My time is shorter than I thought, much shorter

Graffiti at the flak tower, a relict of the second world war, at the Augarten in ViennaRead John 7:32-36.

After some in the crowd believed what Jesus said about himself, that he was the Messiah, the Pharisees heard about it, and they sent officers to arrest Jesus. Then Jesus said, “I’ll be with you a little longer, and then I’m going to him who sent me. You’ll seek me but you won’t find me. Where I am, you can’t come.” The crowd said to one another, “Where is he going that we can’t find him? Is he leaving us to go teach the Jews who live among the Greeks? And what does he mean by saying, “You’ll seek me but you won’t find me,”? And what does he mean by saying, “Where I am you can’t come”?

If you follow this blog you know that my Continue reading

Senna Part 2–Teach us to number our days: Psalm 90:12

Ayrton Senna bible verse

(From the archives.)

The story of Formula 1 race car driver, Ayrton Senna is so compelling that I couldn’t help but write this post to let you know how the whole thing ended. After his victory over his rival Alain Prost (see post on Genesis 33 to read Part 1 of Senna’s story) he went on to win two more world championships. Ayrton Senna was a flawed man, yet greatly loved in his native Brazil, and around the world, for his humble, unassuming nature. In an interview after winning his third world title, Senna talked about how he was happiest when he was learning and improving as a driver, and also as a man. At the end of the interview he made this comment:

“There is a lot to go, a lot to learn, a lot to live, but I have plenty of time.”

I don’t know anything about Ayrton Senna’s beliefs or theology, but I do know that shortly after that interview, on Sunday, May 1, 1994, the morning of the San Marino Grand Prix, Senna woke up and asked God to talk to him. He opened his Bible to a verse that, according to his sister, said Continue reading

Someone I Love Lies Dying In My Bedroom Right Now

time-is-running-out-by-glasgows-finest-ccAs I write this someone I love lies dying in my bedroom.

Life is short.

Life is fragile.

Live for Jesus.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Jesus Christ

[Time Is Running Out Image via glasgow’s finest – Creative Commons]

He Was Afraid to Die

All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away (1 Peter 1:24 NKJV)

Continuing our series on pain and suffering, in this post I want to talk about the fear of dying. Because the fear of dying is another cause of a crushed spirit and suffering.

Asleep At the Wheel And The Consequences

Today I read about a sixteen year old who was driving the family SUV during a trip to Disney World. He fell asleep. He veered off the road to the left into the median. Then he overcorrected to the right and rolled the vehicle. Tragically his mother and father, Michael and Trudi Hardman and three children Continue reading

A Matter of Life and Death: The Kingdom of Heaven is Near

kingdom of heaven is near

“Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” -Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:17 (NLT)

Young man: “I just found out my favorite college professor has cancer.”

Old man: “I am so sorry to hear that. You know, I just spoke with my best friend from high school and learned he lost his brother, his mother, his sister-in-law, and his father–all in one year.

Life is so much more fragile than we realize. Life is so much shorter than we recognize. The kingdom of heaven is near.

Turn your heart toward God our Father.

While you still can.”

[Image via mayakamina – Creative Commons]

Ephesians 5:15-16 Redeeming the time

I was scrounging around the house yesterday, looking for a highlighter when I came across this old 2 3/4″ x 4″ calendar booklet I used in 1990. I looked through some of my appointments and as I did I thought about other calendar booklets I’ve maintained: my running log calendar, and my cycling log calendar, and my tennis calendar, and my hang gliding log calendar. It struck me that I’ll be held accountable for all that time logged into all of those calendars.

Imagine with me that you’re before Christ, the moment after you die. He breaks out your calendar book, or your Google Calendar, or Outlook Calendar, or whatever, and starts to page through it.

“So, I see you watched quite a bit of TV, you played softball, you followed a few blogs… looks like you did very well at World of Warcraft…”

The realization that sinks in is that there’s no way to go back! Looking through my own 1990 calendar made me wish that I’d spent my time differently. It made me wish that I’d devoted myself more to my relationship with Christ and with the people around me — investments that last, investments that are eternal. But I can’t. 1990 is gone forever.

Life is short. I spoke with a friend today who has only a few more years to live. Even if you’re not battling a terminal disease, the fact is, life is terminal. It flies by and before you know it, you find yourself wishing you had spent your time differently.

1990 is gone forever but you and I can still live differently, from this point in time forward. I can live with Christ in mind, you can draw closer to God. We can live lives that love God better.

You can’t go back but you can go forward, making the most of every opportunity, living your life for Him.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Life is Short: Genesis 11:27-32

life is short live for ChristThis is the account of Terah’s family line.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

Genesis 11:27-32

God’s Focus

In chapter 11 we see God bring His focus down from all of mankind to the family of Terah. You may recall that back in Genesis chapter 2 God moved us from an overview of creation to the account of man by rotating His telephoto lens from wide angle to zoom, so to speak. In chapter 1 of Genesis God’s word is at wide angle focused on all of creation — in Genesis chapter 2, verse 8 the Bible zooms in to record that part of God’s creation that is mankind. (bennett’s blog Genesis 2:4-7)

Now in Genesis chapter 11 we’ll see God narrow His focus even further until we will find ourselves reading the story of Abram and his descendants.

As God’s focus narrows we learn about Abram’s father Terah’s family, which provides important background to several of the stories we’ll read later in Genesis.

Nahor is Abram’s brother. From the descendants of Nahor and Milkah (Milkah was Nahor’s wife) will come the wives of Isaac and Jacob. (See Terah’s Family Tree at the bottom of this post)

Abram’s other brother, Haran, the father of Lot, dies unexpectedly. Lot was apparently under Abram’s care in the absence of Haran. Abram appears to be involved in his nephew Lot’s life right up until the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (verses 27-28)

Friends Leave Unexpectedly

Haran’s unexpected death reminds me of two friends of mine John and Gale. Both firefighters known for their physical strength. Both blessed with beautiful families. Both known for their sense of humor. Both talented firefighters, veterans who were savvy at surviving the dangers they faced at work fighting fire. Both loved by their firefighter friends.

One day, on a day off, they decided to take John’s two seat Polaris RZR ATV onto some nearby mountain trails. Finding a trail through a large but steep meadow they decided to attempt to make it to the top. They were both confident that they’d be OK. They were skilled at negotiating such terrain, and besides, the ATV had seatbelts to hold them in their seats.

Up they went, the tires of the ATV slipping at times but mostly biting into the dirt and rocks, carrying John and Gale up and up and up until they reached the end of the purely vertical part of the climb.

Then at the end of the vertical part of the trail they bore to the right which took them along the top of the meadow. Not as easy as it looked, side hill and uphill at the same time, but they were handling it, continuing up until they were almost 1,000 feet above their starting point.

At which time–their left front tire hit a rock. A rock about the size of a bowling ball half submerged in the ground. The left front of the ATV bounced and lifted up until the ATV rolled over. Not so bad at first, strapped in, rolling. But as they continued down the 1,000 foot vertical meadow they gained speed. They rolled and they bounced. More speed–they bounced higher and further. Even more speed–they flew through the air. The forces from the impacts exerted upon their bodies were more than any human being could withstand, even two human beings like John and Gale, known for their physical strength, and skilled at surviving the dangers of fighting fire.

They finally came to rest against a tree.

Like Haran, they died–unexpectedly. (To learn more about John and Gale, go to MedfordFirefighters.com)

Daughter Departs Without Warning

On a rainy day, on a curvy road, my friend’s young daughter who was also my family’s baby-sitter, died in a car accident right in front of me. That same friend lost his wife in a car accident a few years earlier.

A Simple Flu Bug

A few weeks ago another friend’s teen-age son died suddenly and unexpectedly–of the flu.

Living for What Counts

While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died… (v. 28)

The fact is none of us knows when we might die. If you think you’ll get around to focusing on your relationship with God later, well… think again. Not one of us knows the day of his death.

It could happen tomorrow.

So invest in that which will will have value when you’re living in eternity, because each of us will spend eternity living with the consequences of how we spend our time and energy here, now, in this life.

Just for today, just one day, just this day–live for Christ.

You’ll spend eternity glad that you did.

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

-Jesus Christ, John 6:27

References:

[Hour glass image via: bhermans – Creative Commons]

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

MedfordFirefighters.com

Matthew Henry

Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: Volume 1

Whiffs of the Bread of Life

Faith and Family Man Blog