Monday, October 31, 2005

Schools, Paul McCartney, and Halloween

Just a few random thoughts for today. If you're not from Omaha, let me give you a brief synopsis of what's going on in the public school districts. There are a number of independent school districts in the city and since Omaha has been growing at a phenomenal rate, the Omaha Public Schools decided that the law says, "one city, one school district," they should take over all school districts. There was no discussion, they just announced it one day. You can imagine what's been happening. The lawsuits have been filed and the words have been flying. Well, now it looks like a political campaign going on because there are yard signs, flyers, and bumper stickers everywhere. Our school district is allegedly safe because they wrote it into law back in the 50s. But others aren't so lucky. So our school district joined in the lawsuit with the others. So now these signs say, "Millard Schools Forever." "Westside Schools Forever." Now I find this interesting and I appreciate the passion of these people. But in my humble opinion they've gone a little too far. Please. Forever? The only thing that is forever is the unseen and not the seen. None of what we can see, what is tangible, i.e. touch, smell, hear, see, taste is permanent. No building, no program. Only the unseen. Isn't that what Paul said in II Corinthians 4? "Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal." The school district isn't forever. God and His eternal glory is.

On a lighter note, I went to the Paul McCartney concert last night. I know, I know, preachers aren't supposed to go to things like that. I'm a child of the 60s (born in the 50s). I remember when I rushed home from church services on a Sunday night to hear the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I enjoyed the music.

My thoughts on Halloween. There are a number of those who refuse to do anything on this date because it's set up by Satan. (Do you give candy and flowers to your wife or girlfriend on Valentine's Day?) Anyway, here's my philosophy on Halloween. I'm not much into the ghosts and ghouls and skeletons and all that. But the whole purpose of Halloween in my opinion is to get as much candy as possible in a short amount of time. And if that means you have to dress like a princess or a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger to get it, more power to you. Especially if you share the chocolate stuff with me. Go get more candy! Let me know and I'll give you an address to send the leftovers to me! Have a great day. JW

Thursday, October 27, 2005


This morning I went to a "Pastor's Appreciation Breakfast." It was sponsored by a local Christian bookstore and several were in attendance. Now I've been to things like this before and there is a little cynical side to me that says, "What's in it for them?" And I know there is some reason for some of the cynicism. But I was pleasantly surpised. On top of a nice breakfast, we were all give probably over $150 of books. Bibles, other books, CDs, and a $20 gift certificate.
I had a boss who used to pop into my office and say "preciate ya". Then he was gone. I never really believed him. This, on the other hand, was nice. Not that I want physical things in spite of encouragement. It was just nice.
Ten lepers came to Jesus and He healed them all. Only one came back and thanked Him. "Didn't I heal 10?" Jesus asked. "Where are the other nine?" A simple "thank you" was all Jesus wanted. Only one came back to do so.
There must have been 30 or so of us there today. I wonder how many of them will thank the people who put this on? I did. Have a great day! And by the way, I appreciate you! JW

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tabloid Christianity?

My son had to get one of those tabloid magazines for a mass communications class he has at school. I sat down and started reading some of the stories. By the way, this magazine makes the claim that it is the only reliable magazine around. Here is a sampling of the some of the stories. "Congress Repeals the Law of Gravity." "Aliens with Three Eyes Occupying the Earth" (This headline was accompanied by a picture from the back of someone's head, holding some hair apart to reveal an extra eye in the back of the head) "Husband and Wife Switch Bodies" (This one had the woman's head on the man's muscular body and the man's head on his wife's lingerie clad body, both with surprised expressions on their faces. 'We just got up one morning and it felt funny.')
I was laughing so much I was making my wife angry because she was trying to concentrate on something. How ridiculous these stories are.
But I started to think about what I believe and how it must seem to others. I believe that a man pushing 100 and his wife of 90 had a child. I believe that a donkey talked to his master. I believe that the Israelite nation walked across dry ground when the Red Sea split in two. I believe a man named Jesus was crucified and then raised from the dead.
Now, I want to be careful because I think I have more of a leg to stand on than do the tabloids. But we do have to admit, what we believe may sound pretty bizarre to those who have no faith, no reason to believe. I think the difference is the leg work behind the stories. Both do, however, take faith to believe. Our lives are one big faith walk. Let's admit that. Our faith is based on the most reasonable explanation we can come to. But it is faith. Let's not forget that. Paul said, "I know whom I have believe and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." (II Timothy 1:12) The Hebrew writer said "without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6) So have some faith today. Smile and have a great day. JW

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But I saw something today (as you know, this happens a lot!) that I had never seen before. You probably have ascertained that I am reading about Samuel. What a man he was! But only because he sought after God. Sometimes I don't think Samuel gets his due, but that's another story for another day for another blog.
He was considered in Scripture as a judge. He traveled from town to town ruling on disputes throughout Israel. In fact, the Bible says that he ran a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah. Meaning, he traveled a lot.
Here's what I had never seen before. Listen to these words: "But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel." Where his home was. In spite of all the traveling, he never forgot where home was.
My married daughter wants to spend time with us when her husband is working. At first, I found that a little strange. Really, she just wants a free meal. But when I started thinking about it, that is home. I know, I know, her home is with her husband. But her home was with us far longer, she is just developing the one with her spouse.
Maybe that's why I've had such a hard time dealing with my mother's death. Even after Dad died, Mom was stilll home. Now that she's gone, home is gone. I love my home with my wife and married daughter and almost driving teenage son. But originally, my home was with my parents.
Make a spiritual application here. Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Heaven. . .Home. And the older I get, the more people I know have gone on and I want to see them again. And I will. Paul said, "I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to go be with Jesus which is far better. But if I go, the work here will suffer." (Philippians 1:23, 24, MOV {My Own Version}). Where's your home? Don't forget where it really is. Have a great day! JW

Monday, October 24, 2005

Praise God for the Mundane

If you heard me yesterday, you have already heard my thoughts on the following. I hope you will take this in the light that I mean in. Nothing bitter at all here, just my thoughts and feelings.
Why is it we will listen to someone who has been through the mill--tragedy, horrible life then recovered, divorce, death, etc.--but won't listen to someone who's been there every day? So many of us have, thankfully, never had to suffer from the things others have. But for some reason, the story is not worth listening to. I say, thank you for those who survive the mundane. Thanks for those who have perservered in everything. These are the salt of the earth people that I hear about in Scripture. There's nothing fancy, just a faithful life.
I want to listen to them. I need to know how they survived the average, the mundane, and the normal. Thank you for listening to your parents. Thanks for having faith of your own learned from wonderful examples. And that fact that you haven't had to go through so horrific tragedy, and you are still there, I appreciate.
Wasn't that the problem with the Israelites? They couldn't take the mundane. They wanted more. Wasn't that the problem with the Pharisees? Jesus said they were always looking for a miracle. Do we do that? We want the flash, the glitz, and the miraculous.
Praise God for the mundane, for the salt of the earth. You are what makes the world go round. Your journey is a worthy one. Have a great day. JW

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Did Not Know the Lord

Do you believe that you can be around the spiritual all the time, hear songs of praise, be a good person, see acts of righteousness and obedience and still not know God? Of course you do. It happens all the time. I just didn't think it could happen in a place of worship. But it did.
Check I Samuel 3. You know the story. Hannah had no children. She prayed to God and promised to give the first child she had to God. She conceived and gave her son, Samuel, to Eli to be raised by him. Eli's sons were evil, doing what was right in their own eyes. Hannah came to visit her son with a new ephod every year. There you have it.
Now here's a kid who has been working in the temple. He's seen the sacrifices. He's supposed to know what's going on with the Israelites. See verse 7 of chapter 3. "Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord." It blew me away when I read that. Think of all the lessons from this.
1. Just being at the church building doesn't mean you know God.
2. You can be all around things that are spiritual and still not know God.
3. Maybe what was going on at the temple wasn't necessarily spiritual.
4. What does this mean to me?
I ask you that last question. What does this mean to me? Am I truly sincere about my walk or am I just faking it. Someone said, "If you can't be sincere, fake it." I'm afraid that's what happens all too often. Am I just going through the motions? Do I do what I do just to look good? That was the problem of the Pharisees. And sometimes, that's my problem. I would hope I would truly know the Lord. Not just the facts, i.e. born in Jerusalem, father was Joseph, mother was Mary, 12 apostles, 33 when he died, crucified on a cross, etc. But do I really know Him? Do I talk to Him? Do I have a relationship? Do I want to be like Him? Do I really know Him? Go out and have a good day. And get to know Him. JW

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


As I have previously said in this blog, we have had Jerry and Lynn Jones here at our congregation this week doing their Marriage Matters Seminar. It's been 13 intense lessons (well it will be 13 after tonight) on all kinds of marriage issues. It has been good and I have been able to spend some time with Jerry. Many of you know that he was one of my professors when I was a young student at Harding. He is a mentor and he took the role of my father yesterday as we visited for a while. It was good.
One of my co-workers made a comment yesterday that it felt as if we lived at the church building. My wife and I were talking this morning about how tired we were. Don't get me wrong. We're not complaining. In fact, Martha and I were asking how we used to do gospel meetings all the time. She remembers one week meetings. I remember two week ones. And you were expected to be there every night. What's the deal?
Well, for one, it's a different time. Our schedules have gotten busier. Life has become faster and more complicated in many ways. I know that Solomon has said there is nothing new under the sun. But part of our fatigue is just being too busy. Perhaps that is why God gave us the admonition to "be still and know that I am God."
Another reason why we're tired is because Jerry and Lynn are right. We have seen the destruction Satan brings to good people who are trying to have good marriages. Unfortunately, it's seminars such as this that really brings that to light. I rembember in the movie Field of Dreams when Ray sees his "young" father for the first time. He remarks to his wife the wonderful physical condition he's in. He says that he only remembers seeing him when (and I'm paraphrasing now) when he was worn down by life.
That's why we fix our eyes on Jesus. That's why we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. That's why we look at Jesus and not the waves. But the weekend is virtually free (at least for me) and I'll rest up. Then we're together for the Lord's Day! I can't wait. Have a great day. . .and get some rest. JW

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I've been hearing the word "safe" a lot lately. Watch any baseball game and the guy slides into home and the umpire shouts "Safe!" (or out, depending on whether the catcher catches the ball, tags the runner, and holds onto it). But I like the concept. Safe at home.
When King David went to war and things were going South (against his own son, Absalom, I might add) he warned his commanders to be gentle with his son. And, when not knowing when his son was killed, the message came back that his armies had been successful. David didn't care. He asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Twice he asked that before he found out he had been killed.
We've been talking a lot about being able to come to church (I know, I know, the church is the body) and being safe. It breaks my heart when I hear people say they don't feel safe enough. My goodness! The Scripture says we'll be known as His disciples if we love each other. James says that love covers a multitude of sins. The word in the Greek means, a large number, a bundle, a company, a multitude. When are we going to quit keeping score? When are we going cover each other's sins. I'm not talking about condoning, I'm not talking being co-dependent, I'm not talking being accomplices. I'm saying when people totally wreck their lives where are we? When are we going to take these in our arms in a non-judgmental way and say, I will be here for you always. I'll never leave you. (and in doing so emulating so much the way God feels about us and treats us?)
It is during these times that I wish we could hear in our assemblies, in our churches, "Safe at home." It would just be a little foreshadowing for when we hear our God say the same when we reach heaven. Have a great day. . .and be safe. JW

Monday, October 17, 2005


Jerry and Lynn Jones are here at our congregation this week and they are, as expected, doing a wonderful job. Jerry said something yesterday that really hit home with me. He said that we are in a journey to become like God.
Think about that for a minute. We are to be forgiving people. That's like God. We are to love our enemies. God loves those who don't love Him back. We are to be full of grace and mercy. God is full of grace and mercy.
Obviously we are not going to take on the characteristics of omnipotence and omnipresence. But we are to become like God. We have talked of "becoming" for a long time, but it was the top of the Maslow pyramid of needs where we become self-actualized. It's not that. If it is, it's for the wrong reason. It is to become more like God. Wow! Ruminate on that and have a good day. JW

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Glasses Make You Happy

I saw a commercial today for an optical place. If I told you the name , you would recognize it. Many of my years have been spent in a marketing field (admissions), but I have to say marketing is one of those things that really bugs me. The word "marketing" has become synonymous with the word "spin." i.e. Make people think of something else, make your product look better in spite of how bad it is, or basically you have a license to lie if part of what you say is true. Now I know that's an extremely cynical view of marketing, and I'm sure there are marketing majors and marketing people out there with wonderful scruples and ethics. I'm just telling you my view. And after all, isn't that what blogging is about?
All right, back to the commercial. Basically what it said is if you wear our glasses you will be happy. The commercial showed people dancing and jumping up and down and smiling, all while wearing glasses. Now I've got to tell you, coming from a person who has worn glasses since I was in eighth grade, glasses are a pain. I wear contact lenses, but with my old age I am now having to wear reading glasses. And the last thing that happens when I put on glasses is to jump up and down smiling. "Yeaaaahhhhh, I have glasses on!" Now don't give me the lecture about "you should be glad you can see, there are people in China who are blind....."
Isn't this what Satan does? He's a phenomenal marketer. Do this and you'll be happy. Drink this and it will ease your pain. Sleep with her and you will enjoy life. On and on ad nauseum. And we buy it hook, line, and sinker. I know I do.
Paul lets us know in Philippians that joy does not come from outward events. It that were so, he would have been the most miserable person on earth. It doesn't come from things because things rust away. It comes from one source and one source only...Jesus. "Rejoice, and I'll say it again, rejoice," Paul says. The happiness talked about in the glasses commercials ends when somebody sits on them and breaks them. But Paul says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6, 7)
Instead of searching for happiness, perhaps we should be pursuing joy, peace, contentment. Those seem to last longer and aren't affected by things and events. Peace to all of you. Have a great day. JW

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I have noticed the word "hope" a lot lately. We talked about it in our class at church last night. To most of us the word "hope" means "wish." "I hope I can do that," meaning, "I wish I could do that." But as we talked last night, hope in Scripture means eager or confident expectation. The illustration I used was I have hope that the sun will come up in the morning. Probably a poor example, but it works for me. You see, the sun has come up everyday since I've been alive. It hasn't missed a day. Yes, it's been covered at times by clouds and fog, but it's still there and always has. I have no control over it, but I have enough faith in the solar system (and the One who created it) to have hope that it will come up every morning.

Hebrews 11:1--"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Romans 8:22-24--"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption of sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope, we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

I Peter 1:3, 4--"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you..."

Psalm 33:20-22--"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our hlep and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

What I hear in this are things like unfailing love, confidence, trust, hope. Hope--an eager, confident expectation of what God can and will and continues to do. May you have hope today. JW

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Don't Be Anxious

God is good. I have been studying the book of Philippians and I am continually amazed at Paul's attitude toward life. "Do not be anxious about anything," he says. "Do everything without complaining or arguing, " he says. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" he says. All this while chained to a Roman guard. All this while under house arrest. All this while being restricted to one small area.
My head hurts. It's raining. It's so cold. Seems kind of trite doesn't it. While Paul calls his beatings, shipwrecks, and other horrendous trials "light and momentary," we think a bad hair day is the end of the world.
I've tried lately to just be more positive. To realize that God is alive and well and watching over me. To "cast my cares on Him because He cares for me." You know what, it makes a difference. I don't worry as much. I smile more. I sleep better. God is so good. He's so good to me. Have a great day! JW

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Culturally Relevant

Solomon says there is nothing new under the sun. Sometimes I wonder. I've heard this commercial a couple of times and it just blows me away. It lets me know how sad our culture is. Basically, it's a commercial for DNA testing to determine "if the baby really is yours." They go on to tell of the simple test where you swab the inside of your mouth and the inside of the baby's mouth and send the information to this company and they'll let you know the results in about a week.
People making money on bad situations. What do we do with our culture? I've been struggling with this lately. We've been talking of vision at our congregation and we want to be culturally relevant. But when do we change the culture and when do we let the culture change us? I don't know the answer. I just know that Jesus is the answer. I know that I am to be merciful. And I know that I am a sinner. Make a difference today. JW

Monday, October 10, 2005

Nice Haircut

Rick Atchley, the pulpit minister at Richland Hills Church of Christ, said one time that people often say he has a gift for preaching. He said if it's such a gift, why does it take 40 hours to unwrap it? A number of things go into a sermon not the least of which is prayer. But it's amazing how sermons come together. (I can only speak from my own experience) I plan what I'm talking about 6 months to a year in advance. That way I can pick up illustrations along the way, study and read what I need to read, and pray for the lessons. But when I actually get the lesson ready, it just seems to come together (most of the time). And where I preach, the lesson has to be basically ready 10 days in advance so we can prepare the entire worship assembly.
Having said that, my first prayer after a sermon is an apology to God for not having the best words worthy of His glory. But I know He can take what is said and make something happen. I guess what I'm saying is that each lesson is a work of humility, prayer, desire to say the right thing, etc. After every sermon I get the almost obligatory, "I enjoyed your sermon, preacher," response when people file out of the auditorium. There are those who honestly come to me and tell me what the lesson meant to them. For that I praise God and am humbled.
As in all congregations there are a variety of elements with different beliefs and opinions on all kinds of topics. At one congregation where I used to preach I had preached a sermon and for the life of me I can't remember what it was about. One person from one of the elements came up to me and said, "Do you think they heard that?" To which I replied, "I hope so." Soon after, someone from the other side of the element came up to me and said, "Do you think they heard that?" To which I replied, "I hope so."
Now I'm not out there to get compliments about my sermon. My prayer beforehand is that God say the words He wants and uses me to do so. And I want Him to get the glory. Yesterday I had quite a few people compliment me. But it was about my haircut. I wasn't tremendously offended, but I wondered if anyone heard the lesson or if they were sitting in the audience thinking, "I wondered where he got his haircut?" Oh, well. I'll take what I can get. And I hope they heard what God was saying yesterday. Have a great day! JW

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Turkey Loaf

I live in a residential area of Omaha, not in the country. We're talking regular established houses in an established neighborhood. It looks like a scene from suburbia with well-manicured lawns, some really nice houses, and some regular, built in the 50s houses (these houses were well-built and well-maintained). So I've just taken my son to school yesterday morning, a task that he thinks will soon end when he turns 16 in December, when I'm driving back home through the neighborhood.
Now I'm getting older and my eyesight isn't as sharp as it used to be, but there is definitely something up ahead. It's big and standing along the side of the road. A statue, perhaps, that people place in the yard. A fake bird that someone has put as a fundraiser or a gag. No, it's a wild turkey. This bird is huge! We're not talking a white Butterball that will be on your table next month, we're talking a wild turkey. I slow down and roll down my window to get a better look and she isn't real comfortable with me, but she moves a little deeper into some bushes.
Telling this story to several people and I'm surprised at the response. One said, "Oh, yes, there are wild turkeys in that area and in other parts of the town." Another told my wife, "Yes, that turkey is also in Regency (another area of Omaha near us) and we share it."
My favorite story was from class last night. I told about my turkey and another brother told a story of a turkey in town. He slowed down when he saw her and let her pass. While the car behind him drove so fast that he hit the turkey. Feathers went everywhere, he said. Then he said, "How could you miss a turkey?" To which another brother in class responded, "He didn't."
But I do have a more serious point. Turkeys aren't supposed to be in residential areas. They have their own natural habitat and when they are in areas of homes and people, it's not natural. It's not where they are supposed to be.
John told us not to be of this world. Peter says the same. Jesus told us the same. What seems to happen to us is that we get awful comfortable in places where we shouldn't. Culture changes us instead of vice versa. We become content in a place where we shouldn't be, and the world wins again. And Satan wins another battle. When are we going to learn. Paul said that he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He wanted to stay and help the Philippians, but he desired more to go and be with God. But he would do what the Lord wanted him to do. As Christians, we are placed in an environment that doesn't fit us. Let's not get comfortable to the point that we think this is natural. Have a great day, you turkeys! JW

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

There's Still Hope

Last night I went to a choral concert. It was the obligatory son's high school choral concert. He's in two groups, but I had to listen to six. But after reading Mike Cope's blog yesterday about enjoying the journey, I decided to enjoy the singing. I usually do anyway. There's something about music that moves me. It stirs my soul and helps me to live in the moment. My friend David Underwood is good to keep taking us back to how music affects our lives. Especially when it's live music.
One of the choirs sang songs from the Nebraska All-State Choral Festival. They were preparing for the contest which comes up in a couple of weeks. These songs were picked in advance by a group (I assume) of panelists who thought this would be good music for high school students to sing. Four of the five songs song were spiritual. The first, a beautiful number by Mozart sang of our glorious God. Another was about peace in our lives with Jesus as our leader. The third was a song about John the Revelator.
Needless to say, I was moved and pleasantly surprised. You know, there's still hope. I'll cling to that until the day I die. I'll keep after it and after it. I'll not stop proclaiming how good God is how Jesus is our leader. I'll still maintain that God is in control and I should not worry because "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (I John 4:4) Please join me with this. Let us not give up hope. Several years ago before my father died I was talking to him about some of the good people I know. He looked at me and said, "There's still a lot of salt." That's what I want to be....salt. Salt that preserves. A light that reflects the love of Jesus and the glory of God in this world. Don't give up. JW

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Computer Problems and Life

I am about as good with a computer as I am a car. I can't fix either one. So I am utterly helpless with the things go on the fritz. Which brings me to my computer at home.
Last night, I sat down at my home computer because my wife had asked me to check her e-mail. She had been on it the night before (it has to be all her fault!) and so I'm trying to log on. It's frozen and getting worse. One of the "tricks" I've learned over the years is to reboot. You don't know how many times I've worked on computers trying to get them to work. Finally, in complete exasperation, I'll call the computer people and they'll ask, "Did you reboot?" With one click of a button, the problem is solved and I look stupid. Maybe that's why there's a side of me that hates computers. Anyway, I digress. So I reboot my computer at home and it gets worse and worse and worse and finally a blue screen. Now I don't know much, but I know a blue screen is bad. So I call the company on their convenient 1-800 number. You have to know that I can get nothing from this computer. If I reboot, it comes up a blue screen. I can fiddle with it all I want and nothing comes up except the blue screen. You know the routine, I'm placed on hold. But all during the time I'm on hold, two things are happening--music occasionally interrupted by a message. The message says to log onto the computer and type in Obviously that's not the website, but again, you get the drift. HOW CAN I LOG ON AND GET MY COMPUTER FIXED IF I CAN'T GET PASSED THE BLUE SCREEN!!!
I saw a biblical principle here believe it not. How many times do we tell people to buck up and to straighten out their lives? It can't be done without help. It's like the passage in James when he says, "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead." (James 2:15-17) Don't we do the same thing? Aren't we just as guilty as the computer company? "Go read your Bible and find all the answers," we say. But then we do nothing to help in any way. Makes no sense. I was frustrated last night. Can you imagine what it's like not getting any spiritual help? No wonder people get disillusioned and leave. Let's not be that way. Let's care. Let's help...truly help and not be guilty of giving good advice that can never be followed. Have a great day! (There, I did it myself!) Can I help you have a great day? JW

Monday, October 03, 2005

Two Words/Two Letters/Two Meanings

They both have 12 letters. They have the same letters with the exception of one. One word has an extra "m" and the other an extra "n." Yet they have eleven common letters. The words sound alike, begin with the same letter and end in the same way. Yet their meanings are totally opposite. The reason I noticed is that someone tried to say the one word and accidentally said the other. The rest, as they say, is history. At that point my mind started racing and hence this blog.
If you want to compliment someone for a job well done or you want to encourage someone or if someone gets an honor, it's called a "commendation." On the other hand, if the intent is to blast away and to complain and to criticize, it's a "condemnation."
I thought how ironic that is for two words to be so close in pronunciation and letters, yet be so opposite. Is it an accident that the two words are so close to the edge? I like commendations. They make me feel good, they urge me on to better things and I can go for months on one commendation. On the other hand, five seconds of condemnation brings me down for a long, long time.
So what kind of person are you? Are you one who commends or one who condemns. I see Jesus or I see Pharisees. I see positive and I see negative. And it doesn't really take much to see the difference and it doesn't take much to make a difference. Either way. What are you? Have a great day! JW