Series 21


Job-Securing Resume

My wife Nancy and I were discussing a new van to transport children to church.  And maybe an extra driver too!

“You know who would make a good driver?” I said. “Frank would.” Nancy laughed, “You’ve never even met Frank.”

“No, but I like his resume.” Actually, this is about all I know about Frank:

Shortly before Christmas, Wal-Mart was packed. As Nancy paid for her items, she recognized a smiling teenager helping a man in a wheel chair. “He was having a great time.”  She didn’t know the young man’s name, but had seen him a few times at her ministry-- The Free Store. They exchanged greetings. He departed Wal-Mart ahead of her.

Nancy located her car as a small truck drove up. The same young man hopped out, asking if she needed held.  Then he said, “God told me to give you this.”  Surprised, Nancy thanked him, “What’s your name.” she asked. “Frank.” Matter-of-fact serious, he repeated: “God told me to give you that.”

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying: This is the way-- walk in it.”

Once in her car, Nancy unrolled three twenty-dollar bills. She nearly laughed out loud, feeling awe for God mixed with gratitude towards Frank. He was unaware that Nancy had just spent $62.30 on supplies for a Christmas party at the Free Store to benefit needy families.

I told you, Frank has a great resume. He hears from God. Immediately does what God tells him to do. Serves people.

Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear and your soul will live.”

Frank’s resume also includes one Friend as a personal reference. Jesus said, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” Only a true friend of Jesus will possess this type of job-securing resume.

How’s your resume looking?



Dave wrinkled his face, “We don’t allow the boys to go on myspace.” Then he alluded to the type of strangers who might contact his teenagers on this internet free-for-all/ do- your-own-thing website. A little more face wrinkle, “We’re not taking chances.”

The conversation shifted. Casually I asked, “Are you still going to Prairie Chapel Church?” He replied, “No, but we’re looking for a church…well not a lot.”

Dave is my brother. He had been a faithful church attender his entire life. And rock-solid in every area of his life.

So I’m thinking “Your boys can’t go on myspace—bad influences.” This whispers “reasonable” to me. But then you’ve dropped out of church. This hollers pretty loud to me, “This is not right.”

The Bible concurs: “Do not forsake the gathering together as the day grows near.” This doesn’t take a Bible scholar to understand. Go to church as the end of the world draws nearer. Well, it’s always drawing closer…so attend church. In some organized form.

The next time we spoke, I decided to confront him—in love. Truthfully, I did not want to talk about it; silence would be easier. 

I knew of a church nearby that Dave and his family might feel comfortable at. He said, “Yeah, some friends of ours go there, they’ve invited us.”  I then said, “You’re part of a growing phenomena called de-churched” People who once were loyal churchgoers who now prefer a lifestyle void of church attendance.  His voice tone indicated my appeal was unsuccessful.

King David, the psalmist wrote, “I was glad when they said to me: Let us go into the House of the Lord.” His joy came from the tangible knowing that he was pleasing God.

Can you think of anything better than making God happy? So please… make God smile on Sunday.


My Girlfriend or God?

“Brandon and Daniel think I’m going to Hell,” Timothy said. I didn’t know what he was talking about. Then he said, “I’m not going to church tonight.” I thought he was joking--he always goes. Either way, his absence would not destine him to Hell.

Timothy said. “We’ve got company.” With some quick observations my brain connected the dots. I saw his “company.” I had never met the sixteen-year old girl. Timothy glanced at her; she returned a slight smile back.

Two weeks before he had said, “Can I talk to you?” Fourteen-year old Timothy wanted “girlfriend” advice.

We talked about “everything” involving his romantic inclination. I cautioned him. He said, “She’s so pretty.” I added more warning and he rebutted, “She really is pretty.”

I could have given him numerous Scriptures to shore up my advice. Here’s one: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is fully-grown, brings forth death.

First a person thinks about doing something wrong. If they do it; then they must bear the consequences of their actions forever.

I can hear it—“Lighten up. He’s a fourteen-year old kid.”

Timothy’s mom had her first child at sixteen. Each generation back to Timothy’s great, great, great grandmother has had ungodly opposite-sex relationships. The family tree is diseased. Babies, teenagers, and adults of all ages are affected by these havoc-wreaking decisions. 

Timothy chose not to go to church. Actually, he chose his girlfriend over God. But I know he will make a valiant comeback from this veer.

Timothy, at certain junctures in our lives, one decision can set the compass for our entire life. One choice.

Weigh your choices, knowing they tip the scales of your destiny.


Kissing the Cat

“I finally got my son to go to the doctor,” Jan said. What’s wrong with him? “I think he has tapeworms.”  She added: “I told him he got them from kissing the cat.”

I almost laughed.

Then Stacy said, “Tell him to eat pumpkin seeds. That will cut the tapeworms right out of him.” Jan agreed.

Now I’m really resisting laughing out loud.

I’m thinking, “Do people really get tapeworms.” I’ve never known anyone. Then toss in some cat kissing and a bag of pumpkin seeds; I’m in the middle of a fact/fiction quandary.

The Bible says in Job 15:2: “Should a wise person answer with empty knowledge. And fill themselves with the east wind?” The scripture is saying that empty knowledge, a supposed truth with no fact is not the way of a wise person and it is full of wind—worthless.

I didn’t say anything. But too many times I’ve tossed out my view-- thinking it was truth.

I definitely had an opinion. And from there I’m so easily catapulted into forming an opinion of Jan.  Soon I was engaging in something I’ve been making a determined effort to stymie in my life.

Judging people. The Bible is pretty plain about it--don’t do it.

Later, I gathered the facts. Yes, people get tapeworms. Yes, pumpkins seeds are a folk remedy with high merit. Now as far as the danger of kissing cats; I’m still not sure.

But this I do know. Using empty knowledge to form an assumption about a person can be a disease far more harmful than tapeworms.

I’ve engaged in ungodly behavior. Yes me. God, forgive me. It is my desire to change. God, I will resist repeating this behavior which offends You and people. God I praise You; I know You will help me.


The Right Bounce

“Good luck,” Pastor Jerry said.

His wishes were directed to my sixteen-year old friend Phillip. We were heading towards the church’s basketball court. Phillip was minutes away from his first game in the intramural league.

Phillip is real quiet. I’m not: “We don’t believe in luck. We believe in blessings and skills.”

My response may have sounded a little flippant, but it’s true. I do not believe in luck. And whenever someone says “good luck,” my brain goes, “Does not compute.”  I know Pastor Jerry well. We both smiled.

So why don’t I believe in luck? Because, it’s not in the Bible. 

I cannot fathom God looking down from heaven with a thunderlike voice saying, “Good luck in your basketball game Phillip.” So…mysteriously, by chance or for unforeseen reasons Phillip’s shots, dribbles, and passes would take the right bounce. Or at least an improved bounce. Just lucky.

Someone once said, “The harder I worked, the luckier I got.”  Not suggesting luck, but offering a viable formula to success.

The Bible says, “Whatever you do, do as if unto the Lord.” So no matter what the endeavor, do it with topnotch excellence. If you’re going to play basketball, practice hard; play hard as if you’re on God’s team.

Phillip’s performance for the game lacked “the right bounce.”  It was not bad luck. He had not worked on his game—some by choice and some because of the lack of opportunities.

Do you want God’s blessing in your life? One of God’s timeless gateways to His blessing is good-old-fashioned hard work in what He has for us to do. When you do this, the wind of God’s blessing will blow into the sails of your life’s destiny.

As the Bible says: “Blessed is the person who has God for their help.”