In 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, the first man ever to do so. Hillary got all the press, but critical to his ascent was one of Sir Edmund’s climbing companions, Tenzig Norgay.
No one ever mentions Norgay’s name, yet on the way back down the mountain, Hillary fell and would have been killed if Tenzig Norgay had not pulled him back up by cable and saved his life. Hillary lived to tell a great story due to the help of an unknown man. When someone asked Norgay why he did not brag about it, he replied, “We mountain climbers help each other.”
Have you helped someone else along life’s journey that ended up outshining you? Remember that fame and success are not the name of the game in God’s Kingdom. Jesus said, “Whoever would be first should be the servant of all.” Who will you help today?
Tags: climb, humility, mountain, serve
Sunday afternoon and Monday I took on the project of repainting our living room. It hasn’t been repainted since we moved in in 1995. So, my biggest project was prepping the walls before painting. Having raised three teens in that house, there were nicks and dings are over the place. Each dent needed filled and sanded. Every gouge the same. When I pried loose the cracked plastic corners on some doorways, the steel corners under the drywall flexed and broke big chucks of drywall patch loose. It was a mess.
But I carefully removed what was loose and patched the holes. Some holes required multiple patches. Then I carefully sanded them level. Then I covered the patches with drywall primer, and finally two coats of colored paint. Today the paint has dried and you can’t even find where those former blemishes were. Its like a huge eraser swept through the room and made it new again.
Love between brothers and sisters is supposed to work like that, as well. John said, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Have you allowed brotherly love to cover the sin of another, like dried paint on a wall covers blemishes? Think about this today.
Tags: born again, cover-up, forgiveness, sin
The following is an article being published today in The Hamilton News under its Pastor’s Pen column:
The Two Cats
We have two cats at our house. We got them both at the same time and from the same source, but they are nothing alike.
One is wild at heart and loves to catch mice and chipmunks. We have to get medicine for her about once each year because she gets worms from her kill. She doesn’t want to be petted or fussed over. I call her Gray for obvious reasons.
The other cat is almost domesticated. She stays around the house and would try to get in except she remembers the shrill whistle my wife blew when she snuck in once. We call her Mike Tyson because she bit our son’s ear when we first got her. But that is the end of her hostility. She loves to be petted and given attention.
Mike Tyson has chased a few mice but is usually happy with the cat food and water dish we set out for her in the garage. If she catches a mouse or bird, its usually for sport and she drops it at the back door. But Gray likes to live off the land (and that’s why we got them).
Two cats. They don’t look alike and they don’t act alike. That’s kind of like people, too.
Some people have found that God has provided everything we need for life and godliness. They’ve discovered how to feed themselves spiritually and tap into the resources God has placed before them.
Unfortunately, others are always waiting for and insisting upon someone else taking care of them. They are always insecure about their future and relationships. They can’t see the resources before them.
Which cat are you most like? Peter said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).
This weekend we looked at the Word together and asked the question ‘What is the Price of Oil?’ Let me ask a couple of follow-up questions to that and I’d like your comments:
1. Tell of a time when you received an answered prayer and how it made you feel.
2. What experience have you had with fasting and what did you learn?
3. Share with us an experience you had with dying to yourself.
Most of us are familiar with the term “upward mobility.” ‘The Jeffersons’ lived it. If you will remember, the opening line on the old sitcom’s theme song song said, “We’re moving on up to the East Side.” The American Dream espouses the idea that we keep moving upward in society and economy. All of us want to get ahead.
However, Jesus practiced “Downward Mobility”. He emptied Himself of all the glory available to Him in Heaven, and took the form of a ‘slave’ or ‘servant’. He climbed down the ladder to us, and taught us to have the same mindset.
I expect God to bless me and prosper my way. But I expect He will do that as I reach downward to others with greater need. This Saturday. Who will you reach downward to today?
Tags: blessings, culture, success
The following story is from a book I read and I can’t recall the author or the name of the book:
“I am reminded of the story told of a woman in tattered clothes, standing on a big city street corner with her sad-looking little boy, begging for food or money to buy food. It so happened that among the passersby was a wealthy man who looked at them but did not offer any help. When he arrived at his palatial home and looked at his dinner table laden with the finest foods, be began to think about the poor little waif and his distressed mother. The more he thought about the situation, the angrier he became at God. Then he clenched his fist and shook it in what he thought to be God’s direction. He cried out, “How can you allow such misery? Why don’t you do something to help those unfortunate people?
Then, somewhere deep within himself came God’s answer: “I did. I created you.”
Perhaps today you will come upon someone in need that you can help. Watch and see what God leads you to do, then do it. Let me know how that makes you feel.
Tags: poor, providence, riches
One of my favorite stories gleaned from my genealogy research is about one of my direct ancestors from the early days of America. Mary Hobson was born and raised in a coastal village in Ireland. Raids by British Pirates were common and her parents were killed in one such raid and she was taken to America where she was sold as a slave (yep, that happened back then). After serving an early American family for many years she was given her freedom to marry.
Her husband was not a Christian but she was devout in her Catholic faith. Her first official act in their new frontier home was to set up an altar in the log cabin where she prayed routinely. Her fervent Catholic faith led to the founding of the first Catholic church in that part of the Allegheny Mountains. Although her husband never responded to faith in Christ, her children all became faithful supporters of local churches as they migrated westward, most Catholics, but some Protestants.
Her negative beginnings as a child never caused her to relinquish her faith in God. That’s an Irish example I want to follow. I’m wearing green today to honor my Irish g-g-g-g-g-?-grandmother.
Tags: faith, obstacles, St. Patrick, trouble