Nothing But

Before I start, I hate to "steal" someone else's sermon.  But I listened to this one on the way home yesterday and then couldn't find after looking for over 30 minutes to share it.  So below is my best attempt at the meat of Michael Todd's (quickly becoming one of my favorites to listen to) sermon on having a vision.

The text is based in 2 Kings 4 and is the story of "Elisha and the Widow's Oil."  If you're not familiar with the story, it would be beneficial to give those few verses a quick read first.

At the start of this story, we see the widow in a desperate situation - her husband has died, she has no  job, no money, and may potentially lose her children and everything else she owns.  It doesn't get much worse.  The first question that Elisha asks her in v2 is, "What shall I do for you?"  The first thing that Elisha asked her was not what she has, rather she wants, what she feels like needs to happen.  Think about that.  How of…

Dealing with Disaster - (2 of 3)

This the second part of Dealing with Disaster with our model of how to respond to crisis that is shown in 2 Samuel 21:1-14.  (vs 4-6 here)

We saw in Part 1 that when David faced a crisis, he first inquired of God, and then he inquired of the people who had been wronged.  He wanted to know how he could possibly make up for the prior wrongdoings to them and atone for the actions of his predecessor.

In a request that would be considered shocking by most standards today, the Gibeonites did not ask for "silver and gold."  Money and financial reimbursements would not take away the pain their people had experienced.  They requested that seven of Saul's male descendants be turned over to them and hanged in the presence of the Lord.  While it is pretty easy to assume that Saul's attempted genocide of the people resulted in much more than seven deaths, we can assume that there was some symbolism here.  And this is certainly not a method of reconciliation that is acceptable i…

Dealing with Disaster - (1 of 3)

When we hear stories of natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and the raging forest fires taking place now in California, our minds tend to wonder what is these people may have done to deserve this type of judgment.  But we must remember that natural disasters and other hardships are merely a part of living in a fallen world.  One of the most recorded natural calamities in Bible is famine.  Lifeway offers this on famine, "While not always the result of divine judgment on sin, at times it did indicate the Lord's displeasure with something in the experience of His people, Israel."  And as they continued, "The purpose (of famine) was always to lead them back to Him and to seek His favor."

So how do we deal with crises?  What do we do when disaster strikes?  We see a good model set for us in 2 Samuel 21:1-14.  (vs 1-3 here)

After experiencing three consecutive years of famine, King David did what any wise man should do - he "inquired of the …

A Second Chance

Before you put a business on blast on social media, please be sure that you have asked at least one employee (preferably a manager or supervisor) to assist you with whatever the issue is.
Maybe your waitress forgot to give you a fork, or missed that you needed a refill.  She could have miscounted or someone may have been away from the table when she passed them out.  Or perhaps she's dealing with a personal issue and doing her best to not let it interfere with work which we all know happens at times.
Maybe a company left you sitting in the waiting room too long.  Did you tell anyone you were there?  Or better yet, call ahead to see if the person you're coming to see is available?  The staff may be swamped or short-handed that day, or they may have checked the room just prior to your entry.  So call ahead or say, "Hello" and let someone know you're present.
This method of resolving an issue or conflict is not a new idea, and is even biblical.  It makes the most sense…

The Courtesy Car

I don't know how many people have ever bought a brand new, or nearly new, car from a dealership where they offered "free" (remember nothing is free) oil changes, tire rotations, or other routine maintenance.  Disclaimer:  I haven't.  Since my dad is a used car dealer I usually joke with people that if I ever buy a brand new car I get kicked out of the family.  But usually, when you take your car in to get serviced they offer to let you drive a newer, nicer, fancier car that's in their fleet.  Have you ever wondered why they do that?  Hint, it's not just to be nice.  Dealerships want you see their newest and best cars to let you see how good it is in an effort to tempt you into purchasing a newer ride. 

Sorry, if you're car guy (or girl) but the rest of this post isn't about cars. 

I can't for the life of me understand why some people from Union want to bash, tear down, belittle, or insult anything good that we have here.  If you're not aware…

South Carolina - Where Size Doesn't Matter

During our drive home from the beach last week, everyone dozed off for a little while and I actually had some quiet time to just look around, think, and reflect.  Maybe you're like me and your mind often goes into a deep thinking mode after vacations, or maybe not.  But during those few hours on the road and those few moments of peace and quiet I started thinking.
I could have thought about all the problems that this state has.  I could have considered where we rank in employment, in education, in roads, in welfare, or in any other area that the so called experts who rank states show South Carolina near the bottom nationally.  But after hearing what a friend shared today, I don't want to focus on that.  There are enough people focused on the negative.  I'm not saying let's ignore our problems and hope they go away.  I'm just saying that is highly unlikely that my blog is going to convince a judge, politician, or state official to change a rule or law and fix somet…

Summing it Up - Ps 37:3

To be completely honest, there are some verses in the Bible that I'm not really sure why they are there.  I mean, I know it's because God ordained men to write it and He has a purpose for each and every one, but there are some that are hard to comprehend or just don't seem to offer much worthwhile advice.  This verse is not one of those.  It's short, simple, relevant, and to the point.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." - Psalm 37:3

1.  Trust in the Lord.  Trusting God's lead doesn't mean feeling comfortable or even confident every step of the way.  It means knowing that if you follow Him, His will will be done.  As humans, we prefer walking by sight and not by faith, but sometimes God commands us to trust, follow, and obey.

2.  Do good.  Where do we start here?  Be kind, be generous, love, give, help, care, so many verbs we can list.  Do good by your family, your friends, your enemies, so many people to go …