Know What to Do in an Emergency

Know What to Do in an Emergency

We had a giant yellow sticker on our old rotary phone. It listed several numbers including the police, hospital, fire department, poison control and, for some reason, a number to get the local weather report. The problem wasn't just with our phone. In some cities, like Los Angeles, there were 50 different numbers for calling local police. That would be a really big sticker. In 1967, the President's Commission on Civil Disorders (PCCD) directed the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) who then turned to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (ATT) to fix the problem. Nothing like having some government and corporate alphabet soup to get the job done. Having recently created the 4-1-1 system for information, the researchers at ATT changed one digit and created the 9-1-1 system. Today 99%…
Read More
Splinter

Splinter

When someone gets a small piece of wood or metal stuck in their finger or foot, they may describe it as a splinter, a sliver, a shard, a shaving or a chip. I'm partial to "splinter" myself. Actually, I would be fine without any of them stuck in my foot. When I do, the world stops. I grab a needle, some tweezers, and some rubbing alcohol to perform the necessary surgical procedure to pull out that 1/16 of an inch of foreign object. Until I do, I'm not going anywhere. It's amazing how such a small object can bring your world to a standstill. Joshua and the people of Israel learned the hard way how small things can have big consequences. This week, in the story of the city of…
Read More
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

One of my first bosses repeatedly told me, "Plan your work and work your plan." This was typically after I had not done something correctly, like the day I broke the office record for jamming the copier. The reason for his statement has become more clear to me through the years. It is important to have a plan. It is also important to actually follow that plan. Joshua had a plan. God gave it to him. In Joshua 6:6-20, the time came to actually follow the plan. Both parts were necessary for victory. Both are necessary for victory in our lives as well. God has a plan for us, but we have to be willing to follow the plan. Join us this week as we discover how to make God's…
Read More
Victory Formation

Victory Formation

Most football teams have what they call the "Victory Formation." This is the play that is called when the game is almost over, their team is ahead, and they want to run out the clock and win the game. The formation typically has all the players surrounding the center and the quarterback with one main objective: don't fumble. The idea is to get to the end of the game and win. It's a great play for football. Most players understand when that play is called in the huddle, it means you won the game. Unfortunately, what is a great play for football is not a great play for life. Some people go through each day just trying not to fumble. God has much more for us. Within the plan He…
Read More
Big Wall

Big Wall

I've never been a huge fan of house painting, but it has to be done. I purchased all the appropriate equipment, paint, and supplies and began the operation. After about an hour, things had been going pretty well. I had gotten more paint on the wall than I had on myself which, for me, is a victory in and of itself. For a non-professional, the paint was fairly even and would require very little touch-up later. I stepped back to admire my work and realized that, after an hour, I was approximately 1/20 of the way through. That was one big wall. It probably was not quite the sight Joshua had as he and the Israelites surveyed the walls of Jericho. They had been getting ready for this moment for…
Read More
Never Goes Out of Style

Never Goes Out of Style

I remember the day my dad took me to get my first suit. Actually, it was my second; when I was five, my mom made me wear one of those suit and short pant outfits to church – once. I looked like Eddie Munster. Not wanting his teenage son to look like a sixties sitcom child, my dad took me to get a real suit when I turned thirteen. After looking at several possibilities, the salesman offered the advice, "A nice blue blazer never goes out of style." Good advice. I've changed suits styles through the years: wide lapels, thin lapels, pleats, no pleats. Thankfully, I have fewer and fewer times I have to wear a suit, but in those instances where it is required, a blue blazer is always…
Read More
Garage Sale

Garage Sale

Our annual church garage sale is an amazing fundraising event, allowing our youth group to go on a mission trip each summer. We appreciate all the good folks who donate to the event and who shop at the sale. I appreciate the opportunity to clean out my garage. I keep thinking each year I will run out of items to donate, but it never seems to work out that way. I continually find a way to collect items that I don't need anymore. Maybe I bought them at last year's garage sale. 1 John 2:15-17 describes the mistake we make when thinking the things of life will ultimately provide what we need. They won't. It all eventually winds up in the garage sale. Join us this week as we learn…
Read More
Check Your Baggage

Check Your Baggage

My dad used to run the Lost and Found at the local airport. It was amazing how much stuff accumulated in his collection, everything from a watch to a pair of skis. Sometimes people would return to claim their belongings, but most of the items just collected dust. Whether people never figured out where they left it, or it wasn't worth the effort to retrieve it, most of the Lost and Found items stayed that way. We all have lost and found items in our lives, emotions and memories we've allowed to collect dust for years. The problem is, some of those items, when left unresolved, can cause tremendous difficulty. This week, in 1 John 2:9-11, we will learn how unresolved hatred can make your life miserable. Join us this…
Read More
Thanks, Mom

Thanks, Mom

This Sunday, we celebrate our moms. For all the times they sat in the school parking lot waiting for us to finish band practice, washed mud out of our jeans when we took our bicycle through the shortcut, slipped us a peanut butter sandwich under the table when it was liver and onions for supper, and risked catching every childhood disease known to man so that we could see the pediatrician, we say, "Thanks, Mom." Moms pray even when everyone else has given up. This week, we will see in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 how each of us can pray for God's power and glory in the lives of those we love. See you Sunday!
Read More
Talking Points

Talking Points

We had a problem with our computer system several years ago. I tried to work with the technicians of our information provider, but we had an obvious disconnect in our communication. They knew what they were talking about, but I didn't have a clue. Eventually, we hired an IT company to figure out how to get things fixed. In about an hour, they had not only identified the problem, but knew how to explain to the communications company personnel exactly what needed to be done. I basically just nodded a lot. It's good to have someone who can speak on your behalf. In 1 John 2:1, the Bible explains the extraordinary truth that Jesus speaks for us. Join us this Sunday to find out how Jesus speaks for you. See…
Read More