“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength, but wisdom brings success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV).
I recently watched a man in South Asia cut down a mahogany tree with a hatchet. The tree was probably 20 inches or so in diameter, with a fairly full top, and he climbed up near the top then began trimming branches. When he had it trimmed down to the main trunk only, then he came to the ground and cut it at the roots. Some of the work he did with a crosscut saw, but most was with a hand ax. If you have never tried it, take it from me, that is a hard job. This man did it well, and it did not take a very long time. Continue reading “Time well spent”
Has worship become stale? Do Sundays sometimes leave you wanting? The solution is not to jazz up the worship assembly but to reassess your attitude toward God. Perhaps you just want to get more out of worship. An adjustment in action may be warranted.
Worship is primarily about God. But in His wisdom, God made worship beneficial to us as well. We should all want to make worship mean more. But how?
Worship begins far from the meeting place. Every day helps to shape the next. Every decision informs the subsequent choice. Weekly worship of God is modeled after our daily devotion to him.
Continue reading “Bring a big bucket”
“And now, little children, abide in him, that when he appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28, NKJV).
I have recently returned to South Asia where I will be for the next few months. When I arrived I was greeted with many smiles and sincere welcomes by those whom I have known for a considerable time. It was good to be back, and they seemed very happy to have me here. Continue reading “At his coming”
Last Sunday, our time changed here in Brazil on the same date as in the US. That’s unusual. Usually, it occurs before, but was put off a few weeks because of the runoff presidential election last month. The US went off Daylight Savings Time, and Brazil, or much of it anyway, went on. So our time difference from Central Time, where most of our family members are, went, overnight, from two to fours hours.
They say that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of DST. Whatever caused this normally practical and good-ideas man to come up with this, we’ll never know. Must have been the same day he dreamed up the post office.
On Sunday Brazil held its country-wide National Exam, which also functions as a college-entrance exam. Some people missed getting in for the exam because we lost an hour. One girl was one minute late, after the gates had been closed, and missed her chance. When the gates close, no pleading will open them. Continue reading “One minute late”
One hour’s worth of work in the skin-scouring cold wind, and all I had to show for it was one six-pack of pansies planted under the cherry tree.
It’s not that I’m slow; well, not really. It’s not that I was digging great big holes for each one, and carefully spreading the roots around a soil mound concocted of a precise mix of humus and organic fertilizers and soil conditioners. Continue reading “Prep work”
Some time ago I was speaking to a young Christian who admitted he was afraid to lead in worship. “Everybody is looking at me and I forget what I was going to say.”
“You can lead in prayer then,” I joked. “Everyone’s eyes will be closed.”
More seriously I added. “Why don’t you write your prayer out on Saturday night, and you can simply read it Sunday morning.”
He agreed to try that. Continue reading “Reading in prayer”
Success comes after preparation Continue reading Be prepared
The editor takes his text from today’s daily Bible reading, about John the Immersor’s preaching, to talk about the need for preparation in many areas, including getting ready to take advantage of the new year. It’s not too late! Continue reading Prepare the way, before the time
She was a Christian woman with whom I’d been acquainted for many years. In recent months her husband battled some serious ailments. In that time, she developed some conditions of her own. It seemed she was doing better. But her husband woke up one morning, and she did not. She was 81 years old. Continue reading Fragile — Handle With Care
The quickest route to my hometown involves crossing Black Mountain. The summit of Black Mountain is Kentucky’s highest point, and to cover the 17 miles from its base in Virginia to the other side requires about 45 minutes. The road is at times steep, and there are plenty of curves to be negotiated. Continue reading Around The Next Curve