Monday, September 24, 2012

It's a small world

Last  Sunday, we talked about compassion at church. Pastor Paul shared with us how compassion is attractive and active.  He then told the story of Jesus in Mark chapter 1; how he took compassion on the leper who was attracted to him. Jesus reached out and touched him before he healed him. We were encouraged to reach out and be imitators of Christ and let his compassion flow through us.  It was a good sermon and I prayed that God would make me more compassionate.   However, like so often,  I forgot about the sermon and went about my Sunday like every other day, being caught up with myself. 

Monday morning, I found myself at the airport waiting to go to the International Mining Show in Las Vegas. Over the last 15 years I have traveled literally hundreds of thousands of miles, but have not really traveled in the last 5 years, so i was a little nervous. That coupled with my always early "gift", I found myself at the airport plenty early and the gate was not yet open.  I sat down across from an older man, who to be honest, was not very clean and did not smell the best.  I also noticed he had an artificial leg, crutches, and a duffle bag.  He made some small talk as I checked my email and proceeded to be busy. When the gates were open he asked if we could go in and I said we could.  I offered to help him with his bag and carried it up to the gate for him. 

He had some issues at the gate with his leg and all and them making him give up his water bottle, so I went ahead and he came and sat behind me in the waiting area, on the other side of security. He said "they took away my  water bottle." I said "they do that now days" and told him he could buy another in the store. He said "not without money. "

We continued to talk off and on and he shared with me how he was hurt in a work accident and was being sent down to MPLS to be looked at by the insurance company's doctor.   He figured they were looking to get out of paying for his work accident. He pointed to his aluminum, chaplain hook, peg leg, complete with shoe, and said " pretty hard to get out of this. "

I excused myself and went and got him a bottled water. I gave it to him and he said "Oh you did not need to do that." I said " I know, but I wanted to." He accepted it and told me how this water was not as good as the one he had. Oh it was good and he was glad to have it, but the other one was pure mountain water.  We talked some more as we were seated back to back.  He told me about his wife dying . About his kids  and his two cats that he had to leave at home.  He was worried about them, they were his companions now.  He told me about in the 60's how he went to UND to play football. He was a walk on, but ended up making the team and lettering. He was very proud of this. 

He asked where I lived and we found out that he had relatives that were my neighbor, and one I use to work with when I was in college. Also found out he had other relatives who were my father-in-laws neighbors in Webster where my father-in-law grew up. "It's a small world" he said. One of his relatives was a Logie. I said I had relatives by that name also, to which he again said "It's a small world."

It was getting close to boarding and I got up to use the restroom.  When I came back someone had taken my seat but there was one across from him so I sat down and we talked some more. I asked him how long ago his wife died and he told me in the spring of 2011. He told me how she died. She had come home sick from work and insisted he go to work and how that was the last time he spoke to her. He shared how she had loved roses and had just purchased two that she was planning on planting, but never got to do.   As he leaned closer and with his eyes welling with tears he shared how he planted those two bushes and each one produced a single rose that year.  This year they both produced 7 roses that bloomed on Father's Day. He figured it was his gift from her. 

It came time to board and I checked his ticket and told him he should early board, as it would give him the time he needed. He thanked me and proceeded to the gate. I handed him my card as I walked by in the plane and wished him a safe journey. 

As I think back there was so much more I could and should have done for him. I did very little other than show some kindness to an older gentleman. I got him a water and let him talk, which he needed, but I think I needed more.  I over looked his appearance, his arthritic deformed hands, and his peg leg and just listened to his story. 

After sitting down in the plane I realized that God had done what I prayed he would do. I also came away realizing lIfe is short and we need to live it for Jesus and show compassion like he does.  That is our role as followers of Christ - to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ to touch the unclean, to show compassion on them. Too often we get all caught up in our life, in making money, in our kids, our stuff (yeah even motorcycles). We put off our calling until the end, and then it is the end, and maybe too late. 

I pray that Erwin makes it okay to the Doctor and home. I pray for his loneliness, and that God would place someone else in his path who can further help him, who will love him like Jesus does. I pray that Erwin knows Jesus' love. And i thank God, how he can take a little prayer on a Sunday and turn this great big world into such a small world!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have been posting on facebook a verse everyday through lent. I reread the verse I posted today and realized that I sometimes don't know if we all understand the religious language of my first post so I posted it again out of The Message. It really hit me. We have all been bought with a price. Even if we choose not to accept it Christ died for us. What a price to pay. He died for someone as unworthy as me. Thank you Jesus, I accept your gift!

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried-our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he'd never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn't true. (Isaiah 53:2-9 The Message)

Friday, February 3, 2012

To whom much is given much is required

Okay I am really getting tired of the politicians using our Christian faith. I am a conservative and vote republican. Not that I think they have it all together! But for a few simple reason that I believe are fundamental.

The first and foremost is the abortion issues. Since the legalization of Roe vs Wade we have aborted over 50 million babies in the USA! This is simply unbelievable and as Chris Yunker said at church, a couple of Sundays ago. This is our Holocaust in America.

Secondly, I am not now, nor have I ever been rich, at least not in worldly money standards. I am rich spiritually and God has blessed me richly with a wife who loves me, and 3 wonderful children who follow after Him. So even If I do not follow into the media and democratic view of rich republicans, I still believe that letting people keep as much control of their money is far better then letting the government disperse the money. I’m tired of liberals thinking they know more and better how to spend money and give it away then I do. Time and time again when they are forced to reveal their taxes, it only shows that they take advantage of every loophole that they big bad Republicans do. I have been astounded at what some of the Liberals give to charity. You would expect republicans who care nothing for the poor and down trodden to give little (That was sarcasm on my part) but democrats, who only care for the poor, wouldn’t they give more? I give to my church and others as I feel God leads me. I truly believe that how I give will help people. If I really thought that the government was the best way to help the poor, I would give money above my taxes. If this is what liberal’s believe why do they not demonstrate it with their own money.

I know Jesus says give to Caesar what is his (Mark 12:17) and I do and will pay my taxes. I just feel that we as a society would be much better served, if we Americans had more of our money to use and give as we feel, and not how the government with all their waste and abuse feels it should be used.

So all this leads me to why I chose to write this update. I’m not the best at blogging in a consistent way. I usually only post when something really hits me, and this one did.

Yesterday president Obama used the bible to share at the national prayer breakfast why he feels we should pay more in taxes. The partial verse he quoted was taken from Luke 12:48 and says; But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

President Obama used to whom much is given much is demanded. If you go back and read this whole chapter you will find that while wealth is talked about, the verse is referring to knowledge. Knowledge of what the master wants us to do, and doing it. Now the master is not the Government, the master is God!

In fact you could argue that this same verse could be applied to President Obama and his views on abortion. The bible clearly says in Matthew 25: 40 …’Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

How much more least can you get then a baby in a mothers womb. Psalms 139:13-16 says; For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praised you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

This clearly states that life begins even before conception. If God new us before he even knit us together, how can it not be life!

A far better verse for President Obama to have used, would have been the Mark 12:17 verse. Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”

All of my money is God’s! I still struggle with this from time to time. God will take care of us not the republicans and not the democrats and most certainly not our Government. As for me, I will put my faith in Him.

I’m still voting for the most conservative candidate come election time. We need to get back to the America that we once were and once again put our trust in God!