Our realm vs God’s realm

We walk around on this earth, thinking we know what God’s realm is like. It’s nothing like what we see and hear. Nothing like what we can touch. Our limited knowledge is based on whatever our senses can absorb.

God’s realm has to be something far more awesome, far more colorful, far more worth pursuing.

We have little knowledge of who God is, what He can do, what He has done, and what He will do. His mind contains far more wisdom than we can ever hope to acquire on this earth. His world is far more vast than the universe we can see through the lens of the strongest telescope.

We smugly think we know everything needed to continue through this life. But we are fooling ourselves. Only God knows what lies around the bend. Only God can carry us through the good and the bad that we’ll encounter.

One day, we will step from this earthly realm and enter God’s realm, and what a surprise that will be. In an instant, in the blink of an eye, we will realize what we had on earth was a drop in the bucket compared to what God has prepared for those who love Him. Death won’t be the end. It will be an awakening.

I AM A RACIST

It took me a while to recognize and admit this about myself, but I am a racist.

When I was a teenager, I attended the harness races in Batavia, New York, just outside of Buffalo. The pounding of horse hooves, the jockeys, the carts, the fans yelling, the betting, the winning, the losing — it all added to the excitement. The experience turned me into a racist.

I also attended the stock car races in my hometown of East Rochester, New York. I loved the roar of the engines, the rise of the  dust, the grit in the air, the shouting, the screaming, the squeal of brakes. Even as a teenager, I was definitely a racist.

When I moved to Indianapolis, I lived in an apartment a couple of blocks from the Indy 500 track. I’ll never forget the hype in the month of May and the steady hum of race cars as drivers participated in the qualifying races. And then the big 500-mile race when the stands and the infield filled with fans and medics and track workers. There’s nothing greater than to sit in a huge roaring crowd of fellow racists right across from the finish line and cheer wildly as the lead driver zips past.

A true racist wouldn’t forget to mention drag racing champion Don Garlits who continues to thrill fans and whose automobile display draws racists to Ocala from all over the world. I’ve toured his museum and marveled at his fantastic collection of movie vehicles, motorcycles, and his many famed dragsters. My racism is at its height during those tours.

And, don’t forget the Triple Crown and the many Ocala Thoroughbreds that ran in those highly competitive races.  As a dedicated racist, I’m proud to be living in Horse Country, where I can take a drive past the horse farms and see the colts in the spring and the one- and two-year-olds in training. It’s a sight all true racists should see at least once in their lives. “Secretariat” is one of my favorite films. What racist would deny that?

Not only do I like to watch and support the various types of racing, but I’m an avid racist myself, and I say that with a certain amount of modesty mixed with pride. I’ve entered several 5-K races and a couple of four-milers, and I’ve won multiple medals — in my age group, of course.

Yes, I’m a racist. You can condemn me for that if you want to. But I’ve always been a racist and I expect I’ll always be one.

 

THE GREAT SHIFT

It’s been said that there is a Scriptural standard, and, while God has not moved from that standard (He is the same yesterday, today, and forever), it’s obvious that man has shifted from it. Even Christians have developed a laxness about God’s standard , and, in their quest to understand and accept current trends and the people who follow them, they have gradually drifted from that focal point.

Sin is still sin. No matter what the world says about certain issues, the Bible is clear. Yet, there are those who make their explanations and excuses and literally laugh in the face of God.

Of course, we all are sinners, and no sin is greater than another in God’s eyes. Every sin separates us from the Creator of the Universe, the Perfect One, the Merciful One, the One who paid for all of our transgressions with His own life.

But, there are some who refuse to call what they do sin. There are those who say things like, “Well, God wants me to be happy.” And so, they continue in adultery. They pursue lovers of the same sex. They kill their unborn babies, and now, even the born ones, and they say, “It’s my right.”

When Christians refuse to speak up and defend the principles of an Almighty God, when they accept the way the world is spinning away from godly truths, when they assume people probably have eternal salvation, despite the way they have chosen to live, that is dangerous.

In fact, it’s more dangerous to assume someone is saved than to assume they are not. If we assume they are not, we will (or should) do all in our power to lead them to the Only One who can save them. That is love.

Love is not wanting anyone to perish. Love is refusing to remain comfortable in our own salvation while others are missing the greatest promise of all time. Love is reaching out to the lost. Isn’t that why Jesus gave up His throne to come to earth? He said, I came to serve and to save the lost.

Those who believe in Him should not stand by idly as the world moves farther and farther away from God’s standards. If people who defend that trend can speak up, so can we. We can speak up against it.

Though the world hurls its slurs at us and accuses us of bigotry and intolerance, we must remain faithful to the standard God set forth from the beginning of time, and we must not be afraid to make known our position.

 

An Unexpected Reunion

The gates of heaven open.

A host of tiny faces, shining like sun-gilded petals, gather in the clouds.

These are the babes who perished, torn apart in the womb or singed with liquid fire that ended their brief existence.

These were future doctors, lawyers, laborers, homemakers, teachers, and bearers of more little souls who were meant to come but never shall be.

They hover with open arms to greet the repentant ones who ended their lives.

They smile. Their eyes glow with a message of love and forgiveness.

They long to embrace the very ones who resisted them, to let them know all is well in the presence of a great and merciful God.

Consider this. Does one of these little ones belong to you? Did you make the crucial decision that changed their lives and yours?

There is hope. Turn from the pain of regret and grasp the tiny hand that can lead you to the throne of God where new life and restoration await.

ANGELA’S TREASURES

Travel back to the Great Depression and World War II and find out why so many of our parents and grandparents saved everything, even items we throw away without thinking about it twice. From those days of trying to survive the most devastating time in American history, our ancestors came into the 20th and 21st centuries fearing tomorrow.

Their mantras were similar: “We might need this someday.” “I don’t trust banks anymore.” “This still has usefulness.” “I can turn this chicken into four dinners.” “Don’t throw that out. Just cut away the green part.” And so on.

Angela Busconi tells her story as she’s about to lose everything. But the truth is, like Angela, we sometimes find out what our real treasures are in the most unexpected ways.

Angela's Treasures cover hardback.indd

The Conflict Over Merry Xmas

Many Christians are offended when someone sends a card with an abbreviation for Merry Christmas. The term Xmas has been used more often these days. I have issues with it as well. By removing Christ’s name and inserting an X, it’s like eliminating the true meaning behind the celebration.

Christmas is about the birth of Christ. That’s how the observance got started. It may not be the actual date of Jesus’ birth, but it certainly reflects on the fact that a Savior came to earth, took the form of a human being, was born as a baby, lay in a manger, and received a variety of visitors, including shepherds and, later, wise men.

By writing Xmas, it seems those details are eliminated in favor of the secular view of the holiday, which includes gift-giving, feasts, family gatherings, decorations, pine trees, wreaths, colored lights, etc., all of them fun activities, but they leave no room for remembering a babe in a manger. It seems Jesus is forgotten in the midst of all the busyness.

Perhaps, in order to reflect on the true theme of Christmas, we should change Merry Xmas to read Merry Tmas. Notice the T looks more like a cross, which points to the reason Christ came to earth in the first place. He didn’t come here to be born. He came here to die. He sacrificed His life so we might live eternally.

And so I say, Merry Tmas to all my friends. May this symbol be a reminder of the true reason behind the Christmas holiday.