Are You Knocked Down? Run To the Tower! 

Your Place of Safety—The Name of the Lord

I recently traveled to Virginia to see some people I love. I learned something while there—if there is a bridge or highway in Virginia or West Virginia, they will name it after someone.

So, I traveled a succession of “John P. Doe Memorial Highways” and “Alfred E. Neuman Memorial Bridges,” or the “Homer C. Knucklehead Freeways”. And I really wanted to say, “Way to go John! You did well. They named a bridge after you. Hey, Homer my man! Give me five. You too, Al.”

And I really would have admired John or Alfred or Homer if I had known them. I saw their name, but I knew absolutely zilch about them, so I didn’t know if their name was on the bridge because they had saved a hundred of their fellows during a battle, or because the governor of the state is their wife’s brother.

Now if you said, “The Bessie Deloney Memorial Chicken Fry,” there I would have been impressed because Sis Bessie was my grandmother, an unparalleled fryer of chicken. A million thoughts of the person would have flooded back because this woman had a powerful influence on my childhood.

The better you know a person the more her name evokes a reaction in you.

We may know the names of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Mother Teresa, but do we know anything about them (outside of what our favorite media outlet tells us)? But, if we really KNOW a person, their name means something to us.

The Name of the Lord Is Powerful

I struggled for a long time to understand the connection between the Lord and His Name. Continue reading

Two Horrible Wrecks Avoided

A friend of mine, Christophe, had every little boy’s dream job–he drove trains through the beautiful Alsatian region of France.

I say, “dream job,” but I’m not sure that’s what every little boy dreams of doing these days. Judging from my grandkids, they probably dream of killing three-headed monsters in space castles. It’s good work if you can get it.

One night, as Christophe piloted his speeding train through the countryside, the train’s headlight illuminated something on the track ahead. He reacted speedily and halted his fast-moving monster just yards before it ran over a desperate young man who stood on the tracks.

The man had planned his suicide and my friend was to be the unknowing executioner. But, Christophe was awake at his post and his quick reaction saved a man’s life. We hear about engineers impaired by drugs and alcohol who cause wrecks and many people die.

But, one man owes his life to the fact that Christophe was alert and doing his best.

We Owe Our Life

Someone else saved you and me from an eternal train wreck. Continue reading

Victims Forgive a Mass Murderer in the USA

Courage surprises us when we stumble on it unexpectedly. Compassion and love wash over us like a refreshing breeze in August, when we find them where we anticipated searing hate and vengeance.

On October 3, 2006, heavily-armed Charles Carl Roberts, 32, commandeered the one-room Amish schoolhouse at Nickel Mines, a farming community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles west of Philadelphia.

The Amish are descendants of Swiss-German settlers from the Alsace-Lorraine region. Their Christian denomination places importance on the Gospel message of forgiveness. The Amish forbid the use of electricity in their homes, will not drive automobiles or tractors for fieldwork, and follow a strict dress code.

Roberts, who was not Amish, let the boys and adults in the school leave. Some speculate he planned to sexually molest the 10 girls he kept prisoner, but the police arrived too quickly for him to put his plan into action.

He shot all the girls, whose ages ranged from 6 to 13, killing five of them. Then he killed himself. He said he was mad at God, according to the surviving girls. He even asked them to pray for him.

But something astonishing happening before the carnage, according to Rita Rhoads, a midwife. Thirteen-year old Marian Fisher asked the killer to shoot her first, apparently hoping to let the younger girls survive.

Her 11-year old sister Barbie told the story to her grandfather who related it to Rhoads. Barbie appealed to the shooter to shoot her next. The younger sister survived. Continue reading

Try Time Travel For a Powerful Life

God has given humans the ability to travel into the past or a possible future. Our mind flies forward to see things that are going to happen; that friend we are going to see gives us joy even before he arrives. That rendezvous with the grouch- of-the-week makes us tremble, even before it happens.

A real key in a powerful life is to see what God wants to do before we get there. We don’t always know the specifics but we always know God has this future in his hands. Try to see it the way He wants it to be.

If you want to rip all the joy out of life today, imagine all the bad things that can happen in the future. Corrie Ten Boom once said, ““Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

At times the future scares me, because I feel inadequate for what I imagine might happen. I also get excited about the future when I see a ton of good things that might await me. What’s the difference?

Most people say that imaginary things aren’t real, but I’m not one of them. It’s crazy the effect they have on our lives. When I see a bear hiding in the darkness near the road I’m traveling on, I’m scared to death whether there is a bear there are not. I tremble, my heart beats faster, my peace is gone.

The bear may be imaginary, but he’s changed my life.

Time Travelers Sink Millions

Twelve spies traipsed off into the Promised Land. Millions of people had been exploring this Promised Land in their imagination, but they hadn’t been imagining a lot of problems. It’s not wrong to think of future problems. It’s just wrong to think about them and not count on God’s help.

Now the time had come to take hold of their promise. The spies walked through the land, their heads swiveled right and left. “Wow, look at that city! Look at how fertile this land is. But look at how strong those people are. They’re big. They are mean. I feel like a grasshopper standing alongside them.”

And they begin to travel to the future and see themselves stomped into the ground in any battle they might have with these people. Ten of them painted such a negative picture of the future that millions of people began to howl in defeat.

Before one single arrow had been fired!  Continue reading

Revenge On the Password Fairy

Am I the only one who has more passwords than good sense?

Everybody or everything demands a password or a code. And woe be unto you if you’ve forgotten your password. You jump through a labyrinth of hoops to get a new password, which you’ll probably forget just as soon as you get off the site.

And the password fairies turn up their nose at a password you can remember. Ever get a message like this, “Would you like Google to generate a password for you?” zxy93@#314xxxza43ooonb43xx#$.

“Put this password in a safe place where it can’t be stolen. No, idiot, not on your computer. Don’t you know that Russians and Nigerians can send little bugs into your computer which crawl around and steal your password? It could be the end of your life as you know it. Memorize it!”

“Memorize it!” you want shout back at the password fairy. “Do you have any idea of the advanced state of decomposition of my brain? Do you realize that I have nine hundred jillion other passwords in there … somewhere? If I could just remember them.”

If you don’t do it, though, the Russians or the Nigerians will hack your computer and you’ll be sorry. I wonder what it was that the Russians and Nigerians did to make a living before Internet.

Passwords! (Scream, scream, scream).

God Has a Password?

So, suspicious little bells ding when you find this in the Message paraphrase of Psalm 100:4 :

Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’

    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.

    Thank him. Worship him.”

I know Eugene Peterson speaks metaphorically here in his paraphrase of Psalm 100, but not another password please! And to get into God’s presence no less. You know what, though? I think I can remember this password. “Thank you!” Continue reading