Archive for July, 2012

h1

Getting the Picture

July 19, 2012

Getting the Picture……

 

As I get older, I’ve started to see things differently.  While some of this is because of the aid of magnification, for the most part I am just starting to get a picture of who I really am. I am getting a little more comfortable with myself. I am recognizing who God wired me to be. You might say, I’ve relaxed and gotten comfortable in my own skin.

 

Part of this came as a result of the resurrection of my passion for the game of golf. Recently I headed out to my favorite course Paako Ridge and as I walked through the wooden doors of the clubhouse, I immediately relaxed. The place just called out my name. The smell of new apparel and the sight of golf memorabilia were comforting to me. I love to compare old clubs and relics of the game with the new advances in equipment related to the sport I love. They all have a time and a purpose.

 

An actual wooden shafted club hung from above reminding me of golf from the days gone by. Soon my attention was captured by the latest and greatest technology of a new weighted Taylor made driver.

 

The whole feel of the place reminded me of how Jesus gives us new life and fresh purpose. The gospel message is an old, unchanging gift from the archives of history. Just as the old club evolved into the latest in technological advances, our savior transforms and creates a whole new product of our lives. We become renewed, reworked, and retooled for His service.

 

Yes, as I approach my fiftieth year, I am relaxing a bit. I am thankful each week for the opportunity to take an old message and present it in a new and fresh way for the purpose of bringing new life.

 

h1

The Agony of Defeat

July 9, 2012

The Agony of Defeat…..

 

Ski jumper Vinko Bogataj became instantly famous for one of the most spectacular crashes in sports history. For more than a decade, Vinko’s horrific tumble off a ski jump ramp was featured during the opening of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. As Vinko spun wildly off the ramp and violently down the hill into a boundary net, the narrator would follow the scenes of “the thrill of victory” with Vinko’s “agony of defeat.”

 

What people do not know is that Vinko had fallen….on purpose! Snow had begun to fall right before Vinko’s event and the ramp had become dangerously fast. Silently Vinko began to calculate just how far he might fly. After considering the deadly consequences of overshooting the landing area, he made one of the toughest decisions of his life. He decided to abort his jump. That is how poor Vinko ended up going off the side of the ramp and careening right into sports history.

 

Amazingly, Vinko suffered only a minor concussion from the fall. He was totally unaware that ABC had picked up footage of the incident for their show until years later when he received a call asking him to appear as a guest of honor on an anniversary show. Now a “pop icon,” his comment was simply, “Every time I am on ABC, I crash.”

 

This astounding story beautifully illustrates the process of repentance. We all get pushed off the ski ramps of life. Sin has made life too treacherous for any of us to handle. Headed toward spiritual death, our only hope for safety and salvation is to take the way of escape God has provided for us in Jesus Christ. Yet, repentance requires the end of our pride. Everyone watching will know that something went wrong, something we could not handle on our own.

 

That is why in my way of thinking, repentance is the most positive word in the universe. We don’t have to continue on a break-neck course toward the ultimate crash, overshooting the landing and facing certain death. There is a way out.