Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)
I came across this passage several years ago. Candidly, it did not make my list of the “Top Ten Verses That I Love.” In fact, I didn’t like reading it at all. It’s one of those passages of Scripture that walks around in your mind until it works its way down to your heart.
These verses are not really what we want to hear.
We want to enjoy the blessings . . . not endure the burdens.
We want fruit on our vines, crops in our field and livestock in our stalls . . . translated . . . we want money in our accounts, businesses growing, vocational recognition, nice cars to drive, a nice home with equity and all of our relationships to be perfectly, harmoniously happy. We have accepted that these things equate to God’s hand of blessing . . . God being pleased with our performance. Too often, we adopt a “spiritual Santa” understanding of God . . . if we are on the “nice list”, we get good gifts . . . and if we don’t get good gifts, we must be on the “naughty list”.Read More
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NLT)
Being a dad is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve been at this “father” thing for almost 40 years. Once I think I have a handle on it, I find that I’ve lost my grip. When I think I have arrived, I realize I’m still on a journey.
Pope John XXIII said, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”Read More
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15 ESV
Unity is a delicate and deliberate balance of appreciating and accepting differences and diversity.
We fight against judging others based on past experiences or preconceived expectations. Our fears keep doors unopened and erect walls of opposition.
Our first response is likely a faulty reaction.
Noted author and Pastor, Charles Swindoll reminds us, “Prejudice is a learned trait. You are not born prejudiced, you are taught it.”Read More
I remember the date well . . . January 1, 1988. It was New Year’s Day, college football was on television and seat belt requirements became law in our state.
I love my rights. Don’t ever limit my opportunity to speak out, don’t infringe on my 2nd Amendment right, and don’t tell me I must wear a seat belt. A seat belt was uncomfortable and restrictive. It impeded my driving. It did not help my driving improve. In fact, it only was a benefit if I got into a life-threatening accident. I very rarely had a fender-bender, much less a tragic car crash.
And, it was just another move of an oppressive and over-reaching government to control me. I believed and could argue that seat belts were just the first step in a lifetime of limiting my personal freedoms and taking away my rights.