All posts by ponderosapapa

Papa to five grandchildren, Dad to two daughters and two sons-in-law, Husband of one wife. Leaving a legacy of thought and perspective worth carrying through the generations that follow.

Are You Having a Good Day?

The sister of a friend of mine recently posted the following thoughts regarding our perspective on how we’re doing in life. The reason I am posting here is that Ann Schmidt’s comments and observations point us to God and Him being the focus of our lives. I couldn’t agree with her more. Her observation follows:

Today was a good day. I have been in the habit, since going through some health issues a few years ago, of saying, when asked if I had a good day, “Every day is a good day; some are just better than others.” But today I was struck with what seems to me to be a truer thought: Every day God gives me is a good day; I just live some days better than others.

One of the tasks of my job is to provide information and instruction to callers. Some callers are pleasant or upset, angry or appreciative, quick on the uptake or needing extra patience. One of my calls today was from an elderly man who wanted to be sure he was doing what was needed to resolve an issue. He had a pleasant manner and was grateful for the help. His questions were somewhat repetitive, however, and I found myself on the verge of becoming impatient. At that moment, a memory of my dad flashed into my mind.

In his later years, Parkinson’s disease slowed my dad down considerably. But he fought to retain his independence and conduct his business himself. I came home from work one day, and he said, “I called my investment company today because I wasn’t sure what I needed to do. The nicest young lady helped me and was so patient with me.” It really made his day.

That memory made me realize, in my impatience, that I want to be that “nice young lady” to those I encounter. My attitude righted itself. On the way out to the car, my “Every day is a good day” saying was modified. I hope that I lived God’s gift of today a little bit better for the memory of my dad.

As we go into a Happy New Day and approach the day’s tasks, let us consider Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” And let’s live the day a little bit better. Peace be with you.

May God give us the grace to lives our lives well. Thanks, Ann, for your insightful words.

What is Truth?

At the Golden Globes this past year, Oprah Winfrey is credited with saying, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all Image result for truthhave.” (Italics mine) Her comments were widely applauded as a bold statement of values by which we all must live. On the surface, this would seem to be an empowering statement, but the underlying premise is that there is no real truth. We have your truth and my truth, but there is no arbiter of real truth.  As Blaise Pascal says in the graphic we hardly recognize the truth. 

We have come to the point in our world that truth belongs to those carrying the loudest voice. If you say something loud enough, in the right circles, or have it accepted by enough people, it becomes accepted as truth. This is very much like the values in our society. In the absence of real values or truth, the body of public opinion becomes the ethic, value or truth of the day. We are shown examples every day of how values and truths have changed over the years. Indeed, Scripture itself is viewed as being outdated and not relevant to the world in which we live.

The contention by many churches that the Bible is authoritative only as the church determines is becoming an increasingly broadly accepted tenet of the faith. Our mainline denominations today, in addition to the Roman Catholic church and the Mormon church, place the Scriptures in a posture of being subject to the decision of the church regarding its authority and validity. 

But what does God say about truth and how His people treat the Scriptures? Psalm 119:160 tells us “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” So to maintain that God’s word is outdated or written for another time goes specifically against what God has to say.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) In his prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus asked the Father to, “Sanctify them (we his people) by the truth, your word is truth.” Here he was affirming with the Father that Scripture, being God’s word, is truth. 

Since God is unchanging, he is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, God’s truth is unchanging. Hebrews 13:8 confirms that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God’s word is as relevant today as it was in the days of Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Paul and all the other warriors of the faith.

Today’s society is declaring almost a new truth a day, often conflicting with the previous truth. Just one example would be that illegal immigrants are welcome and protected in “sanctuary cities” but then suddenly any attempts to place them in these locales is defined as evil personified. Even Christians are being drawn into this spur of the moment ethics definition. That is but one example. I’m sure together we could come up with a lengthy list. 

As Christians, we must hold fast to that one unchanging foundation of truth which is God’s word to our world. God will one day judge the world and it will not be by the standards that we choose for our society for today. It will be by his eternal word contained in the collection of books we know as the Bible. 

Keep God’s word in your heart and you will have a firm foundation upon which you can build a life that honors God and have a guide that will help you navigate the ever-changing winds of truth proposed by the inteligencia of our world today.

Blessings

What’s important?

My grandson, Matt, just put together a little piece that is worth sharing. I love it when God gives him word pictures and Matt expresses the purpose so clearly. Matt has recently added painting planks of wood and strips of metal to his hobby of making fine writing instruments and pocket knives. Thus his painting on the piece of wood.

This is from Matt today:

Love this piece because it just reminds me of the way bison live. A simple life.

I was watching some bison the other day close to campus and God just really spoke. There’s this one albino bison in the herd and he’s often left alone by the others. But it didn’t bother him. It’s almost as if he didn’t care. But it wasn’t that he didn’t care – he just didn’t care about worthless things, he cared about what mattered. He was focused on food. He was focused on his own walking and running.

How often do I care about worldly things that just simply don’t matter and desire to be in the herd over everything else? What matters is the food. Your daily bread from God’s word. What matters is my own walk. MY relationship with the Lord. Sure, I can look at others’ walks with the Lord, but what good does that do me?

Focus on your own walk today, focus on the food, and don’t be discouraged if you’re left out of the herd at times. Live the life of the albino bison.

What happens to infants who die? The need for an answer

I found this post and the following two posts as a trilogy designed to answer an often asked question. As the father of a daughter who died in infancy, I’ve had peace about this matter because of the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit led me to in my search for answers. Still, Jesse Johnson provides a comprehensive discussion on this issue for which answers seem elusive. As Jesse has observed in his discussion, I would encourage you take into consideration the weight of the entirety of the discussion rather than pick on one passage or another.

I believe that you will be encouraged when considering the heart of God through the various passages and accompanying discussion by Jesse.

Jesse’s first article on this topic is below:

My wife and I were camping when we got a phone call that a friend’s infant child was in a hospital nearby, and was not likely to live. We came out of the mountains and rushed to the hospital, where…

Source: What happens to infants who die? The need for an answer

What happens to infants who die? The NT answers

This is the last section of a three-part series dealing with this topic that has confused and bewildered families who have lost infants to death. I trust you’re enjoying this, and sincerely hope that this series will give you greater clarity on this topic.

Part 3 of the three-part series is below:

Yesterday we saw 16 verses in the OT that address the issue of what happens to little children who die. I hope you saw that the OT lays the groundwork for a category distinction: there are two kind…

Source: What happens to infants who die? The NT answers

What happens to infants who die? The OT answers

This is the second of a three-part series addressing the question of what happens to infants who die. I hope you will be encouraged as I have been in reading Jesse’s thoughts and sharing of Scripture on this important topic.

Part 2 of this three-part series is below:

There is a tendency to think that the Bible is silent about the issue of what happens to infants who die. However, there are at least 26 different passages that address this issue. In all of them, …

Source: What happens to infants who die? The OT answers

Where Do People Who Never Hear of Jesus Go When They Die?

Today, the first day of 2019, I was led to this blog entry written by Jordan Standridge, by a Tweet from J. Warner Wallace. It carries the truth of Scripture in a way that I felt compelled to share with my family and readers on a common question. Also in the next three posts, I will be reblogging on a similar question regarding infants and children.

I hope and pray that you’ll find these articles helpful and informative.

Jordan’s comments and link:

In the last couple years, some of my longer Gospel conversations ended up with this question at one point or another. I’m not sure why, but it seemed to come up very often, especially when talking …

Source: Where Do People Who Never Hear of Jesus Go When They Die?

Keep Your Fork – The Best is Yet To Come

I’ve heard this story in various forms over the years. It came across my radar screen recently an I thought it was worth preserving here, as a point of hope for my family.

~ A MAN AND HIS FORK ~

There was a young man who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as he was getting his things ‘in order,’ he contacted his Priest and had him come to his house to discuss certain aspects of his final wishes.

He told him which songs he wanted sung at the service, what scriptures he would like read, and what outfit he wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Priest was preparing to leave when the young man suddenly remembered something very important to him.

‘There’s one more thing,’ he said excitedly..

‘What’s that?’ came the Priest’s reply.

‘This is very important,’ the young man continued.

‘I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.’

The Priest stood looking at the young man, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn’t it?’ the young man asked.

‘Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,’ said the Priest.

The young man explained. ‘My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say,

‘Keep your fork.’

‘ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming …. like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie.

Something wonderful, and with substance!’

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder ‘What’s with the fork?’

Then I want you to tell them:

‘Keep your fork .. the best is yet to come.’The Priest’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young man good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see him before his death.

But he also knew that the young man had a better grasp of heaven than he did.  He had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice his age, with twice as much experience and knowledge.

He KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral, people were walking by the young man’s casket and they saw the suit he was wearing and the fork placed in his right hand. Over and over, the Priest heard the question, ‘What’s with the fork?’ And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Priest told the people of the conversation he had with the young man shortly before he died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to him.

He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed.

They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.

Cherish the time you have,  and the memories you share. Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.

Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND… and  I’ll bet this will be an Email they do remember, every time they pick up a fork!

And just remember … keep your fork!

The BEST is yet to come!

“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father.” ~Jesus

Each generation of believers, beginning with the apostles, has believed that Christ could return to rapture them. I see signs that convince me that our generation might see this glorious event. Still, if I die before He returns, I die steadfast in the faith that He will return, He is a lover of those who diligently seek Him, and that upon my departure from this world, my soul will be transported instantly into His presence. Good post, Michael.

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts


Mystery

Some things are a mystery. I think I have a “right” to know what’s going on.

Jesus shows me the way in that I don’t have to know. I don’t have a right to know.

God is God. God alone knows some things. Even Jesus doesn’t know.

That is the way it is in the country where Jesus is King. Jesus is appointed King by God. God only knows.

But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father.So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning…

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