Tag Archives: future

Things to Do In 2019: Don’t take time for granted

“Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Psalm 144:4)

Every hour that passes, ever second of every minute, is another moment in time we will never get back. Our time here on Earth is so short, so fleeting, that we are compared by the Psalmist worthless self-perceptions and the nothingness that is shadow.

When I was young, Christmas morning was always 10 years away. Monday morning meant that I’d have to wait a lifetime until Saturday-morning cartoons. High school graduation was a moment that didn’t come soon enough.

Now that I’m much, much older (although I still watch Bugs Bunny), I have children that are adults, bills that come far too frequently, and calendars that fly by faster than a starving bat after a June bug.

Years ago I spent a couple of hours talking with a young man about his soul. I shared verse after verse, gave reason after reason, but he would not give his heart to Jesus. I’ll never forget how he agreed with everything I said, yet said, “Not tonight…maybe later.”

No more than a week later, after going to the hospital for a headache, he died of spinal meningitis. As far as I know, he went into eternity without God.

We don’t know how much time we have left. We don’t know how much time our loved ones have left.

One thing I’ve learned is that no matter how old you get, and no matter how old your friends and loved ones get, whenever some one you love dies it’s always too soon; you always wish you had more time.

We should never take the future for granted, like it’s going to be here for us. Actually, it will be here, but someday we will not.

Use every moment wisely. Cherish every moment. We only have so many.

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Filed under Family, Life/Death, the future

Nine Years of Blogging

I Missed It

It is now September 5, and the only thing truly special about this day is that I’m writing this post while in a waiting room – a dreary one at that. My wife is having a scope done of her esophagus, and so I have nothing else to do but wait…I’ve already prayed, so I’ll write.

Anyway, I missed my WordPress anniversary on the 27th! 9 years ago last week I wrote my first blog post, and I still have those same Crocs! I have, however, retired them.

I Mused It

Looking back over the years, I’ve used this blog to share a lot of my thoughts about different things. Some of those things were current events which are no longer relevant, while others were topic of interest which will continue to be discussed – if not reposted.

But I’ve also used this blog to formulate my thoughts. I’ve used it as a test bed for my ideas, in the preparation of sermons, and as a way to hone my speech before it’s spoken.

Overall, blogging has probably helped me more than anyone else.

I Misused It

Right now I’m reading Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you haven’t read it, you should; the practical wisdom is invaluable.

In the first chapter Carnegie addresses the dangers of being critical of others and cites multiple examples. Towards the end of the chapter he says:

“If you and I want to stir up resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism – no matter how certain we are that it is justified.”

Even though I’ve been convinced I was right, I may have been too critical of others at times, priding myself on the “stinging” part. Granted, much of that would have appeared while debating within the comment sections, but I’m sure I could have been more gracious at times. I apologize.

I’ll Make It

So, now that I’m into my tenth year of blogging, I look forward to writing even more about subjects that interest me and may interest others. In doing so, I hope that my transparency will not hurt my own reputation, but encourage others in their own walk of faith with grace.

Life is tough at times. Like I’ve mentioned before, I know full well the dangers of depression and an outlook that forgets Who is in control. Maybe more posts in the future will help others see and understand how good and faithful our God is. Maybe they’ll be less critical, less controversial, and more encouraging as the days get darker.

Sure, some things will have to be addressed or I’ll just explode – like how now that the mayor of Chicago and a black preacher at Aretha Franklin’s funeral said what needed to be said, but the culture is too far gone to accept it…and who’s fault is that? But, when all is said and done, the command of Philippians 4:8 must rule the day – we must think on those things.

In the end, Lord willing, I’ll make it safe and sound of mine to our 10th anniversary at The Recovering Legalist. If you’ll stick with me we’ll make it a celebration to remember!

Thank you for your friendships!

Anthony

PS, My wife is not yet out of surgery, and this waiting room is sadly depressing. No coffee!

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Filed under blogging, Faith, Future, grace, Struggles and Trials, writing

There Are Better Rewards

Earthly Rewards

img_5245I am not exactly an Olympic champion, but I have received a few rewards/awards in my lifetime. A few of those are pinned to my bright orange vest that I wear while driving a school bus.

As you can see, I have been a very safe driver over the last few years. The pins on my vest represent my good works, my lack of accidents of any kind – even bumping another bus in the parking lot (which what cost me a perfect record 8 years ago) – and are worn quite proudly.

However, after the Woodmore accident where 5 children died, our county is probably going to get rid of the company I work for, even though what happened was the responsibility of just one driver. Therefore, beginning with next year, who will even care about those pins? They will probably end up in the same place as my Promise Keepers lapel pins.

Heavenly Rewards

The most important and enduring rewards are those which God gives us. Those are the ones we should strive for, the ones when acquired will never pass away…or get stashed away in some forgotten jewelry box drawer.

One way we can gain rewards from above is to remain faithful, even when times are hard. When people persecute you and revile you for your faith, for following Jesus, stand strong; you have something waiting for you when you cross the finish line!

Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Mat 5:11-12Β 

And I bet what you’ll be wearing will look a LOT better than Dayglow Orange πŸ˜‰

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Filed under Christian Living, Life Lessons, the future

Escapist or Expectant?

As I was lying in bed this morning, shivering in the cold – the house is like a dadgum freezer – I proceeded to do an mental inventory. No, it wasn’t an inventory of all the things that need to be organized and packed for our upcoming move in a few days. I wasn’t even thinking about all the bills that need to be paid with money we don’t have (that’s a growing list too depressing to think about). Actually, it was a mental inventory of pain. 

It’s the last day of 2016 – this is the last post of the year – and with every day that passes I’m acquiring a new pain. As I lay there covered up, not wanting to get out of bed, I came to the realization that there was not one part of my body that didn’t hurt – literally. 

I’m not yet fifty years old, but I hurt from head to toe. Seriously, I’m looking forward to that “new body” the Bible says I’ll have one day. Maybe that is why I’m not as critical as I used to be of certain hymnals that have more songs about heaven than other, more weighty themes. Maybe it’s because I wake up and go to sleep with pain that I look forward heaven a little more than my younger, healthier theologians. 

One of the criticisms leveled at Christians is that we are “escapists” (i.e., those who care more about escaping this world than saving it). Sometimes we are accused of being so “heavenly-minded” that we’re no earthly good, all because we believe there’s a place to go after the cares of this life are over. Well, I’ve got news for everybody: I’m ready to go!!

No, I don’t want to die. No, I don’t want to give up on reaching the lost in order to selfishly escape to paradise. However, with each new day that passes by…with every New Year’s celebration that comes and goes…I’m that much closer to my faith becoming sight. …And no more pain. 

No, I don’t want to escape, but my expectations are pretty high. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for those who love Him… and believe it or not, that includes 2017. 

Happy New Year, my friends! 

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Filed under current events, Future, the future

From Fear to Joy

An Update

It is truly wonderful to sit down and type on a real keyboard, not an iPhone! I finally picked up my computer yesterday, new hard drive and all, and just plugged it in. It’s like Christmas came early πŸ˜‰

The only downside is that my wife now thinks I will never get anything done around the house, because I will be here clicking away for the next two days 😦 Wait! why a frowny face? Typing is good for the soul! πŸ™‚

Actually, if you want to know the truth, we have a whole house full of life that has to be packed and moved by December 29th; I don’t have time to sit and write a lot. We were finally able to secure a place to live just yesterday, so we will be moving out of the parsonage after Christmas. What a way to spend your Christmas break, right?

Fear

There is a great temptation to fear the future. For example, I recently suffered two/third’s cut in annual pay with no idea how I’m going to make that up; we are moving into a house that is not ours and is only guaranteed through April or May; and the company I drive school buses for is now facing huge law suits because of the Woodmore bus crash. The future is definitely uncertain.

But fear is nothing new. Take the time to read the Christmas story in its entirety and you will find several times where true, bone-shaking fear engulfed many. First there was Zacharias in the first chapter of Luke, then Joseph in Matthew chapter one, and then Mary and the shepherds in Luke 2. Each of them, when confronted with angelic messages, were greatly troubled. And why not?

Have you ever been confronted by a real angel in all its glory? Me neither. I have gotten messages from God, though. Yep, I sure have. For example, resigning the pastorate of one church without anywhere else to go was a clear message from heaven saying, “Trust me.” At first the message brought fear, but when I heard His voice saying, “Fear not,” I was able to begin to enjoy the thrill of a new chapter in life.

Joy

Believe me, I have every reason in the world to worry about the future. I had every reason to tremble in fear when I learned I would be homeless by the end of the year. But just like the shepherds tending their sheep, I have been comforted with the knowledge that my Savior was born. He was the fulfillment of the promises of God, and the promises of God are still true.

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? … 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. … 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Mat 6:25-26, 28, 33-34 HCSB

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future. If Joseph and Mary could carry on with life after such shocking announcements, surely I can carry on with wondrous expectation.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – Jesus

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Filed under Christmas, Faith, Future

One Picture, Two Truths

Courthouse Queue

I don’t use United Kingdom words that often, but I will shine my torch on one this day: queue (I would spell it differently).

Yes, today I was standing in line, or, rather, I was in queue to register my daughter’s car at our county courthouse. While standing there, looking down and noticed something fairly profound and had to take a picture.

…and I sucked in my gut so you could see my feet.

IMG_4079

Literally, there at my feet were two completely profound statements! One would have been enough, but two? Yes, two statements in one picture. Two thoughts worth pondering. Two very real truths.

First Truth

“Wait here until called for service.”

Now, I know that we should always be about the Lord’s work, serving as we go. But when I look at this all I can think of are those who rush ahead into something God never called them to do – or be.

Believe it or not, rushing ahead of the line (or cue), not waiting for God to give the go-ahead, can be devastating. How many have sold all to go to the mission field, only to find out later they were not meant to be there? How many have rushed to stand behind a pulpit without a firm confirmation of their calling?

People have done many things without waiting on God, from ministry to marriage, and have lived to regret their hastiness. Oh that we would be more like David when he said, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope” (Psalm 130:5).

Maybe you have already been called, but asked to step back in line for a moment. Be patient! Wait upon the Lord as He renews your strength; lifts you up on eagles’ wings; so that you may once again run and not get weary; walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Second Truth

You are next.

Did you hear the one about the man who’s mother-in-law drove his brand-new truck off the side of a bluff? He had mixed emotions.

Knowing you are “next” is great if what you’re next in line for is a good thing. But what if you’re next in line for something bad to happen? Knowing you are next is not good news, is it?

Well, believe it or not, there are people reading this that are next. Next for what? I don’t know, but they should be ready. You might be next in line for a heart attack or cancer. You may be the very next one in your family to get married, or have a child. Or, you might be the next one to get a terrible phone call in the night.

“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” – Proverbs 27:1

Either way, you are next for something, and only God knows what that is. Are you right with Him? Are you willing to follow where He leads? Don’t be afraid, just put your faith in Jesus Christ and let Him guide you through what’s ahead.

“Next!”

 Update: Not six hours after publishing this, I had to take my wife to the Emergency Room. As of this moment (Saturday evening) she is still in unexplained chest pain. She is now in the hospital and I’ve been awake close to 40 hours. 

What’s next? Nobody knows. But God is still good! 

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Filed under Faith, Future, Life/Death, the future

Pre-Weekend Update

I really envy those who can find the time to write every single day on their blogs. You don’t know how much I have longed to sit down to my faithful keyboard and empty my knowledge-filled brain (well, not all my brain). At this point I am not even typing on a keyboard, just my iPhone.

Tonight, I will write more. My computer will be back up and operational, so that will help. For now, because I have to pay for said computer, I must head off to drive the famous school bus. If you read this in time, pray – it is a Friday.

Stay Tuned!

As a teaser, be looking for a story dealing with animals in Romania – animals that leap from the trees and kill you if you don’t make the right sounds. I’ve been wanting to share this “true-life” story for a while.

If you haven’t done so already, SUBSCRIBE! You will be notified each time I write an article or post a video of Monday Monkey. Cool, huh?

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Filed under General Observations, Monday Monkey, the future