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Pingates

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bless Those Who Use You

(This is a re-post from 12/29/2004)

Read Matthew 5:43-48

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.”
Proverbs 24:17-18

I have worked with many people and have been mistreated many times by those over me. It seems that it is real easy to hope that the person gets demoted, fired or the business goes bad because I am not there. Or even go out of business. But the Lord tells us to “pray for our enemies and bless those that abuse you.” (Paraphrase Matt. 5:44) I wonder how many companies that have treated their employees bad and still do well because the people of God secretly prayed to see them “ get theirs” and fall. Therefore, God turned His wrath from them.
Next time you see a person fall that had treated you wrong, let the Lord guide you in ways to bless him. Who knows maybe the Lord will defeat an enemy by making him a friend.

Prayer: Father, Forgive those who treat us wrong and bring them to repentance for your sake.
AMEN

Thought for the Day
“The noblest vengeance is forgiveness” (The Officer - 1919, Notable Quotables, Salvation Army Publishing)
Wayne Brooks (Dothan, Alabama)

Prayer Focus: FOR THOSE THAT HAVE DONE YOU WRONG

Friday, February 20, 2015

That Faith Thing

Quite a few years ago, I attended a lecture by the Publisher and Editor-n-Chief of “Skeptic” magazine, Michael Shermer. He is also the author of the book, “The Believing Brain”. It was held at the College my daughter was attending at the time, Troy State University in Dothan, Alabama. I decided to go because I had read Skeptic magazine and I wanted to hear what evidence he was going to present.
Well, without speaking negatively of Mr. Shermer, I soon knew that no evidence was going to be presented. I only heard jokes, put-downs and ideas that where not backed up with science. I looked at the program and saw that he had two degrees in Philosophy and one degree in something called “Science Methods” (I could stand corrected on this; I have long lost the program by putting it in a book in my library). So he was not a scientist; he studied philosophy. This made the remarks even more insulting. I took notes in my mind for the Q&A at the end of the lecture, but behold I froze up and was intimidated by the man’s cleverness, and I did not want to look foolish. Then after the Q&A, he said it—I could not believe he did. He said, “I believe science has all the answers and if it doesn't it will eventually.” I was floored; this man was talking about his faith. I tucked this memory away in the back of my mind. I filed it under Amazing Faith.
But what is faith? We have all heard the definitions. I believe I knew where Mr. Shermer was coming from, he believes he has seen enough questions answered by science to have confidence that science will continue to do so. And if science fails, there will be a logical answer. What I cannot understand is why these people do not allow us to have the same faith in what we see as our creator answering all of our questions, and if He doesn't, we’ll wait patiently until He does. I have not read of any scientific result that has proven beyond doubt the theory of evolution. the results only show me a wonder working God. But back to faith, does Mr. Shermer have faith because he has seen answers in his view, as being answered? Doesn't that remove ‘believing’ from the equation?
Philosophically speaking, the same can be said to us Christians, if we have seen Christ work and believe because of those workings, does it cease to be faith. Are we missing the deepest kind of faith, choosing to believe God when we don’t see the evidence that He is able or willing? That is the faith I believe the Lord is looking for in us all. What joy does He have in Angels that see His face daily: They are knowers, not believers? Hebrews 11:6 (King James 2000 Bible) states: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Faith is a requirement for pleasing God. Nothing else will do except putting your trust in His finished work at the Cross, no matter what any other “evidence may show”.
This may sound closed-minded and narrow, but I quote again Mr. Shermer, “I believe science (in my case God/Jesus) has all the answers and if it doesn't it (He) will eventually.” In order to turn me from the God who has so loved me (John 3:16), you must show me non-life coming to life, on its on, naturally (without the help in a lab). And in accordance with scientific method, do it twice. Show me undeniable evidence of one species becoming another, alliterating their DNA on its own naturally. Until then, I put my full trust in a loving God who seeks those who will believe and will come back in His own time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

He Waits Patiently

I rose this morning, tired from a late night, rushing to get ready for work.
He waited patiently.
I ate my breakfast quickly with a muttered prayer of blessing.
He waited patiently.
I got in my truck and prepared for the trip with music, podcast and like.
He waited patiently.
I clocked in and worked till break to hang out with the rest.
He waited patiently.
I worked till lunch the best I could with thoughts of leisure on my mind.
He waited patiently.
Lunch time came and I spent it eating earphones on my head.
He waited patiently.
From lunch till break again, I did my labors in a mind tiring flow.
He waited patiently.
Break came again and I rallied with my coworkers until the last stretch of production was done.
He waited patiently.
Quitting time came and I got in my truck with music or podcast blaring.
He waited patiently.
I finally got home, showered and ate my supper to settle down for the day.
He waited patiently.
I settled in front of the TV with my family so dear to quit thinking for a while.
He waited patiently.
Time slipped into night and the time to retire was late.
He waited patiently.
I did not sleep well for the thoughts in my head, cursing all day and images of worldly programs.
He waited patiently.
 I rose this morning tired from a late night, rushing to get ready for work.
He waited patiently.
I ate my breakfast quickly with a muttered prayer of blessing.
He waited patiently.
I got in my truck and prepared for the trip with music, podcast and like.
He waited patiently.
I was called into the office, before clocking in, and told I was needed no more.
He waited patiently as I got in my truck and screamed “WHY”.
Now I rise in the morning to look for work, and patiently wait on Him.


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Come off the Reservation

In the book, “Stronger than Steel: The Story of Wayne Alderson”, R.C. Sproul tells how Wayne Alderson was invited to a retreat by men in his church. Wayne decided to go after a rough time dealing with labor strike issues at the plant, of which he was just made operations manager.  He thought he would be able to relax but he heard a message that R.C. says stung his conscience. “The theme was a challenge to churchmen to put their faith and values to the test in the real world. They were told to come out from under the shelter of their steeples and into the marketplace.
The speaker likened the Church in an age of secularism to an Indian (Native American) reservation. Intrusions of God were not welcome in the public sector. Believers could be ‘safe’ only if they stayed on the ‘reservation.’ He challenged the idea that separation of Church and State meant the same thing as separation of State and God. He maintained that God’s authority applied to all of His creation, and His values were to be applied to all of life. Civil institutions should not become churches, but they were still fully accountable to God.
Wayne heard God saying to him, Come off the reservation…confess me before men.”
This may be old stuff to some, but it seems in most jobs I have had, there is not much of a witness to God’s power being done. The most that can be hoped for is people sitting around the break table cursing and telling dirty jokes one minute and mentioning going to church the next.
How dare I judge these people but it seems that they still believe that their ‘faith’ has no business in their worklife.  I was blessed to belong to a Church for many years that drove us little Indians off the reservation, which was good for me because I was never a very good little Indian. So if you are feeling a little uneasy now about your faith at work, try clocking in with your ‘faith’ in tow and use it. Come off the reservation.
I’m not implying that you need to leave the Church, just take your faith with you “as you go”, the Church or Reservation will be there when you get back.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Book Review: Stronger Than Steel by R.C. Sproul

Stronger Than Steel: The Wayne Alderson storyStronger Than Steel: The Wayne Alderson story by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book for in the workplace. I've had this book for a long time but have never gotten around to reading it until now. Sorry I waited so long. Not only is it good for management and labor relations but it helped in seeing how Wayne Alderson dealt with being fired for doing good. Also it is nice to have an autographed copy in my library. Thanks Fred and Gloria, whoever you are, for donating it to a charity.


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