When Daddy Comin?

For the past two weeks, I have been home with my family celebrating our new arrival! Since there is only so much I can do for our new baby, most of my time was spent playing with and taking Read more

Angel Tree

When I was a child, my family fully embraced the traditions of Christmas. We decorated our home with the most cherished ornaments, lights, and bows. We handmade or purchased gifts with much thought about the receiver. We made plans Read more

Begin with Jesus

The autobiography of G. Stanley Jones is titled A Song of Ascent, and it’s considered to be a spiritual classic. Jones was a great man: a missionary to India, a friend to Gandhi, a tireless world traveler, and a Read more

Weeds

Have you ever been responsible for a task you didn’t particularly enjoy? Perhaps you can relate to one homemaker who developed a unique perspective on some of her less enjoyable household duties. She said: I don't do windows because I Read more

New Each Day

Patrick Henry, whose primary contribution to the history books is the phrase "Give me liberty or give me death," made another memorable statement. He said, "I know of no way of judging the future but by the past." Repeat this before Read more

Begin with Jesus

Posted on by Mike Tucker in Articles | Leave a comment

url-3The autobiography of G. Stanley Jones is titled A Song of Ascent, and it’s considered to be a spiritual classic. Jones was a great man: a missionary to India, a friend to Gandhi, a tireless world traveler, and a great writer and speaker.

Now, what is amazing to me is that this book was actually his third attempt at an autobiography. He was 83 years old at the time. Jones had written two previous books but had been unwilling to publish them. The first, he said, was too filled with the little events of his life — things he judged not worth telling. In the second attempt, he tried to take the events of his life and to use them to philosophize about life in general. But even this, he decided, was not the right focus. The third time, he determined, he was going to begin with Jesus. What he discovered after two bad attempts was that he had been working backwards; he had been working from events of life to the Christ Event. And now, in his third attempt, he discovered the secret. As he would say in his introduction to that third book: “Christ has been, and is to me, the Event.

Jones tells a story about an African, who, after he was baptized, changed his name, calling himself “After.”  What he was saying was that everything in his life happened “after” he met Christ.  Jones felt that that was also the description of his own life.  Everything that happened to me, he stated, happened to me after I met Christ.

In his first two attempts, he had been too events-centered and not enough Event-centered. In the third and successful book, he concentrated on the Event and worked back to the events, understanding his own life in the light of Christ.

Our lives take on meaning when we see them in light of the day we accepted Christ.  Jesus is the center, the Prime Mover, and the reason for our being.  Everything finds purpose in Him.

Weeds

Posted on by Mike Tucker in Articles | Leave a comment

87617533Have you ever been responsible for a task you didn’t particularly enjoy? Perhaps you can relate to one homemaker who developed a unique perspective on some of her less enjoyable household duties.

She said: I don’t do windows because I love birds and don’t want one to run into a clean window and get hurt. I don’t wax floors because I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt, and then I’ll feel terrible.  I don’t disturb cobwebs because I want every creature to have a home of their own. I don’t do Spring Cleaning because I love all the seasons and don’t want the others to get jealous. I don’t put things away because my husband will never be able to find them again. I don’t do gourmet meals when I entertain because I don’t want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.  I don’t iron because I choose to believe them when they say “Permanent Press.”

Some jobs are just no fun! And we can find a million reasons to avoid them. Outdoor tasks can present their challenges as well.

For the gardener, planting seeds is the easy part of having a successful garden.  It is much more time consuming to weed the garden.  As someone has said: “When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it’s the valuable plant.”

There is a corollary to that truth: “To distinguish flowers from weeds, simply pull up everything.  What grows back are the weeds.”

The weary gardener might find an excellent excuse, “I don’t pull weeds because I don’t know the flowers from the weeds.”

Perhaps this is what the farmer in Jesus’ parable was thinking.  His servants came to him to tell him of the weeds in his wheat.  When they asked if they should pull up the weeds the farmer replied:  “‘No, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest.’”

Weeding is hard work, not just in the garden but in the church as well.  But the good news is, in the church weeding is not our job. It is work that is best left up to the Master Gardener, Jesus.  He’ll take care of the weeding at the end of time.  He’s the One who knows the difference between wheat and weeds. We can leave that job to Him.

New Each Day

Posted on by Mike Tucker in Articles | Leave a comment

url-2Patrick Henry, whose primary contribution to the history books is the phrase “Give me liberty or give me death,” made another memorable statement.

He said, “I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.”

Repeat this before a group of your friends, and you’ll see many heads nod in agreement. It has the ring of good common sense.

Be careful, though. This axiom might be true when it is applied to politics or history or investing, but it provides a lousy foundation for developing relationships. And it certainly doesn’t reflect the way God relates to us.

God gives us a chance to let go of the past and start over — each and every day. Jeremiah wrote in the book of Lamentations, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

God doesn’t judge our future by our past. He didn’t do it with David or Moses or Peter or Paul or countless other Bible characters. As the Psalmist wrote, He does not treat us as our sins deserve. Every day is a new day.

A good way to start the day with God is to remember that you’ve just been given brand new mercies — the chance to start the day with a clean slate.

It’s also a good way to start the day with others. God doesn’t allow our past to prevent us from a having a great future, so enjoy the fresh start – and pass the gift along to others as well.