The day of decision is quickly approaching for many Americans. New Year’s Day is the one day, out of the 365 days of the year, when the most decisions are made by more Americans than any other day of the year. The decisions are categorically lumped together into what has come to be known as “New Year’s resolutions.” There are all kinds of decisions being made ranging from quitting drinking or smoking, losing weight, spending more time at home with one’s family, taking on a new challenge, overcoming an old challenge, improving one’s golf game, controlling anger, becoming a more pleasant person to be around, getting serious with the Lord, having better attendance in church and Sunday school, cutting down on credit card debt, saving money, and the list goes on and on…
We have been working our way through Paul?s letter to the church in Rome for the past many weeks, but this past week I have been bombarded with a message that has captured my attention. The message has come to me in different ways and almost every day. As a result of my experience this past week, I?ve come to the conclusion that I have to share the message with you. Maybe some of you need to hear the message like I?ve needed to hear it.
Some of you have watched the video I uploaded to our website called, ?Clayton?s Story.? Clayton McDonald?s family found out that he had leukemia when he was just seven years old. He underwent all kinds of treatment and his leukemia went into remission for awhile. Twelve years later, when Clayton was 19, he was diagnosed with leukemia for the fourth time and doctors said there was nothing more they could do. If you haven?t seen the video you should visit our website and watch it. At the end of the video Clayton is speaking to his high school classmates. He tells them that the doctors can?t do anything more to help him and then he says,
Continue reading “Stay Focused!
During the past few weeks I?ve been thinking about a word. It?s crazy how you can spend so much time thinking about one single word, but the word is so full of meaning, and so instructional for each of us, that I want to share what the Lord has been teaching me with all of you. The word is, ?remember.?
I believe, with all of my heart, that one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given to us is the gift of memory. Because God has given us the ability to store things in our heart and mind we are able to recall important events in our lives. Let me give you some examples of what I am talking about.
Almost twenty-six years ago Connie and I were married at First Baptist Church in Lawton, OK. It was the best day of my life! I can recall so much about that day. The pastor, whom I spent less than two hours with before our wedding and never saw again after our wedding, was named Forrest Siler. I can tell you that John Doerner was my best man and Mike Stewart was my groomsman. I had traded my incredible Ford Mustang with my dad because we didn?t have any money and wouldn?t be able to afford the gas. In exchange for my super nice car we got a Subaru that was just a little bigger than a Hot Wheels car and couldn?t break the speed limit in a school zone. I can still remember our first house, our first dog, and even our first, well, our only raccoon, Bandit. See what I mean about how precious the gift of memory is for you and me?
For most people the journey of life is too important to embark upon without some kind of instruction. At a young age our parents enroll us in school so that we can learn to read, write, add and subtract. As we grow older we take classes on subjects as varied as Physical Education, Home Economics, World History, Psychology, Sociology, and Calculus. If we decide to continue our education beyond high school, then our studies become more specialized as we seek to gain more and more insight in one specific area of study. The classes that are made available to us help us understand that there is a wealth of knowledge which can be used as tools to enhance our lives as we grow and mature. The classes enable us to better understand our relationships, our future avenues of employment, and the world around us. We need understanding. I can’t imagine what life would be like if we had no instruction to help us with the complexity of it all.