Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

Who We Are

Knowing why we are here, not as a race but as a unique person, is without a doubt one of the most complex and disturbing questions we ponder.  Each of us is so very unique.  We are the complicated product of a baby born with our DNA and traits then mixed with relationships and experiences.  I have heard people opine about being born when Jesus was here.  Had that occurred for you, you would have been someone else.  The times would have made you a different person.
 
When God said to Jeremiah, “Before you were born I knew you” He knew when, who and where the baby that became Jeremiah would grow up.  Had we not married the people we did, had we not had the children we had, we would be someone else.  Only the name would be the same.  We are creatures in flux. The process never stops.  I am not the same person who graduated from college nor will I be the same person when I am tottering and ancient.
 
When I speak of my father to my grandchildren I have a choice of which father to tell about.  I can speak of the hard working caring young man or the aged, pain-filled man who knew very little joy other than that of an old boxer dog.
 
When we see each other in heaven we will not be us anymore than we are what we were decades ago.  The elements I have not yet added to the mix of our being are our choices.  We are amazing creatures who can by the will given us forge the kind of person we want to become.  Choose this day to be spectacular.  We can be if we will to be and work to be.

Our Super Hero

Most little (sometimes not so little) boys dream of being a super hero.  I cannot speak about what little girls dream.  Doing deeds of daring, bringing justice, righting wrongs, bringing super powers to earthly needs fill many minds with desire.  James, John, Matthew, Peter and the others were little different from people.  They did not have Superman and Batman but they did have Samson.
 
Then Jesus came into their lives.  Suddenly there was this super hero with them who did all of the above.  He did deeds of daring by driving the money changers from the temple.  He brought justice by telling the self-righteous to dare to throw the first stone at the fallen woman.  He righted wrongs by telling the criticizers to leave Mary alone when she was washing His feet with her tears.  He brought super powers to earthly needs when He commanded the winds and waves to stop, when He walked on water, when He put His fingers in a deaf man’s ears to restore hearing and speech.  There is no question in their minds.  Jesus was a super hero.  And unlike flawed Samson this Jesus was morally perfect.
 
Maybe this is why it is so difficult for so many to believe.  The pragmatist in us drives us to say it couldn’t be so.  But Peter and the others knew it was so.   Peter wrote, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables.”   John wrote, “We saw with our eyes and touched with our hands the Lord of Glory.”  They would never have given their lives for something unreal.  They died horrible deaths because they knew how real He was and is.  Jesus is the epitome of all super heroes because He is.

Don't Leave Home Without It

It is still April.  The buds on the trees have not yet burst.   There are just a few daffodils popped up here and there.  So you can imagine my unfettered delight to hear the sounds of “Turkey in the Straw” floating up the street.  Could it be?  It was.  There I was walking my dog when before my awestruck eyes was, you guessed it, the ICE CREAM MAN.  And to think I almost left my wallet on my desk.  That would have been a tragedy.   The moral of the story is never leave home without your wallet.  I did have my American Express card with me.
 
It was shades of Matthew 25.  “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.”   The moral of the story is never leave home without being ready to meet our bridegroom Jesus.
 
It is true.  We never know when.  According to Peter He will come as a thief in the night.  The best Bible scholars in the world do not know when He will come.  For almost two thousand years people have been making time charts and filling them with events that have to occur.  It is totally unnecessary.  If we have a great one on one loving relationship with Jesus we are ready.  His coming will be filled with all the joy of small children being surprised by their parents returning from military service.  While we wait enjoy the fruits of citizenship in His kingdom.   They are many.

Love Those Zeros

We came out of a store today and I had to look for my car’s emblem to be sure I was getting in the right car.  That would never have occurred fifty years ago when a Ford was a Ford, a Chevy a Chevy and one could never mistake a Studebaker for a Desoto.  We had fins.  We had two tone paint and white wall tires.  The hood of a Fleetwood Cadillac looked like the flight deck on an aircraft carrier.
 
You know you are getting old when you pine for the “good old days” which most likely were not that good.  Today’s cars are safer, more efficient, and more durable.  I have over 200,000 miles on my car.  That would never have happened to one of those old beautiful cars.   Despite all the bad news we hear on our TVs crime rates are at a twenty year low.  We have cures for certain kinds of leukemia and HIV can be contained.  Our children are not hiding under their school desks fearing a nuclear attack.  It is true we have isolated shootings in schools but many of those are copycat crimes inspired by the 24 hour news broadcasters who make demented people famous.
 
Lest I sound like a Pollyanna I know our world with terrorism is not Utopia.  But, if we exclude the madness of the Middle East from the picture, things are not so horrible.  Life expectancies continue to lengthen.  That brings me to the life expectancies of those who accept Jesus’ gift of grace.  We are talking about 90 years followed by an infinite number of zeros.  If you love life you have to love those zeros.  If you love Jesus it’s a done deal.

Little Things Mean a Lot

NASA is planning an Asteroid Redirect Mission.  In 2020 we will send an unmanned craft to rendezvous with an asteroid.  The craft will harvest a boulder from the surface of the asteroid and then hover a short distance away.  The combined mass of the boulder and the craft will be enough mass to be a “gravity tractor” and over the course of 400 days will alter the path of the asteroid away from earth.
 
When I first learned to fly (way before the wonders of a GPS) I learned that every degree off course would result in being one mile away from your intended destination for every sixty miles traveled.   If I left Massachusetts heading for San Francisco with only a one degree error out of the available 360 degrees I would instead arrive at Santa Rosa.
 
In both of these incidents the prime mover or the degree of error was very small.  But over time or distance the final effect was extremely significant.  If a person gained just one pound a year for each year they are married, we are talking about a significant change in body image.  Little things mean a lot.  Therefore, if you are a very busy person that is in high gear from dawn to midnight, please squeeze into your life two to five minutes each day for your spiritual life.  We are holistic creatures that cannot afford to neglect any aspect of our personhood.
 
I think I am preaching to the choir because if you have read this far you are already using your two minutes.  So let me finish with a terrific spiritual message for your day today.  Jesus loves you very much.  You are very important in the courts of Heaven.

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