)

See you next time,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where Does It Come From...Where Does It Go?

Dear Readers,

This morning I felt a deep and meaningful presence of the Holy Spirit. I was at home in my basement, not in church. I was by myself, not with other people. I do not often feel His presence as I did this morning, in fact I can probably count the number on two hands when I have experienced Him so strongly. Which begs the question, “Where does the Holy Spirit come from, secondly where does it go, and lastly why don’t I feel Him more often?”

I am not an expert in theology to excavate the depths of the scriptures to discover the answers. Also, I am not a scientist to lay everything out on the table and by use of repeated experimentation hypothesize a formulary.

I would label myself an “experiential person”. Answers to questions do not come very easily to me. I basically experience feelings. If the feelings are good I want them to come more frequently. If they are bad I pray for them to stay away.

The scriptures do reveal, however, some insight into my questions, although I will never fully understand it. John 3:5-8 (NKJV) quotes Jesus in a conversation with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I say to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I understand that I cannot somehow conjure up the feeling that I had this morning, and I cannot just wish it upon others. The only thing I can do is apply another scripture found in James 5:16. It states that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (NKJV) All I know to do is to pray fervently to the Lord that he sends the wind of His Holy Spirit to me on a more frequent basis, and especially for Him to send it to my family members and friends that do not know His wonderful love.

See you next time,