Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just like we prayed...

A few weeks ago, we received relatively bad news in our EMT class. Our teacher told us that the date of our practical exam, the one needed for certification, was being moved back. It was originally scheduled for a few days after class was over. It was now going to be almost a month after the conclusion of course work. That gave us plenty of time to forget our skills. I was not excited.

The only option, we were told, was to see if another region had a testing date closer to our final night of class, March 13th. Our instructor said she'd call around and see what she could find out. She was not optimistic.

I looked at Jane, a classmate, and said, "I'm going to pray that we can have our test on March 15th." She responded, "I'll pray too." She bowed her head then and there.

All this took place on a Wednesday night.

At our next class the following Monday, our teacher began by saying, "Don't get your hopes up, but we may be able to have our practicals on March 15th. Do not schedule anything else that day." I giggled. Then my mouth fell open as she went on. "The folks at Garden City may come down here. Conway Springs may become a testing site." I laughed and looked over at Jane. She was grinning.

We committed to continued prayer. I recruited family and friends as partners in faith. My Bible study group prayed. My prayer partners prayed. My family joined in.

Last night our teacher confirmed the good news. We will be testing on March 15th in Conway Springs!

I emailed a friend. He wrote back: "WOW! PTL!"

I agree. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I was listening to Focus on the Family's radio broadcast this afternoon and heard Scott Klusendorf argue effectively for the pro-life/anti-abortion stance. I thought maybe some of you would especially appreciate his SLED acronym which helps us remember the logical arguments that support our position.

What are the four differences between a fetus and any other human being?

S = Size
L = Level of development
E = Environment
D = Degree of dependency

Scott used these to show that the fetus, even when a tiny group of cells, is a human being worthy of protection.

Take a listen or read Steve Wagner's article on this topic.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Let me ask you a hard question: What is a human being worth? I told you it was going to be hard. We’re not used to questioning the worth of a child or a grandparent, an aunt or uncle. We don’t ask the worth question about humans, because we know they are of great worth.

Think about your kids or your nieces or nephews. Would you sell them for any amount of money? I know there are moments when it would be tempting, but in general, would you take $10 and run? No way! Not even a million dollars could sway me. My kids are worth more to me than all the money in the world.

What is a human being worth? Can’t really answer that can you? Your value and mine isn’t quantifiable. We are priceless. That’s true of every person you know. Your friends. Your family members. Your classmates. It’s true of every person you meet. The store clerk. The waitress. The stranger.

Why priceless? Because the One who made us says so. We have worth because the One with every right and all the authority necessary to do so has set a high value on us. Pay attention as you read the Bible and you’ll see the worth God assigns to mankind. God says over and over in his word that we are valuable. And He isn’t just talk either. God shows our importance by His actions. He created us in his own image. He sent his Son to die in our place.

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8, NIV)

Can’t get much more valuable than that!

God values you. He loves you and wants you to enter a relationship with him by faith in Jesus. I urge you to talk with God today about that matter. Trust him for your salvation.

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Monday, January 21, 2008


The Argonia Lady Raiders are still undefeated this year. Saturday night in the championship game of the SCBL tournament in Arkansas City (KS), they played hard against the Dexter Cardinals and came out on top. Congratulations girls.

(The picture is from an earlier tournament game versus South Haven.)

Poking fun at myself...

I'm a preacher, so I can tell this joke on myself...

A minister, a lawyer and a physician went deer hunting together. A buck stepped out in front of the hunters and all three men fired their guns at the same time. The deer dropped dead. Upon inspecting the kill it was discovered only one bullet had actually struck the deer.

To determine who shot the animal and thus who would get the rack and take home the meat; the physician examined it for pathological evidence, the lawyer relied on crime scene experience, and the minister prayed.

After a very thorough examination thephysician and the lawyer determined with out doubt, the minister was the only one who could have fired the fatal shot. The bullet went in one ear and out the other.

Monday, January 14, 2008

For the prize...

If all goes as planned, in less than two months, I will have completed my training as an EMT. A few weeks after the conclusion of instruction, I will be, assuming I pass my written and practical exams, certified. Then I will be able to don the hat that I see on my dresser every day, the one given to me by my brother and sister-in-law as a Christmas gift. That hat reminds me of the prize set before me. It keeps me running the race. I'm going to pass. I'm going to be an EMT. I pray that God will give me the strength and the abilities I need to serve him and my hometown as a wise and expert EMT. It is his calling. He will help me succeed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Don't exasperate...

A month or so ago, I was deeply disturbed by a Far Side comic that came across my desk. Now, please understand, normally I love the Far Side. I think Gary Larson is a comic genius. His bizarre take on life makes me laugh out loud more often than not, but not this day.

Let me describe what I found. This particular comic was a sequence of four panels. In the first, you see a boy looking longingly at a bike for sale in the front window of a toy store. In the next frame, the boy’s dad is standing beside him asking, “If you tell me the average annual rainfall in the Amazon basin, you can have the bike?” The boy stares blankly back. In the third frame the dad simply says, “Times up!” And in the fourth, you see the two walking away from the store.

Doesn’t that just make your blood boil? Made me so angry I could spit. No dad should treat their kids like that. If you can’t or won’t get the bike, just say so. Don’t torture your son or your daughter! This is God’s word to you. Ephesians 6:4 , “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (NIV)

Be merciful. Even when your kids mess up, be compassionate. Be kind even when they try your patience.

Why is it so important that you be merciful, compassionate, kind? Why does God command you, in no uncertain terms, not to exasperate your children? I mean, I thought it was my job as a dad to annoy my kids! Isn’t that what you thought? But no. It seems we’ve got it wrong. God says, “…do not exasperate your children…”

Why? I won’t pretend to know all of the reasons behind God’s prohibition. He’s a bit too big for me to wrap my mind around. His ways are mysterious and, at times, mystifying.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Paul writes at the end of Romans 11. “How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36, NIV)

That’s our great God. Wise beyond our wildest imaginations. Perfect in judgment. Always right and pure in motive. I do not know all there is to know about him, but I believe one of the reasons he tells fathers to avoid frustrating their children is this: a child’s view of God is shaped by how his human father acts toward him. Kids imagine that if their dad is overly demanding and cruel, that God the Father must be the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but feelings, more often than not, overpower truth and kids end up believing lies.

I hate that. Wish it wasn’t the way things work. But there’s no getting around it. Even as adults there are many, many people still clinging to lies about God, lies they started believing when their dad mistreated them. The devil continually brings these things to mind. He puts God in the “bad” box and people rebel or run away from this cruel taskmaster. Only problem is, God is neither bad nor cruel. He is good and kind. But the lies prevail and people live in bondage.

Dads, you shape your kids’ view of God. Ask your Father in heaven for help every day. God will help. He loves you and your kids. He sent his son to die for all of you.

Note to kids: If your dad pulls the Amazon question on you, the answer is 80 inches. On average, it rains 200 days each year in the Amazon basin. In the northern regions, there have been years in which twenty feet of rain has fallen, but the average for the region is 80 inches per year. (Source: WikiAnswers)