Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

The Search for Dark Matter

Physicists tell us something called Dark Matter keeps the stars from spinning off into space.  Dark Matter is five times more abundant in the universe than the normal matter that composes you, me, your house and your car.  What is fascinating is they, we, don’t know what it is.  We can’t even see it.  Defining it and seeing it will be the next big discovery. 
In the meantime, while super smart people are looking for it, I would like to tell them where to find masses of it.  It’s inside human heads and is responsible for people thinking they are serving God by blowing themselves and other into tiny bits.  Dark Matter is in the heads of those who think slicing off human heads, the most wonderful thing God made, brings glory to God.  Humans are made in God’s image and we cannot imagine Dark Matter in Adam’s head; although He did eat the fruit.  Somehow that stupid decision must have had a lot to do with who was handing the fruit to him.  She had to have been gorgeous and men make terrible decisions in the presence of gorgeous women.
Surely we exhibit the Dark Matter in our heads when we mistreat and abuse God’s creation.  When we are cruel and thoughtless, when we curse another person, when we mistreat a child, when we steal from someone or worse deliberately kill them, we are defiling something made in His image.  Jesus said if we do this even to the least of them we have done it unto Him, God.  It is no wonder Jesus called Himself, the Light of the World.  He and He alone is the solution to the Dark Matter problem that exists in us.

Live With It

I’ve heard of it happening but it never happened to me until today.  My wife and I decided we would each like a Frosty from Wendy’s.  We ordered at the menu board and when we pulled up to pay the girl said, “You don’t owe anything.  The man in the car in front of you paid for you.”  Really!?  I looked ahead to see him pull out onto the highway and he was gone.  All I could see was he was black and had a fireman’s license plate.  I will never get a chance to thank him.  But I want to thank him.  One of life’s lessons is we don’t always get what we want.  Every time I see a black fireman I will wonder if he was the one.
But we don’t always get what we want.  Life serves us up good and bad things and we have to live by adapting to what is.  It is a good life lesson to learn.  If we don’t we will live frustrated and that really destroys the quality of life.  Paul wanted a particular thorn to be removed from his life.  We think it might have been a vision problem.  He wrote, “Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’"
If there is something in your life that you have repeatedly prayed about with no seeming answer, please remember God’s grace is sufficient for you.  Live with it, cope, manage, adapt and become stronger by doing so.  Be more of a person than before.
I think I will say thank you by doing the same thing for another person the next time I go to Wendy’s. 

The Walking Dead

For the past five years one of the most popular television programs has been “The Walking Dead,” a series about a zombie apocalypse.  We, human beings, are strange creatures fascinated with the gross and the bizarre.  Is it part of our natural curiosity or is it the fruit of our degenerate natures?  Perhaps it is a combination of both.
I thought about proposing the premise that the world is already full of “The Walking Dead.”  I was about to opine that anyone who has not accepted Jesus and the gift of eternal life is part of that lost group.  I was wishing them a really good life here since this is all they are going to get.  However, here comes the however, Jesus warned me against judging.  I am not the one positioned at the gate of heaven with the right to admit or refuse.  I do not know what goes on in people’s thoughts.
Could it be that God loves people so much that He decides not only who has accepted the gift but He knows who would have accepted the gift had it not been for the fact that they met us and we turned them off?  Romans 1:20 reads, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  Could it be that millions will be saved without ever hearing of Jesus because they did respond to the wonder of His power?
The Bible is very clear that there are among us “The Walking Dead.”   But it definitely is not our call as to who’s who.  God is more gracious and more generous and more merciful and more knowledgeable than any of us. 

It's Simple and It's Wonderful

It was April, 1945 and I sat on a throw rug on our wooden floor listening to a radio that was as tall as I was.  It had beautiful decorative wood carvings over the cloth covering the speaker and the dial was fun to play with because of the wooing and wowing noises that occurred on either side of a clear station.  But this day I was not playing.  I was listening to the voice of Arthur Godfrey and he was crying as he was trying to describe the funeral procession for Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It was my first experience with death.  That night when my father came home from school we talked about death.   This was different from what I had learned in Sabbath School.  I had seen pictures of Jesus on the cross but He lived again on Sunday.  Why, I asked, wouldn’t President Roosevelt be alive again next week?  Maybe he could be like Lazarus and Jesus would call him forth.
My theology hasn’t changed much since I was almost three.  I still believe and I look forward to a great day when Jesus will indeed call forth His children.  Paul wrote, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”  I Thessalonians 4:16.
There was no doubt and there is no doubt now.  Perhaps the only difference is now I know where the promise can be found.  This is what being a Christian is all about.  Death will be destroyed.  No longer will we fear its separating pain.  This is not complicated.  Even a very little guy can get it.

Happy are the Average

It has been my observation through the decades that some of the most gifted people I know are the most unhappy people I know.  They are highly talented or wonderfully skilled and can out do 98% of us.  But it is the 1% who are better than they that frustrate them.  It seems that to be almost the best at something is far worse than being mediocre.  Those of us who are mediocre know better than to dream of having the masses know our names.  But when you are so very close so as to see the top and not get there produces misery.  Perhaps a new beatitude should read, “Happy are the average for they shall be satisfied.”
Regarding those whose characters and behaviors are almost perfect Jesus said, “Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' ‘And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; . . .’”  The danger of being too good is thinking we are very good and that will get us in big trouble.
Jesus did admonish us to seek to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.  But we should never ever rely on that as a ticket to heaven.  Paul says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”  
So if you are part of the 98% of us rejoice and be exceedingly happy with life knowing we are covered by Jesus’ love and we don’t need to worry about making it on our own.  Oh, that also works for the 2%.

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