Friday, August 25, 2006
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Scripture: Matthew 28:19-20b
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn't be the right place. After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and I had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn't be the right place?
Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required" and found the address --- Yes, I was at the right place.
I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant. Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty --- in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn't shake the grime that clung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me --- "Come as you are. No jacket required."
I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this fine restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium.
"Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile. "Roscoe J. Brown," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains. He didn't seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, "Very good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?"
I couldn't believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!" He led me to a table, and sure enough, there was a place-card with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance," "hope," "love," "faith," and "mercy."
I realized that this was no ordinary restaurant! I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was "God's Grace" was the name of this place. The man returned and said, "I recommend the 'Special of the Day'. With it you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu."
You've got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean I can have EVERYTHING? "What is the 'Special of the Day'?" I asked with excitement ringing in my voice. "Salvation," was his reply. "I'll take it," I practically cried out.
Then, as quickly as I made that statement, the joy left my body. A sick painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes. Between my sobs I said..."Mister, look at me. I'm dirty and nasty. I am unclean and unworthy of such things. I'd love to have all of this, but, I just can't afford it." Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there," he said as he pointed to the front of the room. "His name is Jesus."
Turning, I saw a man whose very presence lit up the room. He was almost too much to look at. I found myself walking toward Him --- in a shaking voice I whispered, "Sir, I'll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I'll do anything I can do to repay You for all this."
He opened His arms and said with a smile, "Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me. Ask me to clean you up and I will. Ask me to allow you to feast at my table and you will eat. Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is accept my invitation that I offer you."
Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, "Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life. Please change me and sit me at your table and give me this new life." Immediately, I heard the words, "It is finished." I looked down and white robes adorned my body. Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at His table. "The 'Special of the Day' has been served," the Lord said to me. "Salvation is yours."
We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him. He told me He would like for me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God's Grace. He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible. As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "real world," He whispered to me softly, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
And then, He said something to me that I will never forget. He said..."My child, do you see these empty tables?" "Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?" I replied.
"These are reserved tables...but the individuals whose names are on each place-card have not accepted their invitation. Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us as yet?" Jesus asked. "Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations. "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations" He said as I turned to leave. I walked into God's Grace dirty and hungry --- Stained in sin --- My righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out brand new --- robed in white, in His righteousness.
And so, I'll keep my promise to my Lord. I'll go. I'll spread the Word. I'll share the Gospel... I'll hand out the invitations. And I'll start with you. Have you been to God's Grace? There's a table reserved in your name, and here's your invitation --- "Come as you are. No jacket required."
Friday, October 07, 2005
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"
Prayer: Father help me to make time to be with you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Care for a Nightcap?
Sara, the church gossip and self-appointed arbiter of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his pickup truck parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon, Sara told George and other members of the congregation that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing. George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.
Later that evening George parked his pickup in front of Sara's house, and left it there for the night.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Friday, April 01, 2005
Judge Moore was recently sued by the ACLU for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom foyer. He has been stripped of his judgeship and now they are trying to strip his right to practice law in Alabama. Please pray for him.
America the Beautiful,
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.
Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine,
Choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said abstain.
From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray.
We've kept God in our temples,
how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.
We've voted in a government
that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges
who throw reason out the door,
Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.
You think that God's not angry,
that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?
How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?
If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:
Then God will hear from Heaven
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.
But, America the Beautiful,
if you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee.
~Judge Roy Moore
Monday, November 01, 2004
Here is a link to a column by Mathew Manweller, a Central Washington University political science professor, published in the "Daily Record" of Ellensburg, Washington on October 6, 2004. I want to offer Professor Manweller's column as encouragement for myself and those who find themselves in similar environments at their workplaces.
Election determines fate of nation
In the event that the above link becomes unavailable, here is the column in full:
Election determines fate of nation
By Mathew Manweller
In that this will be my last column before the presidential election, there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too serious, and the stakes are too high.
This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat, abdication and a reign of ambivalence.
Down the other lies a nation that is aware of it's past and accepts the daunting obligation its future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of history. If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be two-fold. First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things. Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon the moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the Middle East is too big of a task for us. But more significantly, we will signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity that has characterized other civilizations.
The defeat of President Bush will send a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make difficult, yet unpopular decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn away from that legacy, we turn away from whom we are.
Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that the lesson of Somalia was well-learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists that you don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can defeat them in the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a defeated America. Twenty-four-hour news stations and daily tracing polls will do the heavy lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that Iraq is Somalia times 10. The election of John Kerry will serve notice to every terrorist in every cave that the soft underbelly of American power is the timidity of American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady stream of grisly photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the American people. Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden will recognize that he can topple any American administration without setting foot on the homeland.
It is said that America's W.W.II generation is its 'greatest generation'. But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's 'last generation.' Born in the bleakness of the Great depression and hardened in the fire of W.W. II, they may be the last American generation that understands the meaning of duty, honor and sacrifice. It is difficult to admit, but I know these terms are spoken with only hollow detachment by many (but not all) in my generation. Too many citizens today mistake 'living in America' as 'being an American.' But America has always been more of an idea than a place. When you sign on, you do more than buy real estate. You accept a set of values and responsibilities.
This November, my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp the obligation that comes with being an American, or fade into the oblivion they may deserve. I believe that 100 years from now historians will look back at the election of 2004 and see it as the decisive election of our century. Depending on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment America joined the ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it as the moment the prodigal sons and daughters of the greatest generation accepted their burden as caretakers of the City on the Hill."