Monday, April 27, 2009


I saw an unusual western the other evening. It was really a sci-fi western. The location was a small western town in a desert area. A stranger came to town to deliver a simple message; “destruction is coming, a whole horde of poisonous copperheads are headed for the town.” His message was simple, destruction is coming, prepare, or get out of town while you still have time. The problem was, no one believed him. Everyone in town had their own plans and dreams and ideas about what was important. The sheriff was a coward and most important to him was just playing it safe. The girls in the bar thought what was most important were keeping the customers happy. One young man had his eye on one of the bar maids and felt the most important thing was to win her to himself. He was also interested in finding some easy money. There was one really mean hombre who wanted the stranger to stay so he could win his money in a card game. When that did not happen, his obsession became to kill the stranger. Each character was different yet alike in one thing; they held their own priorities, and were unconcerned and unbelieving about the destruction that was shortly coming their way.

The climax to the story came when they realized that they had to work together to save the town and its inhabitants. They discovered that the real enemy was not each other, not the personal circumstances that life had handed them. The real enemy was the snakes headed their way.

A twist in the story came at the end when after killing most of the snakes, they discovered that they were only baby snakes, and momma was in their midst and she was as large as a dinosaur. Again they worked together and were victorious. The last scene was everyone leaving town heading their own direction in life, but having learned a lesson they would not soon forget. In the process they actually learned to respect each other.

By The Way, I realized that the TV show I was watching was a moral play about life itself. Often we are so focused on our agendas, our desires, and our needs we forget who our common enemy really is. We thing that neighbor is our enemy who complains about the location of the property line between us. We presume that the world is our enemy, when as a Christian, the world is our assignment. We think that our enemy is anyone who keeps us from getting what we want. The Scripture says “Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” 1 Pet 5:8 (Contemporary English Version)

The Devil sends out his “babies” or demon angels to destroy us and if they do not succeed He may come himself. We need to realize the “God Factor.” 1 Peter 4:4Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God's Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. 5These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language. (Contemporary English Version)

We must realize that God’s people working together, with the Spirit of God living in us can defeat anything the enemy throws at us. It will mean changing our priorities and our often narrow opinion of our fellow Christian pilgrims.


Monday, April 13, 2009


I pulled this article up from a piece I had written for a church newsletter some time ago. It still seems to make a good deal of sense. I do wear hearing aids now but read on…

My wife sometimes says, “Ray, you have selective hearing. In other words, I hear only what I want to hear. In the days of young Samuel, while he was living with the old priest, Eli, God spoke to Samuel. Eli, had not heard from God in so long it took him some time figure out that is was indeed God speaking. Eli advised young Samuel, “say ‘speak Lord, thy servant listens.’”
This was the beginning of a great spiritual relationship between God and Samuel. Someone has aptly said, “God has given us two ears, and one mouth, which may mean God wants us to listen twice as much as he wants us to speak. And maybe by our actions we are saying, “Listen Lord, thy servant speaks!”

Why is listening so important? When it comes to our relationship to God, if we don’t listen we miss His instructions, and we miss his will. And that could be spiritually tragic. When it comes to listening to others, if we don’t we destroy any opportunity for true fellowship. If it involves those closest to us it means we miss the opportunity for intimacy, understanding, and real togetherness. We may also miss God’s will because God often speaks through those closest to us.

The Scripture says, “…be still and know God...” Psalm 46:10. It also says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31. The Scriptures express the importance of hearing from God. Jesus Christ the son of God said that he only said those things he heard the father saying (see John 14:24 and 15:15). Maybe it would be good, if we shut up until we heard God speak.

We need to actively listen instead of trying to formulate our next response. Maybe our life with our wives and husbands, and our friends would be more productive and less stressful if we learned to listen before we speak.



I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere. Lots of other stuff has been going on. But hey, have you ever sat and watched a cow chew her cud? I grew up on a farm with plenty of cows. In the summer time I would sit and watch the cows as they lay in an afternoon shade chewing their cud. They would lay there almost as if they we half asleep. They looked so contented as they just chewed and chewed. They would swallow after chewing a while and then another cud would be released from one of their four stomachs and they would begin chewing again. Now it is important to remember that they had spent the morning grazing the grass in order to have something in their stomach to chew. If they had not worked grazing that morning there would have been nothing to chew in the afternoon.

By The Way, the word “meditate” in the scripture is related to the word that means to chew the cud. It means to masticate, to chew on. Here is what the psalmist says about it in

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

A contented Christian, like a contented cow needs to meditate, to chew their cud. But in the Christians case what they chew; what they meditate on is the Word of God. But in order to have something to chew believers need to work at ingesting the Word of God.

Notice John 16: 4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.