Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I just finished pubishing my latest E-Book, a short novel I've written and called, "MURDER AT PALM CREEK." Palm Creek, AZ, is where Carol and I live in the winter. This fun book (fiction, of course) is now available at Amazon Kindle either by clicking on the website after my name below, or by typing in my name on the Kindle E-Book website.

But my purpose today is more than advertisement. I'd like to apply this to our understanding of God. If you have a Kindle Reader, you can order thousands of books, some free, and most for a small fee. My novel costs $3.99, inexpensive for a book, the cost of a small paperback.

A Kindle Reader is an Electronic Book. The most amazing thing about an E-Book is that when you order an E-Book, it mysteriously appears on your Kindle Reader in less than a minute. It comes through the air, right from New York or wherever Amazon sends it. And it comes into your home with no wires, no phone connection - it just arrives. And it knows exactly where to "land" - in your Kindle Reader. Wirelessly, perfect every time. Do you realize how amazing this is?

How did it know where to go? How did it keep from getting scrambled with the billions of other messages also flying through the air? How did that book, or your cell phone call, or that text message or that TV show arrive in your home in the exact same form as someone sent it? Why didn't it get mixed in the air waves on the way over?

So far I've not had one person explain this successfully. Of course they've tried: It comes electronically (How?) It comes via radio waves (Where are they?) It comes via satellites (From 220 miles up in space?) It comes via short wave, long wave or microwave (Could you point one of those out to me?)

So far, absolutely no one has explained how this can happen to me successfully. I'm not stupid, I just want to see one of those wave, and maybe touch one, too. I doubt anyone will be able to show me, because no one else has seen one either. We just believe these things happen, and we accept the process without even a partial understanding of how it happens!

But of course, we cannot believe in God, though, can we? That's too unreasonable. All the bright people in the world accept without reservation radio waves, invisible gasses, an invisible radiation field, but they can not - will not - believe in God. God is merely a creation, a figment of someone's imagination.

Here's my point: Until someone - anyone - can show me how electronics fly through the air and land in my Kindle Reader in perfect condition, without my touching, holding or seeing those radio waves, I will continue to believe in God who has made our universe perfect enough for complex life.

And until someone - anyone - can fully explain to me how even one human cell can continue living and doing its task well in my body, without anyone telling it what to do, or without any human man or woman being able to create another such cell (from NOTHING because that's what creation is), I will believe in a Creator.

And until someone - anyone - can fully explain to me why God would ever love such sinful, imperfect people who act in such murderous, lying, arrogant, foolish, idiotic, cruel ways, I will believe Jesus Christ came from heaven to save us from our sins.

We're not nearly so smart as we think we are!


Monday, July 18, 2011


Too long. Too short. Too big. Too small. Too tight. Too loose. Too much. Too little. All these phrases describe much of the clothing we try on. Finding the "perfect fit" seems at times impossible but we keep trying, trying, trying. The "perfect fit" MUST be out there somewhere!

Finding a church that is a "perfect fit" poses similar problems for many people, but it isn't always the fault of the church. Every church has something that's not quite right. The pastor may not preach up to our standards. The Sunday School teacher may disappoint us or our child. The Church Council may do things too fast or too slow. Our gifts may not be appreciated. Others don't give enough. The music may not be to our liking. Certain liturgies, attitudes, programs or people may make us uncomfortable. Any one of these things, and more, may tempt us to stay away, or to seek another church, or to stop worshipping all together.

There is no perfect church, and we will never be perfect members. We know this, and yet we run from one church to the next, looking for the right size, the exact attitude, the right flavor, the perfect fit. Because we live in the age of Baskin-Robbins and their "31 Flavors," we want to keep looking till we find the right one, with the right taste and texture. Meanwhile, we fail God's Church by not using our talents, or we disappoint our fellow Christians by leaving them for greener pastures, or we weaken the church by our constant search to find the "perfect fit."

Does God want us to stay at a church where we are miserable? Of course not. But why are we miserable? Are we making other people miserable by our attitude? Are we really being the kind of Christian Church Members God wants or expects us to be?

St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:21-22, "In Him [Jesus] the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit." That passage means you do have a place God has made for you, and it's time you occupy it.

What do you really want from a church these days? A safe haven? A hiding place? A mutual admiration society? A peaceful valley? A place of perfection? Or a place to be challenged and grow? A place where you can welcome all kinds of people? A group that knows it is weak and frail and needs the Lord Jesus? A small Christian group that needs you or a big church where you can be entertained?

Will you be a building block in your church? Or will you be a stumbling block? What does God want you to be in this life among His people?

Are you willing to become that person?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It's not enough just to have life's resources, talents or vision; you also need to use them. Possession is only half the equation; utilization is the other half.

Yesterday it rained where we live. The Weather Service had promised it, but we had no idea it would be so much. It's really green in Colorado this summer, and that's been nice for our lawns or gardens.

At 1:30 PM it started to rain and in just one hour, we'd been drenched by two full inches of rain, plus drifts of marble-sized hail everywhere. The lights flickered off and on, so we unplugged the computers and TV and watched God put on an impressive show with His wind, lightening, rain, hail and thunder.

Storms like this make me uneasy. We live downhill from other homes, and our location has periodically resulted in water in our basement. I've installed a "french drain," doubled the number of down spouts and, best of all, put in a sump pump at a critical location, all of which have kept our basement dry for four years. But at Carol's suggestion during the storm, I headed downstairs to check the sump pump. Not only was it not working, its groundwater container was filling fast and we were soon to have some of God's rain in our basement once again. I pulled out the pump, grabbed a pitcher and bailed water with gusto. I was truly grateful Carol had suggested checking it.

When the rain let up and the bailing brought the water level down, Carol continued while I checked the sump. It needed, not a new pump, but a new electric float-switch to make the pump do its work correctly. A quick trip to Home Depot and a fast repair put the sump back into action. As I look back on last night, I am giving praise to God for our dry basement. A nicely finished basement needs no wet carpet!

As I was bailing, I knew there must be a lesson there somewhere. Then it came: It's not enough just to have something, we must use it correctly. It's not enough just to be blessed, we must pass our blessings along. The pump was in fine condition, in the right place, ready to work. But it was useless if the automatic switch would not turn it on.

You and I might be wonderful, gifted Christian men, women and children, but if we don't pass along the faith gifts God has given us, what good are they? James 2:14 tells us, "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?" Buried talents don't help anyone, only the used ones do.

"So faith without works, is dead." (like the pump, until switched on)

I INVITE YOU to Check out my recently published Kindle E-Bbooks

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Today I am sending you a reprint of a devotion I read in OUR DAILY BREAD, a fine daily devotional booklet produced by RBC Ministries. In their June 29 devotional, writer Cindy Hess Kasper wrote an excellent devotion which I'd like to offer this week. Here are her words:

"In his book, "Though the Valley of the Kwai," Scottish officer Ernest Gordon wrote of his years as a prisoner of war during World War Two. The 6'2" man suffered from malaria, diphtheria, typhoid, beriberi, dysentery and jungle ulcers, and the hard labor and scarcity of food quickly plunged his weight to less than 100 pounds.

The squalor of the prison hospital prompted a desperate Ernest to request to be moved to a cleaner place - the morgue. Lying in the dirt of the death house, he waited to die. But every day, a fellow prisoner came to wash his wounds and to encourage him to eat part of his own rations. As the quiet and unassuming Dusty Miller nursed Ernest back to health, he talked with the agnostic Scotsman of his own strong faith in God and showed him that - even in the midst of suffering - there is still hope.

The hope we read about in Scripture is not vague, wishy-washy optimism. Instead, biblical hope is a strong and confident expectation that what God has promised in His Word He will accomplish. Tribulation is often the catalyst that produces perseverance, character, and finally, hope.

Seventy years ago, in a brutal POW camp, Ernest Gordon learned this truth himself and later said, "Faith thrives when there is no hope but God."

"For we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

I can add no more to those excellent Words from the Lord through St. Paul.