Calculator No Match for Eternal One

 

This week an e-mail friend sent an insurance company’s online device designed to calculate the length of the lives of clients it insures. By inputting certain data about height, weight, personal habits and genetic history, the insurance company can determine, in theory, how long a potential customer can expect to live. Poking the buttons proved interesting, since a slight change in data could improve or worsen one’s life expectancy.

I showed the device to my son, age 27, and he spent several minutes playing with the numbers. To his dismay he discovered that changing just one entry—inserting female into the slot for gender—automatically added ten years, no matter what the other factors were.

For fun he decided to input all the negative data the calculator offered. The result? He was already dead.

Every projection punched into the calculator issued a number—a finite age at which that person would no longer live. Not once did the machine ever say, “You will live forever.”

 A sobering reality.

 Regardless of how healthy our lifestyle and how clean our genes, we all face an ultimate end. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 9:27  “it is appointed unto man to die once and after that the judgment.”

But life doesn’t have to end there. Man’s soul, that intertwined thread within that connects us to the heavenly Father, can live forever. I John 5:11,12 says: “And this is the testimony, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life, but he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Now that’s a projection we can count on. No manmade calculator can change the outcome because the data God provides is permanently fixed. Our lives in eternity are guaranteed—we will live forever if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

Happy Easter!

 

This next week I’m attending a five-day writer’s conference out of state. My blog will return in April. Blessings on each of you.

First Day of Spring–Not to be confused with Easter Miracle

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Next Tuesday marks the first day of spring! Already the daffodils are blooming, the crocuses are purpling the landscape and the flowering plums are lining our street. The arrival of spring, marking the beginning of warmer days and summer flowers, makes me want to sing.

 As my children were growing up, we would celebrate the first day of spring by hunting chocolate eggs in the yard. We’d pretend that a spring robin had chosen to leave the candy with us for safe keeping. We would then head to the kitchen to color real eggs for an endless supply of egg salad sandwiches the next two weeks.

By separating the fun of activities associated with spring—eggs, bunnies, birds and nests—from the miracle of Easter, I hoped my children would grow up understanding the sacrifice that had been made for them at Calvary. When His claim as the Messiah was rejected by his people, the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross to die on the eve of Passover. He rose alive the third day after in order to give all mankind a guaranteed plan for heaven.  I didn’t want my children to grow up missing all that Easter means shrouded in a manmade sugar high.

It amazes me how our culture works so hard to mask the truth of Easter by masquerading bunnies as egg layers, chicks as chocolate, and jelly beans as bird eggs. Had a rabbit been nailed to a cross, its paws bloody from the nails that pierced them and the wood stained by the loss of life, I am certain that the outcry from the inhumane treatment of an animal would have made national news.  The Humane Society would have marked the day as a national holiday to remind us of the cruelty and proclaimed Peter the rabbit as their mascot.

Should Jesus have any less acclaim?

Scripture tells us that the veil in the temple was torn in two at the moment that Jesus breathed His last breath. Matthew 27:50-51“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

How many of the Sanhedrin realized at that moment what they had done? How many went to their graves knowing they had killed God’s anointed? Did they ever know that their actions were part of God’s plan of providing a way to heaven for everyone, even a Gentile like me?

Enjoy your first day of spring. And for those of you who have been blessed with the warmth of sun, would you please tell it to come to the Northwest? The snow and rain are getting old.

The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down. . .

The first drop hit me on the nose.

The moisture surprised me, since I stood in my kitchen watching the storm outside my window mount in its intensity. I raised my gaze to the ceiling and there, in an almost imperceptible crack near the light fixture, another drop oozed its way through.

Great.

The roofer explained that the pitch of our garage roof met that of the main house in a valley which sat directly above the light fixture in my kitchen. Probably sometime earlier, on his way to sweep the roof, my devoted husband planted his number ten shoe in the weak joint. The shingles moved and the leak began.

 But the roof was twenty years old. Shouldn’t we replace it?

They didn’t knock when they arrived, but the scritching noise of their shoes on the top of my house told me they were there, as though hundred-pound termites had moved in and were eating their way to the interior below. When the pallets of shingles were moved and dropped in various places, the entire house shook. Pictures fell off the walls. I know the work is tough and the materials heavy, but really!

Recovering a house’s top in March in the Northwest is like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun. Our contractor waited for a sunny forecast where two days of sun promised to show together and then stripped away only as much of the old cover as he could safely re-shingle in that amount of time. He’d come again with the next sunny forecast and do another section.  Sometime before June, we hoped the job would be complete.

In the meantime, the main leak had been covered and we would remain dry while we waited.

God promises to be our shelter in the storms of life. But unlike the roofer who waits on weather, our Heavenly Father is available 24/7. He has the sun, moon and stars at His command. He doesn’t need to wait for a storm front to pass.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 46:1”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

In Isaiah 25:4 the writer says of the Lord, “You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy is his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, for the blast from the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

And though God can finish the job whenever He chooses, we can be certain that He will. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

His shelter is the only one I really need

God is in the Details of Our Lives

 Early last December I learned that the Broadway musical, “Beauty and the Beast” would be playing in our city’s performing arts center the end of February. I knew my daughter would love to see the production and planned to get tickets. But I procrastinated, so much so that when I attempted to buy them in the latter part of January, both performances had sold out.

Not to be defeated, I went to craigslist to see if anyone had purchased tickets they didn’t need. I found the usual assortment of dealers wanting to scalp the public. One owner said she’d accept offers for two tickets, but when pressed, her price was twice what the theater would have charged me.  

I didn’t want to pay double, so I stopped my search and prayed.  “Lord, I would love to find some tickets, but no performance is worth that. I leave the matter with you.”

 Then I promptly forgot all about it.

I didn’t think about the performance again until Monday of this week, realizing that I’d never searched any more for tickets and the musical would be performed Tuesday and Wednesday. I thought I’d look again after my morning workout, just in case there were some last minute sellouts.

 But as I was stretching, this needling voice in my head said, “Go to Craigslist NOW.” 

Sure, sure.  I’ll get there in a while.

“NO. Go to Craigslist Now.”

I got up off the floor, and went to the computer. To my disbelief and delight, there were three tickets available for the same price I would have paid at the theater in December.  I called the woman to see if they’d sold yet.  They hadn’t.

We made arrangements to meet that evening after she got off work. I fretted all day, thinking she’d probably get other offers, and someone would pay her before we connected. I arrived at the meeting place we’d agreed upon and waited. Fifteen minutes passed, then twenty. My earlier fears were coming true. I dialed her number and left a message on her voice mail. Within seconds, she called back and explained she’d had to work late. Was I still there? She’d be there in ten minutes.

She showed. Not only did I have my tickets, I had a renewed faith in a God that is involved in the details of my life. He remembered my prayer, even though I had forgotten. He fulfilled my request and made certain I knew it.

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Matthew 6:34 “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

By the way, Beauty and the Beast was magical—beyond all my expectations. But then, what did I expect? God made sure I was there.