Have you ever been frustrated by something that should work and doesn’t? For the last several months I’ve had a rotten time trying to charge my phone. I purchased several charging cords but the connection always seemed to be an issue to the point where many times I would have to hold the phone and firmly push the cord to get a steady charge. I was just about to take the phone into the store and replace it when I had an idea. Taking a pin I probed the cavity where the cord connected and immediately all kinds of dirt and matted hair began to come loose. Honestly, I felt pretty foolish—no wonder the phone was not properly charging—it was plugged up with debris.
Roughly 27% of people worldwide have paid a bribe to a government agency in the last 12 months, according to the latest Global Corruption Barometer report from Transparency International. The survey covered more than 114,000 people across 107 countries, the Wall Street Journal reports, and on the bright side, two-thirds said they refused to pay up when asked for bribes . . . Sierra Leone took the cake with 84% of people paying up, while upright Japan, Australia, and Denmark each had only 1%. The US came in at 7%, but all is hardly hunky dory here, with 76% saying they believed the political parties were affected by corruption.
Jeb spread a false rumor about another leader in the church. His pastor after confirming the report was untrue, confronted him about the report and asked him to recant. Jeb refused and shortly thereafter, left the church. Unfortunately, in a bizarre twist of events, Jeb’s departure ended up in the elders expelling their pastor and church founder. The body of Christ lost a talented leader and in hearing this true story I was reminded of Jesus’ warning to his disciples.
We sang in worship this morning a song that included a desire to present to God an inside that was both clean and committed. It reminded me of the words of another song, “Cleanse my heart O God.” I’ve probably sung that song a hundred times without dwelling on the fact that unless my focus is heart-centric cleansing is superficial at best. In any area that I have not surrendered to God from the core of my being, I continue to struggle. For example, I know that when my wife is talking to me I should listen. Yet, because I am intent on getting my work done or enjoying my activity, I do not give her my full attention. Mentally I ought to be able to fix inattentiveness and focus on what Kathleen is saying but without a surrendered heart it is just not so. The problem at the core is I am more concerned with my things than with her things.
In 2010, in the Democratic Republic of Congo,a man decided to make money selling a crocodile so he placed the two-to-three foot reptile in his sports bag and illegally brought him aboard a Czech-made Let L-410 Turbolet flying out of Kinshasa. The crocodile managed to chew his way loose sparking a stampede amongst the terrified passengers. Their sudden movement to escape caused the plane to go into a spin and crash into a house not far from its final destination. Nineteen people were killed with only one person surviving to tell the harrowing story. Ironically, the crocodile also survived only to be killed with a machete by rescuers going through the wreckage.
I’m sure the smuggler never considered that his croc would cause a plane crash. That’s the problem with those who break the law seemingly to gain some benefit.
2 Chronicles 14:7—So he said to the people of Judah, “Let’s build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, with doors and bars. The land is still ours because we sought the LORD our God. We sought Him and He gave us rest on every side.” So they built and succeeded.
“A June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have “checked out” of them.” According to Dr. Bruce Levine, young Americans especially are rebelling against an unpleasant life through what is termed mental illness. Depression is 10-20 times more common than it was 50 years ago and it has also become a young person’s setback. “Whereas 30 years ago the average age at which the first onset of depression occurred was 29.5, now the average age is between 14 and 15.”A New York Times report in 2007 discovered that the number of children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder had increased 40-fold between 1994 and 2003. The Center for Disease Control shares the following: “A total of 13%–20% of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year, and surveillance during 1994–2011 has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing.”
Lamentations 3:39—Why should any living person complain, any man, because of the punishment for his sins?
One of the aspects of leadership that I find most taxing is taking disciplinary action against employees for immoral, illegal, or unethical behavior. If people were honest and simply confessed wrongdoing it would not be so hard. Yet rarely does that seem to be the case. Excessive time and emotional energy is spent in separating truth from fiction.
Imagine if a few influential leaders suggested that traffic lights are too restrictive. They offend a percentage of drivers who feel trapped and forced to conform to other motorists. Three-way lights are insensitive to the needs of the color blind and old fashioned. Either do away with them or give each driver leeway to determine whether to brake or accelerate. Of course, if this really happened there would be an outcry by safety-minded drivers for the ruckus and accidents that would ensue.
Mark 15:15—Then, willing to gratify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. And after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.