Monthly Archives: July 2018

A Couple of Questions…

While I was paying for a couple of items at a neighborhood gas station yesterday, the clerk asked if she could ask me a couple of questions.  It was a bit uncomfortable because two other customers were waiting in line behind me.

Without even looking at the other guests, she asked, ‘What does the word ‘evangelical’ on your church sign mean?’  ‘It means that we believe that all people have sinned and are in need of a Savior and that that salvation is found only in Jesus’, I replied.   Studying me a bit more closely, she asked, ‘Are you open and affirming?’

Taking a moment to collect my thoughts and considering the two people waiting in line and a kitchen worker listening in, I said that ‘we are open to what Jesus is open to and affirming of what He affirms.’  She began to turn away toward the other customers and then turned back to face me as if she wanted clarification.  I took the opportunity to add, ‘We affirm that Jesus is the only Savior and that we are open to all who want to be saved through Him.’

Her response of ‘okay’ ended our conversation.

Looking back, I have made several mental notes:

  1.  It is very uncomfortable to be asked these types of questions ‘cold turkey’, as they say.  There’s always the discomfort of wishing you had said more or said something differently.  And there’s always the discomfort of wondering how badly you ‘blew it’.
  2.  The exchange may not have been for the clerk.  It may have been for one or two of the other observers.  Only God knows.
  3. The Lord determines if and what results from moments like these.  As the scriptures say, ‘…for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things’.  We leave it with Him.
  4. Be ready always to give an account of what we believe and have been taught about Jesus.

Thank you, Lord, for any and every opportunity to serve as a witness to point others to You.



Pathetic or Profound…?

Rounding the corner of the house, as usual, to get into the truck and leave for work,  I encountered a couple of pesky robins who were reacting to my presence near their nest. Snuggled securely in a lilac bush near the corner of our garage, the nest was neatly cradled between two branches about five feet above ground.

The robin nest had often attracted my attention.  And every morning when I walked past it, the scolding robins would harass me with ‘squawking and swooping down at my head’.   I hated to disturb them, but there seemed to be little that I could do to remedy the encounters.  Earlier observations had revealed that four eggs had been laid and that two had already hatched.

Last week, as I passed by the nest, the same scenario began to play out with this caveat.  Stopping to peek into the nest, I checked on the ‘hatching’ progress.  The two robins were perched nearby…one sitting a few feet away on the tee bar of our clothes line and the other sitting on the corner of the peak of the gable of the neighbor’s roof holding a worm in its beak.     I gently pulled a couple of branches out of the way so I could see.  All I found was an empty nest.

No nearby debris or signs of struggle gave any clue as to the reason the nest was empty.  And judging from the reaction of the robins, they appeared to be as bewildered as I was.

It was a scenario that was both pathetic and profound.  Pathetic in the sense that the little birds were continuing to bring food to an empty nest.  It was sad.  But it was also profound as I considered the fact that during my lifetime I, too, had often exerted a great deal of energy and expended a great deal of resources on an activity that God would evaluate as ‘dead, empty stuff’.

The words of the angels to the women at Jesus’ tomb,  ‘WHY DO YOU SEEK THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?’ kept ringing in my ears.   Good question.  Profound reality.

Why do I spend so much on so little and then wonder why my life is so empty?

Lord, please grant me Your grace.  Please help me discern the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, between what is righteous and what is unrighteous and between what is ‘dead’ and what is ‘alive’.   And, please help me walk in the ways that You would consider eternally good and alive.  Amen.