John the Baptist was discouraged. The imprisoned forerunner to Jesus was unable to personally witness Jesus at work. He begin to have doubts as to if Jesus truly was the Messiah. So he sent his disciples to ask the Lord, “Are You the One who is come, or should we look for someone else?” It was an honest question from a godly prophet.
Luke 7:22--He replied to them, “Go and report to John the things you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.
Allie jogged from her house to school when a neighborhood dog broke loose from his owner and chased her. The mean canine bit her several times before his master was able to regain control. “How unfair and unlucky!” her angry Aunt Zelda said to her mother Susan as they sat in the hospital waiting room while the doctor treated her. “We don’t know that,” Susan responded.
Johannesburg, also known as Jozi, Joburg, or Joni, is South Africa’s most populated city with 3.2 million inhabitants. It is the world’s largest city not located next to a river, lake, or coastline and it boasts the highest metropolitan economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oliver Tambo International Airport isone of the most beautiful airports I have ever visited. Travelers might conclude from its stores and restaurants they were entering a paradise.
In the Philippines it is culturally considered embarrassing to be asked a question and to not know the answer. So, if I am out driving and I ask a bystander for directions, I may get directions even if the person has no clue what the correct way is. Therefore, one must always beware of heeding advice and acting on it without getting a second or third opinion. Filipinos do not like to say “I don’t know.”
Just before 10:30 p.m. I found the cottage where I would be staying. I unloaded the two large suitcases, my carry-on bag, and backpack from the Jeep and proceeded into the dark house. My aide-de-camp left a message on the table beside a container of fruit welcoming me to Fort McCoy. In the kitchen the refrigerator was stocked with Powerades and Ginger Ale. On the coffee table was a bowl filled with what looked like gold hard candies. I thought to myself what a good job the aide had done and plopped one of the “candies” in my mouth.
Luke 22:36-38—Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money-bag should take it, and also a traveling bag. And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one. For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in Me. And He was counted among the outlaws. Yes, what is written about Me is coming to its fulfillment.”
“Lord,” they said, “look, here are two swords.”
“Enough of that!” He told them.
Four of us were enjoying an informal time of fellowship when the topic came up of how we identify with Christ around others. One of the men pulled out his cell phone and showed how it had an icon of Christ as his background photo. Ron said he had also had a picture representing Christ on his phone. He pulled it out to show us, but all we could see was icons of missed calls that blocked the picture underneath.
Brian dreamed for a long time of building a house for his family on a wooded, five-acre plot of land nestled within the city. Notice I used the word dreamed. Brian did not just want to put up a simple home for his family of five. He wanted to build a ten-thousand square foot ministry center. I remember many of us thought he was overreaching. Why not just build a modest home and then as God provided continue to expand?
He jumped in too early. A white policeman arrested a prominent black professor, and eager journalists needled President Obama to answer before he knew all the facts. He misspoke. Perhaps a lingering frustration gave birth to an unfortunate vetting. That silence can be golden is an understatement for a man besieged by microphones. Our society is sensitive to racial harmony—and should we be surprised, given that our melting pot is a degree away from a boiling kettle!
I am convinced that I have found one of the causes of cancer—it’s a small mass of cells that when left on its own rapidly grows into a destructive monster. The cells are called assumptions.
Charles and I were having a great discussion when I asked him what would happen if a truck came around the bend at a high speed and accidentally struck and killed him? What would he say to God when the Lord asked him why He should let him into heaven? Charles said, “Well the operative answer would be that I believe in Jesus Christ and am sorry for my sins.”
Kathleen called me on my cell phone. “Dan, I think Mel was run over . . .” Mel, short for Melbourne, is our Siamese mix cat well-beloved in the York household. So on my way home I deviated from the normal route and sure enough, found him lying beside the sidewalk just a block from our home. I walked down to where he lay and noticed the blood trail running from the center of the road. I was surprised because Mel is rather skittish and I’d never known him to cross the busy road in front of our home. I figured something spooked him and he ran out into the road and was hit.
I feel like I’m living in a giant bubble that increases with size and darkens in color. I wonder when it will explode and what outcome I can expect. Almost daily I receive emails from people that love President Bush and despise John Kerry. Conversely, I get messages that bash Bush and laud the Massachusetts Senator. Each person is certain of his or her views. I don’t ever remember seeing this nation so polarized and divided over who should be its next Commander-in-Chief. Perhaps in the tempest it is wise to remember the temptation to lean on our own understanding sets us up for failure. If our hope for the future is pinned on a man or a party we are destined for an overdose of pain.
Romans 14:10-12--But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God. For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.