Just An “Ordinary” Day

Some days are just “ordinary” sorts of days. Actually though one person’s “ordinary” is another person’s “extraordinary.” If we had to go to work in the morning and do what someone else ordinarily does that could be pretty extraordinary for us. If you got to pilot a 747 airliner today it would probably be the “extraordinary” of a lifetime. But for lots of people it is very ordinary to pilot several hundred people and a hundred tons of metal thousands of miles across the country at an altitude over five miles above the earth.

For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up believing Jesus is our Savior, it is ordinary to live with the assurance of eternal life. It is ordinary to know we are loved. It is ordinary for us to know we have a purpose in life. It is ordinary for us to know any setback we might have now will be rectified in the future.

For lots of people those wonderful things are not ordinary.

Written in 2000

For the Beauty of the Earth

The words to the familiar hymn begin, “For the beauty of the earth,….” Those words create a mental slide show of snow-capped mountains, flower filled meadows, pastel sunsets, rainy mornings and snowy evenings. The beauty of the earth is all of the above, but it is also the mathematical precision of an atom, the double helix of DNA, the infinity of numbers, the curve of a normal distribution and the tenacity of life.

Our heliocentric solar system with its balance of gravity and distance that enables us to safely fall in yearly cycles dazzles the mind. Einstein’s theory of relativity, Feynman’s quantum physics and Sagan’s cosmos are layers of beauty unfolding a depth of artistry far beyond the hand of Michelangelo.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 Solomon wrote, “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” All this beauty that surrounds us is the handiwork of the creative artistry of our heavenly Father. And He has created us to see, taste, feel, hear, and fathom this beauty.

Written in 2000


When making a purchase we contemplate many things. We wonder if the item will really work. We wonder how long it might be before it breaks. The sales person always tells us how wonderful the company is in honoring their products. Yet we have learned not to believe everything we are told.

Once the purchase is made we take it home, take out the papers and we read, “Limited Warranty”. We read the fine print hoping to find that it really will be fixed if it breaks. Have you every wondered about the thirty-year warranty you get from the guys who roof houses? The truth is there are few things one can really count on. Even the U.S. Government’s safety net for savings accounts in insured banks is limited and not absolutely sure. Remember the great Roman Empire?

But there is one thing you can count on. You can always count on God to keep His promises. Jesus once said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28. He also said, “…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. These promises are guaranteed. The guarantee was purchased at Calvary.

Green Light

The traffic light turned green and the driver pulled out to make a left hand turn. Just then another car appeared coming from the left at about 50 miles an hour. It never slowed for the red light. Fortunately, there was no collision. The driver of the other cars entering the intersection saw the speeding car and waited. But an assumption had been made by the driver of the first car; the light was green, and it was safe to go. It is so easy to become complacent and let down one’s guard. We assume life will go on the way it is supposed to. We are not always careful.

Fifty times in the New International Version of the Bible we find the expression “be careful.” There are some rather interesting verses connected with this phrase. Just one is found in Titus 3:8,9. It says, “…those who have trusted in God should be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.”

Written 7/27/2000

God Is A Recyler

In many cities people regularly put cans, bottles and newspapers out on the curb for the recycle man. Recycling makes many of us feel good. Living in one of the most consumptive cultures the world has ever seen can be bothersome. Knowing our newspapers and stuff are going to be used again helps assuage our concern.

When you think about it, God is a great recycler. But He is not so much into cans and paper as He is a recycler of people. Moses was a murderer and God recycled him into the great Old Testament lawgiver. Paul was a murderer and God recycled him into the great New Testament evangelist and theologian. David was a murderer and God recycled him into the great psalmist. Matthew was an outcast Roman tax collector consigned to hell by the religious authorities and God recycled him into Jesus’ biographer.

These are good stories. God takes the fallen and recycles them into blessings to others. God is truly the great Recycler so there is indeed hope for each of us.

Written 3/2/2001

The Fallen Hawk

The fallen hawk lay on the forest floor. He had not been dead long. He was still beautiful and noble. Soon he would return to the dust of the forest to become part of a flower, tree or vine. How high had he flown? What vistas had he seen? What conquests over mice and rabbits nourished him? Why was his piercing scream now silent? Was it old age? Had he lived his three score and ten? Or had a hunter used him for target practice?

There in death his remains would provide the essentials of life for a host of other creatures. His death would provide life. Thankfully God will take the memory of our personhood and on resurrection morning put it in a brand new immortal frame and body.

Jesus, who not only proclaimed Himself to be the resurrection and the life but also proved it, promises us so much more than decades of limited walk. Centuries and millenniums await us. We too shall soar like hawks and eagles with nothing to bring us down. Surely one of the most marvelous verses of all scripture is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Written 9/14/2000

Cherry Pickers

Standing in front of a tempting display of freshly picked cherries was a very classy looking gentleman and lady. They appeared to be about sixty and were well dressed. His clothes were impeccable, and she was well appointed with expensive appearing jewelry. They were filling a plastic bag with cherries and were literally feasting while doing so. Even more amazing, after eating the not-yet-weighed-or-paid-for fruit, they spit the pits back into the display. It was truly an amazing display of thoughtlessness for others.

These people were someone’s parents, somebody’s grandma and grandpa, most likely someone’s employer. And they were behaving like small children. Now, true, Jesus tells us we must become as little children if we are to enter the kingdom, but surely this was not what he had in mind when he said that.

Being thoughtful of others. Thinking before we act and using our talents, resources, and gifts for others is what makes society work. Peter once said in 1Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others….”

Written 7/27/2000


There is in central Connecticut an absolutely lovely little town that takes one’s breath away because of its quaint beauty. The houses date back to the 1700’s and the lawns are expansive. Giant trees shade the streets and the town square is out of a picture book. There is an ice cream shop on one corner with an antique store close by. A used bookstore filled with musty tomes beckons one to enter in search of treasure. The village square has a bronze monument with the names of townsmen who gave their lives in wars dating clear back to the revolution against Great Britain. An old canon sits on a concrete pedestal and is worn from the trousers of thousands of children who have sat astride its massive girth.

Inside the antique store are some of the most amazing prices! Simple small night stands, chairs and desks with thousand dollar price tags. And according to the proprietor, none of these pieces of furniture had been previously owned by some famous American like George Washington or Alexander Hamilton. You don’t suppose this proprietor simply drove to Vermont, bought the items for twenty-five dollars and then brought them back to his up-scale Connecticut store?

But then God put a horrendous price tag on us. In the eyes of the angels we must look like we are worth twenty-five dollars, if that. But obviously God thought differently. For you and me He spent His only son.


An Unpleasant Feature of Human Nature

King Solomon did not write all of the wise sayings we find in the Book of Proverbs. Chapter 30 was written by a fellow named Agur. We do not know who he was but he certainly was a smart man. Here is a sample of his wisdom. “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up; a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.”

Perhaps a fifth could be added to the list. It seems the world cannot long endure someone who is always happy. From conversations overheard, to daily newscasts, and tabloids that attack us while checking out of the supermarket, it does appear we are bothered by other’s well being. When we hear that someone is rich we often ask, “But is he or she happy?” Inwardly, there is something that wants to hear “no” as the answer. After all why should someone have both happiness and wealth? This seems to be an unpleasant part of our human nature.

When Jesus tells us to love one another He uses a word that means “wishing another the best.” He is not asking us to desire that everyone be our best friend. But He is instructing us to want the very best for others. He wants us to pray for each other to be both happy and rich.

Written on November 20, 2000

A Watch Battery

A watch battery is such a tiny little thing. Yet it will power a timepiece with precision for two or three years. In a two-year period it will push the second hand around and around 1,051,200 times. If it lasts three years it will push it around 1,576,800 times. How does that tiny battery contain all that power?

When we hold our Bibles what enormous power is in our hands! Real power! We hold the power to change human lives. Our Bibles contain the ideas of God. Nothing is more powerful than an idea. Nothing is more powerful than idea from God. Ideas change the world. God’s ideas change the universe. And when we hold our Bibles, we hold those ideas in our hands.

The ideas of God render the ideas of man to kindergarten. The ideas of God are the wisdom of the ages. The ideas of God answer the great philosophical questions of mankind. The ideas of God—not Plato or Nietzche–tell us who we are, why we are here and where we are going.

God’s ideas are the power unto salvation.

First posted August 4, 2000