The Word That Rocks 2018

Sometimes I ask the Lord for a word for my life for the new year. Some years ago, it was, “thanksgiving.” So, for several months I was intentional about making thanksgiving a big part of my life.

Another time the word was, “trust.”

I wanted to reuse “thanksgiving” for 2018 but the word, “hope,” kept intruding. So “hope” it is for 2018.

We’ve downgraded “hope.” A friend who loves the outdoors says, “I hope I catch some fish today.” But, there’s always a question. I’ve come home from a lot of “hope so” fishing trips muttering to myself, smelling more of fish bait than fish.

But the hope that comes from God is a direct result of faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” You can’t have one without the other.

When I’ve got hope, I do my best. It pulls me forward. When hope flees, all color washes out of my life and I go through the motions.

One day I was visiting a mental hospital in Luxembourg. As I talked with my friend and saw observed other patients, I realized that there was probably less hope per square inch in that place, than anywhere else in the country.

Something snaps when we lose hope.
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14 Questions You Should Have Asked Before You Got Married

So, you’re going to get married?  You mind is made up and no one can talk you out of it? Good.

God says, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22, NLT).  We can truthfully reverse it and say that the woman who finds a husband finds a treasure. I found my treasure 46 years ago.

I smile–most times–when I see two people marry in the Lord. A few times I didn’t smile, but I tried to be optimistic, hoping things would work things out. With the horrible divorce statistics, though, you want to launch into marriage with as many factors on your side as possible. God wants you to enjoy marriage, not endure it.

Someone asked me about preparing to take a life partner. So, I’ve decided to formulate a checklist for those serious about making the right choice for life. I’ve probably forgotten a few things because I was smarter 46 years ago when I started. But, at least I am more seasoned (like a good Thanksgiving turkey).

Consider these things before you say, “I do!” Can you suggest some others?

1-Know a man’s true heart before you give him yours, because after you marry him you will know it. Samegoes for the female side of the equation. “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.” (Proverbs 27:19, NLT).

We drench our first days of knowing each other with so much aftershave and perfume that we really don’t know the person. But, as we talk, interact and watch them live, the real person peeks out from the pretended perfection.

My wife and I became friends with a family who moved to our area many years ago. We shared lots of smiles, jokes and laughter for quite a while. One night, though, he made a comment about a group of people that surprised me. It wasn’t simply prejudiced, but hate-filled. And he said it with passion.

Other very unsavory things popped up in the way he conducted himself towards those of the opposite sex. It took a while, but the real person eventually crawled out of hiding.

2-Yes, appearance is important but it’s not all. Especially at first, we’ll be attracted by the outside but it’s vital to have a relationship that based on factors deeper than good looks.

I’ve noticed my pictures have changed through the years. (Some would say they’ve deteriorated but I pay them no attention. There were the sweet smiles of childhood, attempts to smile like Elvis Presley as a young adult, and the cool and assured smiles of the older adult. Maybe at the end I’ll be smiling the close-mouthed smile of someone with no teeth. I hope not.

The point is, our physical appearance changes. You young people think you’re always going to look like that. I just laugh at you. You know what’s waiting for you? Look at you daddy and mama … and eventually your grandpa and grandma. A bit depressing isn’t it?

Your relation better be more than skin deep because the skin is going to wrinkle and maybe even expand. Continue reading

The Power of Two

So, I was going to amaze you with a story of mules. You know the one about one mule pulling 6000 pounds, but link him with another strong mule and they can pull, not just 12,000 pounds but 18,000 pounds?

Just before amazing you by comparing you to a mule, I decided to verify my facts on Internet, because everyone knows that Internet always tells the truth.

It seems my story about mules was probably about horses, Belgian horses. And it seems my story about Belgian horses pulling much more together was, “Bah! Humbug!” According to the Internet horsy experts, my mule story probably isn’t true, even if the mules were horses.

After that, a normal person would hang them up and say, “See you next week.” I’ve seldom been accused of being a normal person, though.

I have a theory and even though I have no mules to back it up. Here it is: In a relationship between two human beings, who work together in love and appreciation, their abilities aren’t simply added one to the other. They are multiplied.

Two Or Three Get It Done

Two Christians praying together find the power of their prayers multiplied. God visits them in a special way. “But, David,” you whimper, “I thought God was everywhere.” He is everywhere, but He’s not everywhere the same way. Continue reading

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