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

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.

Empty Stage, Empty Tomb

Posted on by Mike Tucker in Articles | Leave a comment

tomb5In his book, There I Go Again, Steven Moseley tells about Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballet superstar of the early 1900s. Ms. Pavlova has been acclaimed as the greatest ballerina of all time. Her most memorable performance, however, took place after her death.

Anna was to play the role she made famous, the Dying Swan, at the Apollo Theatre in London. Tragically, she succumbed to pneumonia and died two days before the event.

Still, on the appointed night, a crowd of her fans packed the Apollo Theatre. The orchestra began playing, the curtain rose, a spotlight flashed through the dark, and the entire audience rose to its feet. They all stood gazing at a pool of light wandering around the stage, accompanied by the orchestral theme. As the light danced and the orchestra played, they remembered Anna Pavlova. In their hearts they could see her on stage, dressed in white with flashing dark eyes. And when the music stopped at last, they gave the vanished Anna a thunderous ovation that echoed on and on in the night.

An empty stage with only a spotlight, but in their hearts she was alive.

As Christians, we believe that Jesus, God’s own Son, came to earth taking on the form of a man.  We believe that He lived among us, died, and on the third day rose again. With Jesus, there is no empty stage, for our Lord is alive and well and reigns supreme in the Universe. As a result, we will live forever. Immortality is ours because of Jesus.

Remember Woody Allen’s comic assessment? “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work,” he said. “I want to achieve immortality by not dying.”

Which is it? Are we immortal because there are those who remember and cherish the fact that once we walked this earth, or are we immortal because Christ has once and forever battered down the gates of death? Is it an empty stage or an empty tomb?