As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another, it’s a good time to do some self examination. Are you where you want to be in life? Whatever your life is like, are you happy with it? If you could have projected ahead ten years ago, would this be what you wanted your life to become? If your life had to remain just as it is now, for the foreseeable future, would you be satisfied?
Our present societal mindset takes a dim view of absolutes. Anyone who is absolutely certain of what constitutes truth and right and wrong, for example, is commonly considered to be narrow minded, bigoted, even radical. Some might also consider him to be mentally unbalanced and possibly dangerous.
In a few days, multitudes of people in this country and around the world will supposedly celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many will attend some kind of special church service in His honor. Others will simply feel special feelings about the Savior as they go about the day. Specific references to the birth of Christ will be uttered in prayers by some. A large number of people will get drunk!
The Bible is a marvelous body of knowledge. It is, literally, the word of God. Thus, through its message we gain some understanding of the mind of God and of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible provides us with abundant instruction as to how to live our lives in a godly manner. Those instructions are both positive and negative. Some of them teach us how to act, what to do. Others instruct us as to what not to do, what to abstain from. The Bible even gives us insight as to how to view someone who claims to be a teacher of God’s word.
Ready or not, we are full swing into the Holiday season. Thanksgiving day is just past. That means Christmas and then New Years are not far away. Not all of us view all of the holidays with the same emphasis as do many people, but it is a pleasant and rather exciting time of the year. The holidays seem to come faster as the years go by, and it seems that preparations for them begin earlier.
What would you do if you looked outside your window at home and saw your eight year old son and his friend in your backyard playing catch with a stick of dynamite? Would it be a big deal? Would you care? Would you think it was really none of your business? Do you have any doubt that you would move as fast as you could, screaming as loud as you could, to get their attention? Do you wonder whether or not you would communicate emphatically for those boys to put down that stick of dynamite and move away from it as quickly as they could? Would the experience get your heart pumping just a little bit?
I remember a friend relating a story many years ago about a man who was stopped by a policeman on Thanksgiving day for some kind of traffic violation. After some discussion the policeman asked the man if he had anything to be thankful for. The man answered in the affirmative. The policeman responded that the man had better be thankful that he wasn’t going to give him a traffic ticket. Being stopped by a policeman is not something that would ordinarily conjure up feelings of thanksgiving in your heart. But if you were guilty of some traffic violation, you surely would be thankful if the policeman let you go with just a warning.
Whew, the elections are finally over! I really get tired of all the talk, all the hype, all the attention and all those incessant political ads! Having lived in Louisiana for so many years, where politics is practically the state sport, and it seems as though there’s almost always an election campaign going on (literally), it’s good to contemplate an escape from the routine we’ve all been exposed to for the last year and a half.
National election day is almost here. Candidates will be elected to public offices all across the nation. Most of the voting will be for state and local officials, but one-third of the seats in the US Senate and all of those in the House Of Representatives will also be up for election. This election stands out from many others in that the populace will also be voting for a new president. We’re told that this election will be the most important election in many years for the future of our nation. But that assessment has been made in regard to many such elections over the past several decades. Politics!
One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a Christian, and then living a dedicated Christian life, is being willing to completely turn your life over to God. Total surrender! This is a concept that is pretty much foreign to our typical philosophy of life. We believe in taking control of our own life, taking the bull by the horns, taking charge, making things happen. And, to some extent such a philosophy is valid. But when we understand the real purpose and focus of life, we will also understand that we cannot maintain control all by ourselves. We must trust God with our life if we hope to gain the most for our life.
Gary L. Hutchens