By Johnny O. Trail — Drives returning home after Wednesday evening services are typically uneventful. Last Wednesday was vastly different than what I typically experience on my commute from mid-week Bible study. The tragic experience I came upon made me ponder a few things of spiritual importance.
As I was topping a hill on the way home, I saw a motorcycle laying in the ditch. Just a bit further down the road, there was a white car that had wrapped itself around a tree. Since my eldest son typically drives himself and his brothers to and from church in his car, my concerns were immediately raised. He too, drives a white vehicle. Continue reading “One less day”
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”
The world started with God. He spoke, and it came into existence. God existed before all else. He is not created. He created all things.
Human beings started with God. Before the world was created, God planned to make man. In fact, everything else was created for man’s benefit.
Salvation started with God. He gave free will to man, so that the choice to love and serve God would be a real one. But man rejected God. God was not content to leave it at that. He had decided to bring man back to himself. Continue reading “Start with God”
A year is a God-given division of time. He made the heavenly lights to mark days, seasons, and years. So people — recognizing God’s sovereignty or not — make plans for a year, such as traveling, doing business, and making money, James 4.13.
As people age, it seems that “the years that lie ahead are few” Job 16.22. Even though we may reach the ripe old age of 80, “the years of our lives pass quickly, like a sigh” Psalm 90.9-10. But Solomon said it doesn’t matter if you lived a thousand years twice, death is still coming for you, Ecclesiastes 6.1-9. Maybe how you live, and what you live for, is what really matters, yes?
The Bible has a recipe for adding years to one’s life: wisdom, Proverbs 4.10; 9.11, and obedience to parents, Deuteronomy 5.16; Ephesians 6.1-3. Diet and exercise are good, but God’s plan for longevity is better. Remember that Hezekiah got 15 years added to his life, but it didn’t turn out so well for him, Isaiah 38.5. Continue reading “The years of our lives”
If God has still allowed me time on this earth, it is because he still has something for me to do. I do not presume to know all his thoughts, but that seems to be a safe statement to make. Others younger and more talented than I have entered eternity. There have been moments when I came close to the exit: car accident, surgery, my own foolishness, perhaps. (You may have your own moments to tell about.) But the Lord rescued me from them all (to borrow Paul’s language, if not his experience, in 2 Tim 3.11). Continue reading “The opportunities of life and time, and why we don’t pursue them”
We’re sitting in the auditorium in the congregation we attend. Facing the pulpit, we look at the walls to the right and the left and imagine a powerful string stretched from one to the other.
On that string, we see a beautiful, brightly colored tapestry. The tapestry begins on the right wall and ends on the left and it represents time as we know it.
On the right wall is creation (Genesis 1-2) and on the left wall is the return of Christ and judgment (John 14:1-6; Revelation 20:11-15). In the middle, we have the measurable days of the human existence. Continue reading “Time, tapestry and God”
“On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to him, ‘Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ And He said to them, ‘Go, tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected'” (Luke 13:31-32 NKJV).
Increasingly there seems to be fewer hours in the day and days in the week. There is so much to be done, and so little time in which to do it. But here in South Asia there are continuous interruptions to further complicate matters. Hartals (strikes; known as “hartals” in Bangladesh and “bundhs” in Nepal) are called frequently, which halt all business and travel. They may be local or national, for a few hours, or for one or more days. They may be political protests, part of demands for better working conditions, or attempts to procure reimbursement for the victims of a traffic accident or other tragedy.
Even when there are no strikes there is the continuous problem of inadequate power supply. Most of the less-developed nations do not have enough generating power to meet modern demand for electricity. Nor do they have the economic strength to purchase power from outside sources (if those are even available – most of their neighbors don’t have enough for themselves) or to build or operate additional generators. Continue reading “Are we interrupted or permanently distracted?”
Man has always searched for the fountain of youth. How much longer do we have? Continue reading How Long Have You Got?