Today our three adult children were all together for the day, along with our grandchildren. We all went to a professional photographer for family photos. The photographer did a good job getting us all artistically arranged so it all looked nice. With twelve of us present, four of them children, it was not an easy task to capture all of us with eyes open, smiling, staring into the camera, at the same time.
He took a lot of photos, and afterwards, he took us through them one at a time. In nearly every picture someone was looking aside, blinking, or just looking unnatural. But we did agree on three poses that look as good as it gets. We determined children will always be children, and decided to not be so picky with them.
Having family photos taken is valuable because it freezes a moment in time. Some die, all change, and some grow up, but that photo locks that image for eternity.
I have an image of my great-grandmother as a 16-year old beauty, frozen on a tin-type forever. Having died in 1939, eight years before my birth, I never knew her. Yet that photo speaks loudly about her beauty and grace, clothing and hair styles of the mid 1800s.
I believe our every action is frozen in time for God to see on judgment day. Our only hope is that Jesus has died for that sin and redeemed us of it. Only when sin is paid for can it be forgiven. Has Jesus paid for your offenses? How do you know?
Tags: forgiveness, time
Have you ever yearned for the good old days when things were simpler and seemed brighter? Remember what the Preacher declared in Ecclesiastes 7:10: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better then these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions“.
Why is it not wise to ask that?
- Because those days are by-gone days; there are no current opportunities in them.
- Because these are the days God has placed us in and have opportunities in them.
- Because there is no fortune in looking backwards.
- Because those days only look better when we remove the problems that have since been solved.
- Because everything only seems to look clearer in the rear-view mirror.
Yesterday is the memory of those who lived yesterday. Tomorrow is the possibility of those who live today. These can be the good days if we make them such.
Tags: aging, opportunities, past, time
When I was a rather new Christian, I attended Christian Training Center in Ft. Wayne. The classes went from 8AM-12 Noon Monday-Friday. I worked in the afternoons at various ministries of the church, so school tied me up 8 hours a day. I also had responsibilities with the youth group I was leading at my church and worked 6 hours every night in a factory assembling hydraulic pumps on third shift.
Needless to say, I was often a zombie between responsibilities. I remember early one morning I arrived home from work, took a shower and laid down for a quick nap before leaving for school. I awoke to my alarm clock blaring at me. I had slept a half hour too long and that alarm was just now waking me. I rushed around, drove like a NASCAR driver all the way to the school in downtown Ft. Wayne.
When I pulled into the parking lot, however, it was empty. I was confused. I checked my watch, and it was on the right time. I tried to recall if this was a holiday; no. Then it dawned on me: this was Saturday! I could be sleeping in. What a bummer.
Paul advised the church in Rome to be careful about esteeming one day above another (Romans 14:5). And sometimes it would be better to observe that rule. Its always better when God picks the day or the hour He wants to accomplish something in our lives. Let’s let Him control the times in our lives.
Tags: late, time
When he was in college, Adam had a Music Major. So, Anita and I traveled to the school’s musical programs to support him. The program usually began with students playing with professionals (or at least alumni) in a great orchestra. As the individual musicians arrived and took their seats on the stage, they would begin their tune-ups.
What a racket! No two instruments were together. The music they all performed together was a harsh kind of chaos, each making their own unique sounds (or noises). It was not pleasant, but abrasive.
Then the conductor stepped up on a small platform and tapped his music stand with his baton. Everything fell silent. Then the conductor began to signal with that baton and such a pleasant, calming harmony came from those individual instruments. What made the difference? It was the harmonious leadership and timing of the conductor.
The Holy Spirit is the Great Conductor of the spiritual music produced by the individual members of the Body of Christ. Working together, under the spiritual Conductor’s guidance, we became an example of harmony. Different instruments all harmonizing together to make a beautiful sound. Let’s let the Spirit lead us.
Comment here about the last time you saw some really neat harmony among your brothers and sisters.
Tags: disharmony, Holy Spirit, music, time, unity
An interesting thing happened years ago when we were worshiping in our smaller building. Adam was young at the time and noticed that I had a small alarm clock sitting on the pulpit we were using. He asked why that clock was there. I told him it was there so I could see what time it was and end on time.
Later, I was preaching away and wrapping my message up. I was at a quite serious point and just bringing people to the altar call point when the alarm went off on that clock. My concentration was broken as I quickly tried to process what was happening.
I pushed the snooze button and shot young Adam an “evil eye”, but it was too late, the church was in an uproar and the sermon was over.
The moral of the story is if you’re going to give people information, give them all the information. If you don’t fill in the blanks, they’ll fill them in themselves.
Tags: humor, interruptions, time
If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000 that carried over no balance from day to day…Allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you failed to use during the day, what would you do? Most probably you would draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage!
Well, you have such a bank, and its name is TIME. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of this you failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balances, it allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.
With that illustration in your mind, what will you do different, if anything, today with your account?
Tags: account, budget, responsibility, time
Back in the days before electric clocks and batteries, clocks were powered by a swinging pendulum and mainspring. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody told the following story about Lady Pendulum:
“When Mr. [Ira] Sankey and I were in London a lady who attended our meetings was brought into the house in her carriage, being unable to walk. At first she was very skeptical; but one day she said to the servant, “Take me into the inquiry room.”
After I had talked with her a good while about her soul, she said, “But you will go back to America, and it will be all over.” “Oh, no,” said I, “It is going to last forever.”
I couldn’t make her believe it. I don’t know how many times talked with her. At last I used the fable of the pendulum in the clock. The pendulum figured up the thousands of times it would have to tick, and got discouraged, and was going to give up. Then it thought, “It is only a tick at a time,” and went on. So it is in the Christian life – only one step at a time.
That helped this lady very much. She began to see that if she could trust in God for a supply of grace for only one day, she could go right on in the same way from day to day. As soon as she saw this, she came out quite decided. But she never could get done talking about that pendulum. The servants called her Lady Pendulum. She had a pendulum put up in her room to remind her of the illustration, and when I went away from London she gave me a clock – I’ve got it in my house still.”
Tags: decision, pendulum, time