Funny Observations

Author Unknown

I know this may sound a little crazy, but I can’t remember if I wrote the following “funnies,” or if I borrowed them from somewhere. I may have written them, but I can’t tell.

I found the following statements in my sermon note/outline basket, the place where I “file” my notes and outlines, when I was looking for some sermons to take with me to Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, if I copied these from somewhere I don’t know who to credit. So, I’ll just confess that even if the words are mine, the author is technically unknown.

Isn’t It Funny?

Funny how we set our clocks to arise at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. to be at the job by 7:30, yet when Sunday comes we can’t get to church at 11 a.m. to praise the One who gave us the jobs!

Funny how we call God our Father and Jesus our brother, but find it hard to introduce them to our family.

Funny how small our sins are, but how big their sins are.

Funny how we demand JUSTICE! for others, but expect mercy for ourselves.

Funny how much difficulty some have learning the gospel well enough to tell others, but how simple it is to understand and explain the latest gossip about someone else.

Funny how we can’t think of anything to say when we pray, but don’t have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.

Funny how we are so quick to take directions from a total stranger when we are lost, but are hesitant to take God’s direction for our lives.

Funny how people want God to answer their prayers, but refuse to listen to His counsel.

Funny how we sing about Heaven, but live only for today.

Funny how people think they’re going to Heaven but don’t believe there’s a Hell.

Funny how it is okay to blame God for evil and suffering in the world, but it is not necessary to thank Him for what is good and pleasant.

Funny how when something goes wrong we cry, “Lord, why me?” but when something goes wrong we think, “Hey, it must be me!”

Oh wait. . . maybe all this isn’t so “funny” after all.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, worship

I Need a “Spirical”

A What?

I need a spirical. You mean you don’t know what that is? A spirical is the spiritual version of a physical – hence, spiri – cal. The problem is that the last time I checked, my insurance policy doesn’t cover such a thing (unless it’s covered under psychiatric care).

Yes, I need a spirical, just like (well, almost like) the actual physical I received yesterday.

The Physical

Do I really need to go into a lot of detail about my physical? Some of it could be rather embarrassing, you know. Because even though I try to be as transparent as possible, there is such a thing as TMI (too much information). Nevertheless, let’s see what I can do.

My examiner for this round of embarrassment was a nice young woman (they keep getting younger) named Dr. Natalie McQueen. She was very professional, too, and never once laughed at how out of shape I am (which I appreciated).  No, all she did was off-handedly mention that exercise and diet modification might help lower my triglycerides.

depressorsThe typical physical includes much of the following…

  • Blood work
  • Checking one’s weight
  • Checking blood pressure
  • Listening to the heart, lungs, and bowels.
  • Checking reflexes and looking for nerve issues
  • Checking the eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • Getting undressed and putting on a scratchy gown that opens to the back (the rest I will leave to your imagination).

It was when I was on my way home, feeling violated, yet relieved my report was good, that I started thinking about how we Christians should have annual spiritual check-ups.

The Spirical

Who better to give a spirical than God? What, you want pastor or counselor doing that kind of thing? Are you crazy? They’re not the Doctors; they’re just the receptionists, the P.A.’s, and the nurses. If you want a REAL examination of your spiritual self, you need to go straight to the Specialist of Specialists and let Him get to work.

If you think I’m a little crazy with all this spirical talk, then you must also think poor Job and King David were off their rockers…

  • Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. – Job 31:6
  • Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
  • Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. – Psalm 26:2

One reason people shy away from getting an annual physical is because they don’t want to hear any bad news. They live their lives with abandon, then expect the doctor to examine them and declare them healthy.

Could it be that we rarely hear of spiritual check-ups because so few of us want to be weighed, searched, tried, examined, and proven by the only One who can see through our excuses and bad habits?

Maybe we like being unhealthy.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, fitness

I Worship Me

I Am That Important

I could stay at home and get some more sleep… because, you know, it’s that important.

I could stay at home and watch some TV… because, you know, it’s that important.

I could sleep a little later, then make a special breakfast… because, you know, it’s that important.

I stay at home, wake up later, make a light breakfast, then take a morning jog when there’s no rush… because, you know, it’s that important.

Or, I could just ignore the needs of my fellow believers; I could assume I’m never missed and my absence makes no difference; and I could just brush aside any biblical commands while I hold God hostage to my demands… because, you know, I am that important.

I am… kinda has a nice ring to it, you think?

Yeah, who needs to go to church on Sunday morning, anyway? Especially when I AM the one I worship the rest of the week.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves…”  – 2 Timothy 3:2

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Filed under Church

Common Sense Vehicle Control Needed

Tragedy

Make no mistake, what happened in Nice, France, was an incredible tragedy. My heart breaks for the families of those killed or injured, and I can only imagine the fear that so many there Thursday night were experiencing.

Yes, it was a tragedy, as are all the times innocent lives are taken and innocent people are wounded and scarred for life. But let’s be honest, it was far more than a just a tragedy; it was a symptom of a disease much greater than isolated “lone wolf” outbreaks.

Now, in order to make a point, had what happened in France this week been the result of one using a gun, then the media in the west, especially the White House, would be all over it. Just like when the assassin killed 5 police officers in Dallas, or a year ago tomorrow when a radical Islamic thug killed 5 of our servicemen here in Chattanooga, had the killing in Nice been associated with a gun, the President would have quickly jumped past the condolences and straight to the issue of gun control.

It’s like what Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said, “Never let a tragedy go to waste.”

The Obvious

Well, then, if guns are to blame for all shootings, then what about automobiles? Believe it or not, far more people die because of auto accidents in America than from being shot with a gun of ANY kind. Why don’t we talk about that?

Here are some questions for you…

  1. Did the driver in Nice have a license to drive that truck?
  2. Did the driver in Nice acquire that truck legally, or illegally?
  3. If the truck was stolen, should the owner of the truck be held responsible?
  4. Who made the truck? Should the maker of the truck be held responsible because of it’s killing capabilities were not limited?
  5. Is it too easy for people to acquire a vehicle legally?
  6. Should vehicle owners be required to store their trucks and cars when not being used?
  7. When not being used, should vehicles be required to have mandated steering wheel locks?
  8. Should used car lots be required to perform background checks on all buyers before handing over the keys? What if they sold a car for $5,000 to a guy with a drunk-driving record?
  9. Should the government be able to require that all vehicles have technology that restricts its use to only the legal owner, and no one else?
  10. Should all auto owners be placed on a criminal database?

The answers to the above questions should be obvious. It should also be obvious what gun control is really all about, and it’s not about saving lives.

If it was about saving lives, we would have more common-sense vehicle control.

 

In all seriousness, may the God of peace bring peace and comfort to the hurting and afraid in Nice, France. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

 

2 Comments

Filed under America, current events

Standing Sure In a Crumbling World

imageOriginally written in 2014, I’m re-posting this in memory of the innocent lives lost in France on Thursday.

World Events

Let’s get real for a moment, shall we? The world seems to be coming apart at the seams right now. Russia and Ukraine are fighting; Israel and Hamas are fighting; ISIS is trying to take over the world; airplanes are crashing or being blown out of the sky; new diseases are popping up everywhere; and more former Disney child stars are choosing to cry out, “I don’t want to be a role model!” while exposing their bare behinds.

Face it, the world is going to hell in a hand basket and Toto has already jumped.

But seriously, as bad as the world is, it’s not like we have Nero for a president. Oh, but wait! America isn’t the only country in the world, you know, and Christians are being killed as often today as they were in the first and second centuries (along with anyone who refuses to yell “Allah Akbar!” as he beheads his sister).

Life Goes On

But even as we look around at a world in turmoil, does that mean we must forget about living? Sure, the temptation might be to down a bottle of Prozac and curl up in a ball, all the while waiting for the first warhead to hit your town.

However, kingdoms rise and fall and nations come and go, yet children still need moms and dads, strangers still need a kind word, and the way we live is still important.

As a matter of fact, right before another group of people’s world was about to be turned upside down, Jesus Christ gave some timeless instruction on living from a hillside (The full text can be found in Matthew, chapters 5-7). His words still apply today. Below are a few excerpts:

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” 

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” 

Jesus then concluded his sermon with the following encouragement…

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” – Matthew 7:24-25

Though the world might be falling apart, we don’t have to. 

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Filed under America, Christian Living, current events, the future

2000 Cents Worth

1000

A $20 Value!

Thank you for visiting my 1000th post on The Recovering Legalist! This is such a special occasion for me!

It’s been so much fun sharing my two cents on the world-wide web. When I did the math (I wasn’t bad with elementary numbers), one thousand posts equal 2,000 cents worth of wisdom. If my calculations are correct, the total monetary value of the wisdom and insight contained in this blog is worth a total of $20.

Twenty Dollars!

But you’ve gotten a lot over the last six (6) years, wouldn’t you say? 2 cents here, 2 cents there…it all adds up to a virtual treasure of personal opinion.

A Few Stats

You might not be interested in this, but it might interest my grandkids one day. I just thought it would be interesting to look back over the last seven (7) years to see what was most popular.

First of all, I started blogging in 2009, but that year I only published two posts. It was literally a year later in 2010 that I started blogging on a fairly regular basis. Since then I have received a little over 107,000 recorded views and acquired over 2,600 followers. That may sound like a lot to a newbie, but it’s nothing compared to other blogs – so I don’t have a big head.

stats for all time as of july 2016

2016 is on pace to beat 2015:-)

Now, I don’t know what it is about Dr. John R. Rice, but my post about him continues to be the most viewed post every year, including this one. Including that one, the following are the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts I’ve published.

All-Time Top 10 Most Viewed Posts

  1. “Was John R. Rice a Heretic?”
  2. “What to Wear to Church?”
  3. “The Brief Departure of a Friend”
  4. “Dinosaur Bones Found On Moon!”
  5. “Just the Sound of BB’s”
  6. “Does Divorce Disqualify”
  7. “Appetite for Comfort” (this one was featured on Freshly Pressed)
  8. “Recovering Legalist Meets Building 429”
  9. “Why Be a Legalist?”
  10. “Work, Work, Work”

Another interesting statistic is the most common search items. Here are the all-time Top 5 Search Terms that have led people to my blog.

All-Time Top 5 Search Terms

  1. What to wear to church
  2. Recovering legalist
  3. Bones on the moon*
  4. John r rice
  5. Prostitots

*It should be noted that people do wonder what to wear to church, and what the heck a Prostitot is. However, the above search terms tell another interesting truth:

I have single-handedly maintained an urban legend! There are dinosaur bones on the moon!

My Favorite Statistic

But of all the posts I’ve ever written, the most important one is what is contained under the above tab, Eternal Life. The statistics for that page say more for this blog than anything else. At least that’s what I think.

Since the Eternal Life page went active back in February of 2012, it has been viewed nearly 800 times (according to WordPress). And since we know that actual views can be more than recorded, who knows how many people have actually gone to that page and read how to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

Regardless the number or the reason, if nothing else, just because I’ve been blogging and sharing my two cents worth, hundreds of people have taken the time to read a biblical Gospel presentation! That’s an awesome thought!

Your Faves?

Folks, there is no question this blog has resulted in many life-long friendships. Some of you I have met in person, and that makes it even more special. Bloggers are real people, you know. I thank God for all of you!

But now that I’ve come to the 1,000 mark, what posts have been YOUR favorite? Is there one that stands out in your memory? More importantly, was there one in a thousand that made a difference in your life?

That’s what I’d really love to hear!


And then there's this.

P.S. A special thanks should go out to all those who wrote guest posts – you had a part in that 1,000, too.

P.P.S. Monday Monkey videos were an added value, so if you subtract the guest posts from my $20 worth of opinion, then add Mr. Monkey’s, the total value of this blog’s wisdom shoots up past $39.95.

P.P.P.S. (if there is such a thing) I’m looking forward to the next 1,000!

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Filed under blogging

Social Media Done Right

What Happened

Good Monday morning, everyone! I’m glad to be alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic! How about you?

Friday morning was a bummer, that’s for sure; I was alive, but not enthusiastic. Friday morning I was suffering from some unnerving chest pain. Let me tell you what happened.

Friday morning I was going over some stuff at my computer. Actually, it was some papers outlining what was needed for me to start back to school, this time for an M.Div. at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. To be honest, they stressed me out. As I sat there, the left side of my chest began to hurt worse and worse. The pain continued for nearly half an hour.

Finally, I went to my wife and told her what was going on. I had my doubts what I was experiencing was heart-related, but there was no way for me to be sure, therefore my wife insisted I go to the emergency room at Memorial Hospital here in Chattanooga.

The pain started around 11 a.m., but we didn’t get to the E.R. until around 1:30. Thanks to a lot of people there before me, I was triaged and sent back to the lobby to wait…and wait…and wait. Finally, at 4:40 I was taken back to a bed in the E.R., then admitted to the CDU (Clinical Decision Unit) at 8:08 p.m. For the first time in my adult life I was made to stay in a hospital overnight.

On Saturday morning, after having my blood drawn twice the night before, I was ready for some food. What I was not ready for was the heart-healthy crap they feed you in a hospital. For crying out loud, you’d think a multi-thousand dollar hospital bed would sleep better than it did, but then to feed me bland oatmeal and decaffeinated coffee? Torture, I tell you!

After breakfast I was taken for a nuclear stress test. Between injections, waiting, and treading on the mill till I thought I’d die, that was another 2 1/2 hours. But come around 11 a.m. I was being released – NO heart problems! Hallelujah!

Right before I was released on Saturday morning. Encouraged by prayer notifications.

Right before I was released on Saturday morning. Encouraged by prayer notifications and “OK.”

But now my knee hurts from the tread mill. Oh well.

Done Right

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and all our blogs, can be used for a lot of selfish and cynical reasons. But this past weekend, as my inbox will attest, there are times when the internet proves its usefulness.

From the time I first got to the hospital till the time I was checking out, my wife was responsible for sending and checking all the messages. Because of what she wrote others picked up the ball and began to run. Before too long there were people all over the world praying for me, many of which I didn’t even know.

Then, this morning, a fellow blogger showed up right after our morning church service, just to come pray with me. Do you have any idea how much that means?

Folks, I have been tremendously blessed to have friends and family, both in person and over the web, who care enough to intercede for me. It reminds me of the story in the book of Nehemiah, the story where the people were spread out working on the wall, linked together by only a trumpet’s call. But when the enemy struck the trumpet would sound, and that’s where all the people would gather to fight (sorta like what the R.A.F. did during the Battle of Britain).

In the right hands social media became the rallying trumpet, calling those spread far and wide to the aid of one lone wall builder.

The wall still stands; the defenses held.

Thank you for caring and coming to my aid!

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Filed under blogging, Christian Unity, Relationships and Family