Friday, November 21, 2008

Signs of the Times

First, it was London. Now it is Washington, DC. Atheist groups in these cities have launched major ad campaigns to coincide with the “religious” holidays. Buses in London will carry billboards advising, “There probably is no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The DC bus ads show Santa Claus asking, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

The wording used by the London group struck me as odd. “There probably is no God”? Were they hedging their bets by using the word "probably"? Does this provide them a loophole in case He shows up and it turns out He is real?

A spokesman for the Washington, DC group said the campaign was planned for this time of year as “non-theists feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.” This synchs with billboards along the New Jersey turnpike proclaiming, “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone.” If aloneness is their problem, these people are really going to hate eternity!

My question is would I get on a bus carrying such a blasphemous message? What about bus drivers who believe? Will they get a choice to avoid driving vehicles labeled in such a way? Will there be Christians who can’t get to work without boarding these buses? Will Christian employees of the transit system be subject to discipline for noncompliance? How many taxpayer dollars (or pounds) are going to these systems?

The apostle Paul warned us about this two thousand years ago and advised us on what our approach should be. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be – the Word of God is where we find our strength. As the days grow more evil, we find our solace in the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for those who feel alone, that they would say yes to the path where we are never alone!

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it. From infancy, you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful. . . .
2 Timothy 3: 12-16, NIV.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Second Billing

Nothing has taught me more about God’s love than the experience of being a parent myself. On Saturday night, my daughter’s high school volleyball team won the state championship. It was the first state title in the school’s twenty year history of girls’ volleyball. “Jubilation” only hints at the excitement we all experienced. And my girl’s role in this momentous occasion? She kept stats for the team.

I could not have been more proud of my daughter if she had scored the tie-breaking point in the final match. She went into the season as a varsity team rookie. She has shown up for every practice. She has cheered through every game regardless of whether she got play time. She has provided a platform for the team stars to take the group all the way to the top. Saturday night’s victory was as much hers as it was anyone else’s.

It makes me mindful of how our perfect Father sees us. We all have different roles to play in furthering God’s kingdom. Some roles are out front with a lot of attention. Others are behind the scenes. Some may seem downright insignificant. But every role is an integral part of God’s grand and glorious plan.

God is proud of each of His children. He beams whether we are speaking to a crowd of a thousand or wiping the last crumbs off the church’s kitchen counter. He delights in each of us, just as I delight in my daughter’s small but relevant contribution. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been known to mumble, “Well, I just . . . .” Fill in the blank with any task you’ve been tempted to discount in the grand scheme of the Kingdom. Join me as I ask forgiveness from the Proud Papa who loves every effort we make, large or small!

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:11, NIV.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Results Are In

Election Day is finally here. Praise Jesus! Has an election ever caused the wind and fury this one has? While there are a few more hours until the polls close, I already know the outcome. I did not hear it on a news show or read it on the web. I did not hear it in a hand-wringing session of well-intentioned but fearful believers. I found it in God's ancient text.

When we go to the Source, we find our God has a long history of using man-made governments to accomplish His purposes. Think of a king known as Pharaoh, an emperor named Caesar Augustus and the governor of a remote Roman province called Pontius Pilate. The Truth is that God planned for this election before He set the world in motion.

Whatever America chooses today, one thing will remain unchanged: God is in control. He knows exactly who will be elected, what referenda will be passed. He knows exactly how the world will react. He knows every pocket where wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famine will occur. He told us about it two thousand years ago. He knew the end from the beginning. In 2008, this remains our bedrock truth.

And Christ’s advice to us? “Take heart!” For He has overcome the world.

Tonight, the news networks can stay up, speculating, confirming, retracting and reconfirming. Tomorrow morning’s headlines will tell me what God is doing next. As exhausted as we all are by this race, I suggest we go to bed early and read a Good Book. It can tell us all we really need to know.

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have the power either to free you or crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”
John 19: 10, 11, NIV.