What Makes You Say, “All Right!”?

According to the BBC, archaeologists excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in



Cambridgeshire, England have discovered the skeleton of a woman buried with a cow, a “genuinely bizarre” find, according to them. It’s not that strange to find a man buried with a horse, evidently, but a woman buried with a cow is unusual.

I guess so. It would even be bizarre to bury a woman with a cow in 2013.

What really caught my attention, though, is the comment that the co-director of the excavation, Dr Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire made, “The cow burial is unique in Europe which makes this an incredibly exciting and important find … I don’t think I’ll find anything as significant as this again in my lifetime.” Continue reading

Is This a Passion—or Indigestion?

singerOur mantra today is, “Do what you’re passionate about! Don’t waste your time doing what you don’t care for. Go for what’s burning inside.”

And I say, “Ummm, maybe.” Let me tell you a story.
When I was growing up there was a fellow in our church who wanted to sing. He dreamed of singing for the church. Only thing is, there were crows whose voices were more pleasant than his.

But, he was so passionate that he took singing lessons. And I had to admit, he improved. He improved from being a terrible singer to being a bad singer. Continue reading

How To Put Real Excitement In Your Life!

Sometimes everyday life seems monotone. That’s why television and video games grew so popular. They’re an escape hatch from reality.

The young man gripped his sword as perspiration popped out in beads on his forehead. He’d never seen a monster like this one.

Fear never stopped him, though, and with a mighty howl of battle, he leaped towards the drooling fiend.

“Jimmy put that thing up and do your homework!” yelled his mom from the other room. Continue reading

The Little Bird and the Easy Chair

The bird twittered and fussed as he pushed and pulled on the big, new easy chair maneuvering it into the exact sport he wanted in front of his big-screen television. He wanted to see the programs perfectly over BBC (Bird Broadcasting Company).

Back in the closet waited the latest worm catching devices. He had laid aside tens of thousands of worms in the freezer plus an interesting assortment of frozen grasshoppers, crickets, and butterflies. He had plenty to eat for the long haul.

He constantly made tiny improvements on his nest—in fact that was about all he did other than watch television and fish for worms.

Let the younger birds fight for the insects. Let them feed the young and keep watch for hawks. He’d done his part. He was tired. The old feathers were dusty. Plus he just didn’t feel like the younger birds thought he could do it anymore.

Yet, at times as he yawned before his television, zapping from one channel to the next, he couldn’t help think, “This is for the birds! There’s got to be more to life than this.” He looked around and saw needs and felt like he should get involved but … oouf! Today, he was going to try out his new worm bait.

And the wife wanted him to change the wallpaper in the spare bedroom. That one had plastered the wall for two years now. And then? Humph, he guessed he’d watch, “As the Birds Twitter,” on TV that afternoon and “Saving Sergeant Redbird” was on that night.

Feathering the Nest

The young man or woman has a tendency to think he can’t do it because he’s never done it and he might fail. The old man has done it but he’s not sure if he wants to do it anymore. Or he never was able to do it, so he’s just given up and accepted life like it is.

That old nest sure is attractive. Nestle down into that easy chair with a good cup of coffee, turn your brain off and let life go on without you.

I’m not especially talking about retirement. A lot of people work forty hours a week, but spiritually and emotionally they’ve hunkered down in an easy chair.

Those possessed by fear shrink towards security. That armchair is out of the wind and rain. No danger. The problem is that the biggest part of life for the Lord, if we accomplish anything anyway, exposes us to the elements. Storms strike us. You do nothing spiritually unless there’s a need for faith somewhere. Otherwise, you’re just doing what you can do—not what you and God can do.

Those obsessed by laziness and self-indulgence relax into comfort. Tweak the nest … latest gadgets for happiness… etc. It’s sure the will of God isn’t comfortable and it will cost you something. But can’t I retreat to the nest after a life of battle?

If all you desire is to munch worms, avoid problems, and enjoy yourself I guess you can. That’s what life is all about isn’t it? Isn’t it?

Lack of confidence pushes us into hiding. “I’m not sure I can do it” then later, “I don’t know if I can do it anymore.” So … easy chair here I come.

You know, I’ve been bothered by the fact that David killed a giant when he was perhaps 17 years old, but was almost killed by a giant himself when he was an old man (2 Kings 21:15-17). Fortunately, he had inspired a generation of giant killers and one of them came to his aide and toppled the monster.

But if David could trust God to help him be successful when he was a teenager, why couldn’t he trust Him when he had his AARP card in his back pocket?

God made us to function at our best when we’re doing his will, killing giants and taking mountains, not when we’re vegetating through the fourteenth rerun of Andy of Mayberry (good show by the way).

Eight-five year old Caleb saw the fire of his eyes reflected in Joshua’s eyes when he boldly challenged, “Give me this mountain!” Probably the others around him said, “Yeah, let him have it. It’s full of giants.”

Caleb knew the secret, though. The old fellow never got comfortable in his easy chair, but the giants never got comfortable when he was around either.

My dad was like that. He kept busy for the Lord right up until his death at the age of 77. He visited people and encouraged them and invited them to church each week. He had a nursing home service each Sunday morning for about 14 years, up until two or three weeks of his death.

And yes, he was a bit slower and had to rest a bit more. He did quite a bit of snoring in his easy chair and he enjoyed life; but he never left the battle.

Someone remarked at his funeral, “If you looked up the word, “faithful”, in the dictionary, Francis Porter’s picture would be next to the definition. That’s probably why the church was full for the Tuesday afternoon burial of an old man who was no one special to most people.

His easy chair time was balanced with battle time right up until the end.

Is your chair worn out, or is it your sword that’s getting worn?

“We’re not going to win the lost talking about the glories of yesterday. Let’s write a story these next few years that will cause the old timers in future times to talk about us!”

The Thrill is Gone

Once I had an invitation to help a friend preach in a ski camp in the French Alps. It was tough but someone had to do it. I was Alice in Wonderland. We had actually lived in the Alps during our tenure in language school years before but that was different. it’s hard to enjoy beauty when you’re being tortured daily.

I’m not crazy about skiing because I’m very attached to all my bones and I only want to get them broken for worthwhile causes. So during our free time we walked, breathed (which is a joy when the air is so pure), and visited the region. There was a field for parachuting and skydiving nearby and we watched the French national skydiving team do things that seemed against the laws of gravity.

There’s something about the mountains that touches you in the deepest part of your being, as if being so near their roots brings you near a mystery of life. High up, the snow burned us with it’s frostiness. Deep shades of blue, green, white, and winter brown were laid out on in perfect proportions on the tableau.

The next year we went back again and though some of the thrill was gone, it was still powerful.

The last time I went, I didn’t even “feel” the mountains that much. I had problems and those visions crowded out the ice cream covered peaks.. The new had worn off. I remember thinking, “Boy if this doesn’t move you anymore something is wrong.”

I guess beauty and wonder reside in the heart of the person looking at the thing as much as it does in the thing itself. If I want to see beauty I need to have a state of heart and mind, that can see it.

Sometimes I have a flash and I remember how something moved me when I was child, back when I saw the thing for one of the first times. A sunrise whispering hope, the optimistic song of the mockingbird, the blue of the sky during a cold spell, the whisper of the wind in the pines when a cold November wind blows through—all this touches the deep wells of the person who can see it.

Every once in a while I still feel it, but the vision flees as quickly as it came. Maybe that’s what heaven will be like—we’ll be “stuck” on eternal newness. Can you imagine how it will be to experience a place like heaven for the first time and keep on experiencing it like that each day?

But God doesn’t expect us to wait for heaven to experience this newness. God’s blessings are “new” every morning.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
(Lam. 3:22-24 Message)

How can we experience this newness?
Get up and communicate with Him before the day gets started. Things aren’t new all day long. They are new in the “morning”. Most of us are particularly susceptible to ideas and creativity at the beginning of the day. There are exceptions. Maybe your “morning” is 9:30 at night when you’ve put the kids to bed.

But you need a time alone with the Lord each day, when you are susceptible to hear the “newness” of His voice. Otherwise your relationship with Him goes stale. Find a time and discipline yourself to consistently meet with Him by reading His word and praying.

You’ll be surprised how new things can be.