Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

Making Connections

Something truly eerie was happening at our house.  Our garage door would open and close at its own will and not open and close when we wanted it to do so.  In the middle of the night it would open and yet when I would come home from school it would not open for me.  I finally exhausted all possible explanations within my set of handy-man skills.  I swallowed my pride and called a repair man.  It is so nice to have someone come who knows what is happening.  Quite quickly he discovered two wires making connections when they were not supposed to be doing so.  Any temperature changes which made the wires fluctuant ever so slightly was all that was needed for them to touch or untouch.
 
There are two lessons inherent in this.  Number one is the importance of making the proper connections in life.  Making the right connection can open doors and create opportunities for us.  Making friends, being connected, with Jesus is very smart.  He can open all manner of doors for us.  He will make sure we end up where we should be.  He can also close doors for us,  ones we want to pass through but He knows better. Proper connections are super important.
 
The second lesson is having the person who knows what they are doing come to your house.  Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock.”  Well, I can’t think of anyone more knowledgeable about absolutely everything than Jesus.  When we need something fixed in our lives He’s the repairman to call.  He makes house-calls.  But I must say His fees are expensive.   He asks for a full commitment from us to trust Him with our lives and our eternal future. 

On Sharp Chains and Swords

Today was in the 50’s, overcast, a tiny bit drizzly and very calm.  It was a perfect fall day for cutting firewood.  I fired up my old trusty chainsaw and went to the woodpile.  I labored through the first log and started on the second when my brain said, “This is stupid.  The chain is dull and I have a new chain in the garage.”   A few minutes later with the new chain installed the logs just melted into pieces.  Tasks are so much easier when one has the right tool in good condition.  My father-in-law used to tell me that a dull knife is a dangerous knife.  I discovered that is also true about people.
 
In Ephesians 6 Paul talks about the necessity of taking up the “Sword of the Spirit” which is the Word of God.  Having a sharp “Sword” is very important.  How often have we been confronted by well-meaning people with dull swords?  They know one or two texts and care not for the context from which they tore them.  It is impossible to rightly understand a text if one does not answer the following questions.  1. Who wrote it?  2. To whom were they writing? 3. What issue were they addressing? 4. Does this have a universal application or was it meant for a time or place in history that has changed.  Times do change.  I was born in the 1940s.  That was a different planet from now.
 
Good study habits with a prayerful attitude will, with the promised help of the Holy Spirit, enable us to have sharp swords.  We will be able to understand and rightly address modern day issues.  God’s Word is eternal.  It is for all time.  But we must be careful where we slice!

My Internal Chip

What I am about to say will set off alarm bells in the brains of Bible students who know about the Mark of the Beast as described in the book of Revelation.  The Mark of the Beast traditionally has something to do with a mark on one’s forehead or hand that will enable people to buy and sell.   So here goes.  I can hardly wait for the technology to advance to placing a microchip under the skin on the back of my hand.  Never again will I have to worry about losing my wallet which now contains my driver’s license, my credit cards, my library card, my AARP card, my BJ’s card and my health insurance cards.  Without my wallet I am a nobody who cannot legally drive, pay for gas for my car, check out a book, get my old people’s discount at Denny’s and get emergency health care should I need it.
 
I’m sure all of us have had that panic moment when we reach for our wallet and it isn’t where it is supposed to be.  Our mouth goes instantly dry, our stomach lurches, our knees go weak when it is not instantly, comfortingly in our pocket.  How grand it will be when I merely need to wave my hand in front of the gas pump or at the grocery store to pay for things.  I can stop being fearful of pickpockets when in a packed elevator.
 
When something is inside it is truly yours.  I carry Jesus around in my heart.  He knocked.  I said, “Come on in” and the joy and eternal security is amazing.  People can’t steal Him from me.  The only way He would leave is for me to toss Him out and I would never be that stupid.

Summer Has Been Vandalized

Summer has been vandalized.  In the quiet of the night graffiti artists silently plied their skills and somehow whisked across the tops of our trees spraying red and gold.  If only I could catch these rascals, but they seem to know when I am not looking.  Ah, but then again, summer is gone.  It is time for these renegade painters to display this year’s exhibit.  Have they been practicing some place unaware?  Were they anxious to do their thing?  Tonight I shall stay up waiting to apprehend them least they blaze my entire neighborhood with their Monetish talent without my catching a glimpse.  I must say they are very neat.  They do not leave empty spray cans scattered about.
 
Alas, summer has passed.  Hopefully none of us has to say as did Jeremiah, "The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved."  What an awful thing to have to say.  If you do have to say such I do so hope you enjoy these few autumns that you have left.  But a much better idea is to take Jesus up on His offer and live with us forever.  That is so much better.  Please do.  If you don’t we will miss you and our autumns will be diminished because of your absence.
 
If I were rich I would have a home both in Massachusetts and Australia thus having two autumns each year.  Someone told me in heaven the leaves will not turn but stay eternally green.  How dull.  How boring.  If that is the case I will find myself a tilted planet somewhere in God’s vast universe where I can, each of its years, try to catch those vandals with the cans of gold, red and yellow paint.

Paul Was A Designist

Recently I listened to an art critic rave about the creative intelligent design of a modern painting. What fascinated me was the critic went on to talk about the genius of it and something so grand could not have happened by accident; even though it looked like an accident.
 
And so I looked out the window and I saw a playground of children milling about on brightly colored swings and slides.  This I am told by others happened by accident.  Chemicals plus time plus random chance produced these marvelous creatures that we are without any intelligent design.  Really?  Also recently I heard someone mocking those of us who believe in intelligent design.  He even went so far as to say at one point something came from nothing and that started it all.  And this same fellow mocks us? 
 
I don’t get it.  There must be something wrong with my I.Q. but I don’t know what is mockable about believing that something as wonderful as us is the product of design.  If an art critic thinks paint smeared on canvas is a product of genius how much more genius is the product that is a living, breathing, loving, intelligent, finely tuned, chemically balanced human.

I think the mockers are attempting psychological intimidation to win their non-winnable arguments.   If they can make us feel intellectually inferior because we don’t have Ph.D.s in science, perhaps they can shut us up.  But I will not shut up.  We are carefully and wonderfully made.  In Romans 1 Paul wrote, “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, . . .” And there was nothing wrong with Paul’s brain.

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