Friday, May 30, 2014

“Mean Old Man”

 

[Cartoon image of a mean old manb]



 “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…”
 —Philippians 2:1-5

Temper! Temper! Temper!

More and more, as I press onward along the road of life and move from old man to older man, I am confronted with the reality that so many things annoy me I believe I have become even more irrascible than ever. I have always had the reputation of being somewhat unapproachable. In fact, just this past Sunday at church a woman whom I greatly admire told me that I am hard to engage in conversation.

Her words actually stung. I felt quite hurt. I smiled at her and she quickly tried to walk her comments back by saying she was “just kidding.” But, I know she really meant what she said.

I am difficult to approach. But, I am not nearly as mean as people think. I am very, very shy.

I will not bore you with what the psychological analysis disclosed when I sought help trying to lose weight during 18 months of counseling back in the mid-1980s. I finally stopped spending $130 each week when my psychiatrist fell asleep during my counseling session. Not only am I shy, I apparently am very boring, as well.

I do think that I need to make more of an effort to not let my disappointment with the way things are going in this nation, in the church, and even in my own life, interfere with extending kindness of spirit and openness to those who may wish to speak with me. Rather, I need to willingly allow people to have access to the gracious spirit that God has been building deep within me over a lifetime. I am quite certain that’s what Jesus would expect me to do.

Perhaps, these words—in a humorous way—can sum up what I feel much of the time:

 “When I was a young man, I realized I was an idiot.
I presumed that as I aged, I would become less of an idiot.
But now that I am old, I realize that I am just an old idiot.”
 —Dan Karroll Williamson

I think James Taylor says it best in the song offered in the following video:

 



(Note: Your browser must support Adobe Flash in order to view this video)

 

Okay, so the “mean old man”s is really a soft-hearted puppy dog after all. Who knew?

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Friendship

 

[Photo of two children walking hand in hand]



 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
 —Proverbs 18:24

Genuine friendship is a quality whose value simply cannot be measured. More valuable than silver or gold, the love, companionship, acceptance, and support of a friend can tip the balance of life in your favor—even when you feel assailed on every side by the cares and trials of this world.

Celebrate the joys of friendship this day. Even more so, celebrate the joy of having a friend like the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who “sticks closer than a brother.”

When God graciously brings loving friends into your life, make certain that you thank Him for this evidence of His love and care. Recognize that through the friends He gives you, God shows how determined He is to shower you with His love.

At the same time, do not be ensnared by so-called “friends” who lead you down a dark path. Turn away from those who would direct you toward evil. Do not allow false loyalties to jeopardize your faithfulness to God and to His Word.

Let this be a day during which you rejoice in the friendships God has given you. Tell your friends how much you appreciate them. Let them know that you do not take their friendship for granted.

Become an instrument of God’s love in the lives of your friends. Show them compassion, kindness, support, and acceptance. Build them up in their faith. Be an example to them. Shower them with mercy and grace.

The Christian writer, Jonathan Merritt has said it well:

“In showing God’s love to your friends, when a person is truly important to you, you don’t ‘find time’ for him or her. Rather, you ‘make time’ for him or her.”

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rejoice…and Remember

 

[graphic of a poster]



 “Rejoice always…”
 —1 Thessalonians 5:16

Another work week begins—with a holiday. How cool is that?

You will have many choices in the week ahead. Choose wisely and heed these words of the Apostle Paul from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Even in our darkest hour, we can rejoice that God will never leave us. He will always stand before us as our protective shield against the evil one. He will guard our hearts that we will not faint. He will give us every good and perfect gift.

[Photo of many gravestones in a military cemetery]

On this Memorial Day, as we pray for the families of those who have lost a loved one who died in defense of our freedoms, let us vow that we will never forget the sacrifice made in our behalf.

Let us determine to live in a way that will honor their sacrifice. And, let us continue to keep those who still guard our freedoms here at home and in the four corners of the world in the forefront of our daily prayers.

May God pour out His richest blessings on those who sacrifice for others. And, may God bless the United States of America.

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

“Seek the Lord”

 

[Photo of a man leaning against a large cross]



 “Seek the Lord while he may be found…”
 —Isaiah 55:6

As you rise to begin another new day and enjoy this day where we set aside time to gather for worship, I urge you to heed these words from Isaiah 55:6-7:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their waysand the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

Always remember that God stands ready to be found. He provided His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. God made provision for us to become reconciled with Him through the blood of His Son, Jesus.

If we turn toward the God who loves us, He will open His arms and welcome us into His Presence. There we will find joy, peace, true freedom, and everlasting love.

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

“Peace to Your Past”

 

[graphic of statement]



 “Peace I leave with you…”
 —John 14:27

So many people seem to live their lives drenched in turmoil. Slogging through this angry fight and that one leaves people exhausted and filled with despair. Many people wonder, “Is it possible to find peace?”

Here’s a thought to begin a new day taken from the Words of the Lord Jesus Christ from John 14:27:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The Prince of Peace offers true and lasting peace to all who seek Him. So, dear friend, seek Him this day. His peace awaits you.

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Friday, May 23, 2014

“Love With All Your Heart”

 

[Photo of a plaque with an encouraging saying]



 “Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.”
 —Isaiah 32:3

Here’s an apt reminder

If you truly love someone, tell them often that you do. If you appreciate the joy that someone brings into your life, acknowledge that often. If you feel gratitude for who someone is, don’t keep that to yourself because you think it’s not "cool" to say it out loud.

Our culture has convinced us that we should cavalierly take for granted far too many relationships.

Each friendship is precious. Live your life in such a way that you will have no regrets because you failed to tell someone how much he or she means to you.

 


Copyright © 2014 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.