Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

To Be Beautiful

We took our walk this evening after sundown and darkness had settled in for the night. This is a great time of the year.  Many of our neighbors have already decorated their homes for the holidays with a vast array of lights.  We do not have street lights so the homes are extra beautiful with no competing light.  One house has brightly lit angels in the yard.
As we walked along I thought of a passage in II Chronicles 3 talking about Solomon decorating the home He built for the Lord.  “He decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. He also overlaid the house—the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors—with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls.”
The luminosity in our neighborhood is beautiful.  I also thought of something Paul wrote to Timothy about decorating our lives.  Instead of lots of external gold he counseled us to decorate our lives with good works and modesty.  Just think about how beautiful people are that are kind and unselfish.  In college one of the guys had a large purple birthmark on his face.  One year at Thanksgiving he announced that he was having it removed.  We were dumbfounded.  He was so kind and so Christ-like we saw no need for him to do that.  We thought he was handsome because of the kind of person he was.  We ceased to see the birthmark because he was so decorated with good works.  He was a quality person.
This is the season for decorating.  This is the season to be thankful, generous, forgiving and kind.  This is the season to be beautiful.

The Big Dog is On Our Side

Part of taking my dog for a walk each day is giving her a chance to socialize.  In just a mile she gets to visit with Peanut, Bailey, Cora, Sebastian, and Annie.  There is a lot of sniffing that goes on as greetings are exchanged. Then there are others that bark at us from the confines of their homes as we pass by.  There are at least four of them.  We don’t know their names.  Just last week a new player arrived on the social scene.  His name is Bruno.  Believe me when I tell you that Bruno is big.  Until now she has been the Big Dog.  No longer is this so.  Up until now she has played the big “I’ll take care you” role.  She keeps between me and the others making sure I am safe.  But since Bruno has arrived she makes sure she is behind me.  Suddenly I am the “You’ll take care of me.”   She doesn’t even put up her ruff.  She does her best to hide.
How thankful I am that God is a bit more faithful as my shield and protector.   David wrote, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  Psalm 18.  Paul wrote, “If God be for us who can be against us?”  Romans 8.  Unfortunately bad things do happen to God’s children.  Fortunately they are only temporary and God has the final say.  If there are any adjustments to be made He will more than make up what will be needed.  So don’t be afraid of the Brunos of this world.  The REALLY BIG DOG is on our side.

I'm So Smug

I’m feeling very smug this evening.  We just drove by our supermarket and because it is Thanksgiving Eve the place is packed.  There are people driving around the parking lot looking for a spot.  I can only imagine what it is like in the store.  The reason for my smugness is we went at 8 a.m. and had the store to ourselves; one of the perks of being old and almost retired.
Don’t you just hate smug people?  I do.  Therefore, I should be experiencing self-loathing.  But I’m not.  Smugness isn’t nearly as offensive to me when it is I who is the smug one.  So let me be very offensive to the rest of you who had to be at work this morning and were not able to go early to the grocery store.  Here goes.  My church is better than your church because Jesus loves my church more than He loves yours.  We are going to heaven for sure and maybe you will get there.  It depends on just how merciful God is.  You see we had the “Truth” and you didn’t and that makes a huge difference.  And even if you get there we will have bigger and better mansions than you.  You will be on the other side of the tracks.
There.  Have I offended you?  As foolish as all of that was, it reflects how we sometimes act even if we give lip service to not being that way.  I have had people knock on my door and tell me my baptism wasn’t any good because an elder from their church didn’t perform it.  Wow.  Talk about smug!
I know Jesus loves smug people.  But He despises their smugness and saves them despite it.

The Sharpener

When I was a small boy a man with a large grinding wheel came down our street.  The wheel was on a wheelbarrow kind of pushcart with a treadle.  His voice was loud and clear as he called out for us to bring him our dull knives. My mother hurried from the kitchen with two knives and a dime.  It was wonderful to watch as sparks sprayed over his leather apron.  I had never seen anything like this before and long after he had gone I thought how wonderful it would be to have such a job. I imagined the joy of honing knives to a keen edge as I made fireworks for the neighborhood children.
In a way I used to imagine being a preacher was a similar task.  One could thunder in a pulpit producing light to hone the spiritual lives of the saints.  I probably started off that way.  But as the years passed by I learned to value the still small voice that moved across a congregation honing in a non-thunderous way.  I learned the quieter the congregation the more they were listening.  One does little pondering while making noise.
Perhaps the best moments producing the keenest edge to our spiritual intellect come not from gatherings of the masses but those one on one encounters with Jesus.  I have come to appreciate the words to the hymn, “I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses and the voice I hear falling on my ear the Son of God discloses.  And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own.  And the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.”

The Top Ten Reasons for Going to Heaven

November 24, 2015
Top Ten Reasons to Go to Heaven
When David Letterman retired new top ten lists ceased to be.  We cannot let them totally disappear so I feel the need to write a top ten list of reasons for going to heaven.
1.     Your dog will not die.
2.     Your cat will not destroy your couch.
3.     Leftovers in the fridge will not turn green.
4.     Hair will not stop growing on top of your head and start coming out your ears.
5.     No one will have bad breath.
6.     Dandelions will only grow in dandelion gardens.
7.     Spider webs will be cherished works of art.
8.     No medicine chests in the bathrooms.
9.     One’s spouse will never misunderstand you because she/he misheard you.
10. We get to live forever.
What a grand place it will be.  Thank you Jesus.

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