Friday, January 29, 2010

It's All About Time

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Remember those old metal wind up alarm clocks that were so noisy? If the ticking didn’t keep you awake all night, the loud alarm would send you clearing the bed when it went off. I had a great dislike for the time piece and wanted to put it out of existence with a hammer. The new silent digital clocks are much better but I still don’t like being awakened by any alarm. Why couldn’t someone invent one with the sound of a bull elk bugling or the call of Canada geese?

I occasionally set an alarm but always wake up before it goes off. The old farm rooster was an alarm at first light when I was a kid. Every rooster wants to crow a few times before the sun comes up. That was how God probably intended for us to wake up. Remember, Peter heard one three times while it was still dark as Jesus was being accused of false crimes.

We seem obsessed with time. When I guided in Alaska we told clients to forget their watch because we had two times; daylight and dark. Many of those men’s life revolved around time and it would take them a few days to adjust to a slower pace. The only one that didn’t was a dairy farmer from Wisconsin.

When it comes to eternal decisions, many people put it off like they have forever. They don’t. Why is it so hard to accept Jesus as our personal savior? That is the only decision we need to make before time runs out. Too many people think they have to get religion; but they only need to make Jesus their savior by inviting Him into their lives. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion. Jesus is about having a heart change.

All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and invite Him into your heart. Ask Him for strength to change, wisdom to grow, and the ability to persevere. He won’t let you down. Don’t put it off; it’s all about time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remnants And Quilts

Ardella has the gift of making beautiful quilts and has created several over the years. Most of the time she designs her own pattern which sometimes changes as the quilt is made. She has made some for fund raisers and I bought the first one she designed and donated to the Rocky Mountain Foundation. Last fall Ardella designed four quilts for our two daughters and granddaughters which are beautiful works of art.

Our basement holds vast pieces and remnants of material that look like they have no purpose until Ardella lays them together with other fabric. They suddenly come together to form a beautiful covering for beds. This got me thinking how we are lone remnants in this world until we come together with other Christians to form something beautiful. We are supposed to reflect Jesus to the world but often don’t. God calls His remnants to work for His glory and change lives of people.

Paul writes in Romans that we are a remnant saved by grace. We can’t save ourselves by works; it required a savoir. In Zechariah God promises an inheritance to the remnant of his people. He provided a way out for us in this huge sea of humanity, lost in its pride and sin.

Remnants don’t look too good until they are pieced together with other remnants. They look pretty bland and useless. When they are sewed together to form a quilt something beautiful is created. Christians by themselves aren’t very effective for God but when we come together in spirit we are unstoppable. Satan loves to separate us with all kinds of divisions.

While most of the world thinks they don’t need Jesus as savior, we do and can make a difference in lives of people we know by sharing the love of Christ with them. This world needs quilts so if you are a Christian going it alone; find other Christians and create something wonderful for God.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Misery Loves Company

Yesterday I went ice fishing with my friend Ken and son-in-law Vance. It was the worst day I have ever spent on the ice in my fifty years of pursuing this unique sport. Maybe I should have known when Ken came to pick us up and told us that nothing had gone right for him all day, but we had dreams of buckets of perch. What could go wrong?

Our temperatures have been hovering near forty degrees in the day so that makes for some water on the ice but the frozen layer is abut twelve inches thick. We selected a frozen bay that requires access across private property so not too many fishermen are allowed to use it. As we started out on the ice, puddles of water dotted about half the surface. We walked using ice grips on our boots to prevent falling and covered about three hundred yards before we drilled the holes. My auger blades had suddenly lost their cutting ability so I borrowed Vance’s to finish the holes. Ken did the same.

As we settled into fishing a slight wind blew from the west and a light rain came down. We weren’t going to let a little rain prevent us from catching perch. Time went by without a single bite and the wind and rain increased. The wind started gusting and we could see waves pounding against the outer edge of the ice about three hundred yards away. Soon the water depth on the ice started rising and so did the wind. I stood up from the five gallon bucket to stretch and the bucket took off sailing away. After a brief chase which included falling flat on my back, I had the bucket and set down again to jig for perch. The wind and rain intensified and Ken said he was freezing; of course I was optimistic the fish would start biting any minute. Why quit now?

For some reason my memory of the bucket briefly failed and I stood up again. This time the bucket took off racing across the ice and Vance’s fishing gear box decided to follow in pursuit. The race was on with Vance and I trying to run across what now was ice covered by deepening water and little icebergs chasing along. The chunks of ice were being driven by the gale force winds as the outer shelf of ice was being chewed up by big waves. Vance’s fishing box suddenly stopped but the bucket continued another thirty feet and hit a pocket of open water caused by a spring. We watched the bucket make a slow retreat to the bottom of the lake. When I turned to go back towards Ken the wind hit me and I could feel it trying to push me toward the open water so I leaned into it and dug in with the ice grips. Cold rain pelted us as we gathered up our equipment and made the long walk off the ice. Another fine day off fishing came to an end.

The fierce conditions we endured on the ice reminded me how wild our God is. He flung the stars and planets into their positions, all creation follows his order. I have been blessed to experience His wildness many times in the outdoors and I thank Him for it. I am humbled by His great powers. I am sure that in a few days we will try ice fishing again, after all what could go wrong.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All About Trust

Last summer our granddaughters talked us into taking Spud, a ten year old Fjord horse that they had picked up from a man in the spring. Spud is a small horse but doesn’t know that and wanted to challenge their big Fjord Amos. Fearing one of them would be injured; Vance said Spud had to find a new home so the granddaughters quickly figured that we should have him.

We brought Spud home without knowing much about his past but found out he liked to bite. I suspected that bad habit came from abuse he had received from his first owner. The guy said Spud was hard to catch without a grain bucket. Funny thing, I have never had any problem catching the horse. When Spud sees me with his halter, he comes right up and stands still while I slip it over his head. I have spent many hours with Spud grooming him and leading him around. Over the past few months, Spud has slowly quit trying to bite. He now wants to give me kisses on my cheek. The little horse has come to trust me completely.

God wants us to put our trust in Him. The word trust is used many times in the Bible. Proverbs says a lot about trust. Chapter 3 verse 5 says, “Trust in the Lord always.” Chapter 16 verse 20 states, “Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Chapter 28 speaks of trust twice. “He who trusts in the Lord will prosper” and “he who trusts in himself is a fool.”

We often are so busy trying to manage our life that we don’t ever think about letting God in to help. Satan likes to fill our heads with thoughts of doubt about God. God wouldn’t want anything to do with us; we aren’t worthy. Do you know how much better our world would be if all men trusted completely in God? We are fools when we trust in ourselves or the words of other fools.

Our pride often gets in the way of relying on God to guide us. Guess who dishes out the pride to us? Replacing pride with humbleness will have us on the road to a relationship with the Father. Trust and relationship go hand in hand. Trust God; He is waiting for you to kiss Him on the cheek.