Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gymnastics Is Not My Gift

My oldest daughter is a gymnastics nut. She has been active in gymnastics since age two. As she got better, she started competing in gymnastics. In Indiana, she placed in many meets and her first year in Michigan, she was 6th at the state meet in her age group on beam. She works hard to be the best she can be. She has a gift in gymnastics. Now I can do a cartwheel and a summersault, but ask me to do what they do and you would get a good laugh. Gymanstics is not my gift.

We have all been blessed with gifts. Some people have the gift of teaching. Some have the gift of music. Some have the gift of sharing, caring, praying, listening, reading, etc. Each person has a gift from God in a certain area and each gift is vital to the kingdom of God. There is no such thing as a small gift, if used for God's glory. We can volunteer to help clean a house. We can sing songs. We can lead children in sunday school. We can...you fill in the blank. Your gift can benefit the kingdom of God. All you have to do is use it. I'm not strong in many areas, so I use what God has given me to be a witness for Him. You can do this also. Use your gift for God's glory. It might be a kind smile, a small hug, a simple prayer, but that gift, when used to build up His kingdom, is powerful.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Most people know that I am wired up for worship services. I have a wireless mic and a set of wireless ear buds. The ear buds give me a more precise sound of all the instruments and vocalists. But not everything with the wireless systems works the way I would like it. You see, technology is way ahead of my system. Many cell phones now are connected to the Internet or have these fancy personal computers in them. During church, I hear or know when people are receiving text messages, voice mails or looking at their emails. How do I know, my ear buds go out or I hear in the ear buds, people faintly talking or static as the phone rings or text message comes in. It interferes with my system causing, at times, it to completely stop all sound coming to me through my ear buds. I have to pull a bud from an ear in order to hear and refocus on what is happening musically around me.

There are so many things that completely interferes with us listening to our Lord. We come to church. We sit, we stand, we sing, we participate in everything we are asked to do, but the message is never heard. We might be thinking of work or what we are doing after church. Sometimes we might be focusing on past events or the excitement or worry of something upcoming. Things cause interference in our lives and we can't hear the message from our Lord. There are many times I catch myself in this. Many times it is because I'm thinking of the timing needed for the next song or remembering the chord progressions. It causes interference with me hearing the Word. When that happens, I have to stop and refocus on what is going on. I have to refocus on the Word. We need to work on putting all the things that interfere with worship aside so the message, the Word, the desires of our Lord, will be our focus. The interference from the phones, pda's, blackberry, etc could easily be prevented. With a little work we all could put aside our personal interferences from the Word of God.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Always Remember

The pain and suffering of giving something up during Lent is over. At least, that is what one person said. I know people who gave up certain drinks, certain foods, certain words, certain items. Now that Lent is over, they were excited to partake in those things again. That "pain" and "suffering" is now over for them.

True, the tradition of giving something up for Lent is now over. The suffering of living without something is now done. But as I shared with one person, shouldn't we be remembering the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior daily? The Lenten season might be done on the calander, but it should never be done in our hearts. Each day is an opportunity to share and to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Each day gives us a chance to rejoice in our salvation. Each day gives us the joy knowing that our sins are forgiven. Each day, each time we confess our sins, each time we take the Lord's Supper, we are celebrating Lent and Easter over again. To give something up for Lent is fine, if it is something you do, but never stop refecting on the purpose of Christ death and resurrection.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Last week, I flew back from Florida so I was ready for Palm Sunday weekend. As I boarded my connection in Atlanta, the flight attendant got on the intercom. Her voice was very stern and almost in a derogatory way, reminded all of the passengers that we needed to sit down and buckle up because we were on an airplane. She didn't leave it at that, she said it three times. Each time reminding us that we were on an airplane. To tell us that we were on an airplane was a reminder that we really didn't need to hear.

God reminds us every day of who He is. As I'm typing this, I look outside and see snow falling in April. While we were on the airplane waiting for our turn to take off, a heavy downpour came and you couldn't see the tip of the wing. Sometimes it's the sun shining, a certain song playing on the radio, a bible passage coming to mind. All these things are reminders of who God is and His awesome power. Sometimes we take so much for granted that God gives us an obvious reminder, like the flight attendant's reminder that we were in an airplane. Other times, the reminders aren't so obvious and it takes time for us to realize what God is telling us. As we celebrate Easter, God is once again reminding of His victory over death and the devil. We need to refocus hearts and minds on what Easter is truly about. Reminders from God are everywhere. He is telling us that He is here with us. Our part is to look, listen, and focus on Him.