An American author and minister, Marshall Hayden, wrote an article several years ago with the intriguing title, “Would Every Non-Hurter Please Stand Up?”
Hayden observed that people come to church services and seem fine. They put on their best smile. Wear their best clothes. And look happy. Yet, he pointed out that we need to look beyond the facade and below the surface to realize that our pews are full of hurting people. Continue reading
Martin and Diedre Bobgan in their book, How To Counsel From Scripture, tell of a fascinating study dealing with the principle of the Golden Rule. It was conducted by Bernard Rimland, director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research.
“The happiest people,” Rimland concluded “are those who help others.” Continue reading
This morning I am reflecting on an event that occurred 100 years ago tomorrow, July 28, 1918, an event that impacted my life. Literally. My father Roy Chester Weliever was born in Montgomery County, Indiana.
Dad was a part of the what Tom Brokaw dubbed as “The Greatest Generation” who “gave so much and asked so little.” He grew up working on a farm just outside of New Ross, Indiana. Living through the Great Depression, times were tough. But his values were formed and forged by his parents Fred and Flora Weliever that would serve him well throughout his life. Continue reading
There’s an old Yiddish expression when translated goes like this: “Man plans. God laughs.
I don’t know if God was laughing yesterday. I know I wasn’t. But my plans for the day abruptly changed.
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about a lesson that I was going to present at the Charlestown Road church in New Albany, Indiana. This lesson was prepared. The powerpoint completed. My sermons note sent. And, of course, my plane ticket purchased and boarding pass printed.
I awoke before 5:00 AM, quickly dressed and left for the airport. The traffic was light. There were no long lines in security. There was plenty of time for coffee and breakfast at Tim Horton’s. Continue reading
This morning I’m crossing the border back into the USA to fly into Louisville, and speak for the Charlestown Road Church in New Albany, Indiana, tonight.
Their summer series theme is “Victory in Christ.” My assigned topic is “Helping Those Who Have Fallen.” As I was developing the lesson this passage came to my mind in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”
“Pay it Forward” is an expression that describes the concept of repaying a good deed to others instead of the original benefactor.
Lily Hardy Hammond may have originally coined the phrase when she wrote in her 1916 book, “In the Garden of Delight,” “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.”
While the expression has been around for a while, it was made popular in the movie, based on Catherine Ryan Hyde’s book, “Pay it Forward,” starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment. Continue reading
Henry Ward Beecher was an American minister and social reformer known for his support of the abolition of slavery.
Beecher tells the story of a man who once came to their house and confronted his father, regarding a personal grievance with him. The young man in Beecher’s words was “ red with wrath” and boiling over with rage.” His father “listened to him with great attention and perfect quietness until he had got it all out, and then he said to him in a soft and low tone, ‘Well, I suppose you only want what is just and right?’” Continue reading
It happened 49 years ago today, on a Sunday evening, July 20, 1969. I will never forget it. Norma Jean and I returned to our little apartment on Bearss Avenue in Tampa, Florida, after preaching out of town that day.
We got home just in time. Turned on our little black and white TV and watched in amazement. At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from earth, stepped off the lunar landing module Eagle and uttered those famous words heard by more than a billion people: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Armstrong had become the first human being to walk on the surface of the moon. Continue reading
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it,” wrote Oscar Wilde in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.”
This philosophy is held by many today, whether they think about it consciously or not. We live in an age of emphasis on self-gratification instead of self-denial. But while the world says denying yourself of pleasures is bad for you, the inspired writer James says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (Jas. 1:12) Continue reading
This week I’m participating in the Vacation Bible School with the Wellandport Church teaching the adult class.
I’m teaching, but I think I’m the one receiving the most benefit. Not just from the adults in my class. But from the children. They are excited. They sing at the top of their lungs. And proudly show their pictures after class.
I love VBS. It reinforces the value of children. The need to teach them. And to provide spiritual direction for their lives. Continue reading