Just a little ember

If you have read my posts this month closely, you will realize that I did not post every day in October like I said I would.

Yesterday, Sunday, was a long day and I was tired. So I went to bed instead of writing.

Now, however, I have an illustration that spoke volumes to me.

Once a month, we have a church small group that meets at our house. There is food. We generally laugh. Something from the Bible is discussed. It makes for a really enjoyable time with fellow followers of Jesus. We encourage one another.

fellowship

It was decided that we meet outside. So I pulled out the small, round portable fire pit and got a fire started. It was both for warmth and ambiance.

At 9:00ish, after we had cleaned up and everyone went home, I needed to deal with the fire.

In our firepit (think small depression in the lawn with no grass growing), there were a large number of old deck boards. We replaced our deck this summer.

I poured out the embers from the portable firepit onto the pile of used boards that were already stacked in the firepit.

Then I went in and watched some TV with my wife.

About 10:00, I was brushing my teeth and decided I had better check on the fire. There was a full-blown bonfire raging in my backyard! So cool!!! The embers had started the boards on fire without any assistance.

bonfire

But it was bedtime so I needed to put it out. Bummer, it was a great fire!

With the hose in hand, I doused the fire to the point where I thought it was too wet for even a spark to burn.

Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. When I took my dog out for his morning poop and pee at 5:30, the fire pit was empty! Nothing but ashes!

Apparently, the fire did start up again. It must have burned through the night. The pile of ash was still warm that many hours later!


All God needs is an ember. In my opinion, our availability is the ember that God can use to start a fire.

The world is broken and used up (like the old deck boards). Our life can be the spark that is used to set people ablaze for God.

If you feel dried up and spent, remember this:

Wood that is dry and empty is the quickest to start on fire.

Be available to God.

He just may start a fire in you or because of you.

Burn baby burn!!!

wood embers burning

Prime!!!

Today, October 5, is my birthday. I am 47 today.

47

47 is a prime number.

Therefore, I am prime! (seems reasonable to me, anyway)

1972 was a great year.

1972

Thanks for tuning in today.

I do because He did.

Happy Friday!

giphy

As promised, tonight’s post is another school-inspired idea.

If you read my last post, my kids got to retake a test.

As for me, their teacher, I expect them to work hard now. I explained how the retake is a one-time thing. They are supposed to work hard for the rest of the year.

I will also work hard for them. That is what school is all about. Working hard.

hard-work

Transition to the spiritual. So now I am forgiven. What is the next step?

We get to work for God now. That is the next step.

It is pretty simple.

We work because God has already worked.

I live in a region of the country that is steeped in a “works-based” faith.

Simply put, salvation is earned. You do enough good things to outweigh the bad and heaven is all yours.

Sorry to be blunt but this is absolutely wrong. The bible is clear on this.

Good works should never be used to try and earn something from God.

I strongly believe that our good works should be a response to what God has already done for us.

The writer of Hebrews said it this way;

“1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”  Hebrews 1:1-3

Check out the underlined part. That describes the work God did. He sat. That is what I like to do after I work.

There is nothing you or I can do that will earn God’s acceptance.

So stop trying to work for it!

stop it sign

Instead, let your works point people to God.

That is the purpose of good works.

I do stuff because of God, not for God.

I do because He did.

 

 

 

So many things…

As I started this endeavor, I was hoping to have things to write about each day.

Well today, I was not disappointed. Where to start…

God gave me a couple of ideas so let’s jump in!

jump in

Today, at school, I had my students retake a test. I teach high school science. On Tuesday, the students had their first test. It was a disaster! Over half of the students failed. Not a good start to the year.

badgrade

When a student fails a test, there could be many reasons as to why. But this post is not about those reasons.

I want to make note of the retake. Each student had the opportunity to take the test again. Whatever grade they earned on the first try was erased by the second attempt.

Redo.

Do over.

Try again.

Keep swinging.

Take another shot.

God gives us a reboot.

He forgives us.

That is what the cross is all about.

The reasons why we need forgiveness are numerous. Too numerous to list.

But for all these reasons, there is but one single answer. Jesus.

His sacrifice on the cross grants us a retake.

He makes all things new. You and I can have another shot.

Let your heart be overwhelmed with God and His love.

You can know the joy of having a second chance.

aecond chance

Let today be your reset. You are forgiven. You are righteous.

Sleep well friend.

We will talk more about that whole test retaking stuff tomorrow.

October 2, 1999

A ‘Thank You’ is in order to get things rolling.

Since I posted yesterday, I have gained 4 new followers! Click here to read that post.

It humbles me and honors me to realize that people follow this blog. So thanks!

50968019 - businessman hands holding thank you sign vector


If my title has piqued your interest, good. That was the intent.

Where were you on October 2, 1999?

What were you doing? Who were you with that day?

For me, I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, even better than yesterday because I don’t even remember what I ate for breakfast!

It was a brisk Saturday morning, The sun was bright and clear but a fall breeze was forecasting winter temperatures.

My girlfriend and I were planning on heading to the Minneapolis area to spend time with my family. This was to be the first time my parents were meeting this wonderful woman I had spoken about so many times.

On the way, we stopped in the Waupaca (central Wisconsin) area, specifically, Spencer Lake Bible Camp.

Earlier in July, we had both been counselors at the camp for a teenager bible camp. Sorry, I don’t have enough time to recall the details but needless to say, I got a pretty girl’s phone number before the week was out. =-)

We had been calling and emailing ever since.

Now the time had come to get on my knee, pull out the ring, and ask a question.

She said YES!!!

The following April, we were married.

So, babe, happy anniversary on getting engaged.

getting-engaged-profile

And if you ever see me in person, you may ask this question:

“Do you regret proposing to your girlfriend?”

My answer will always and forever be: “No. Not even for a second.”


I started with a ‘Thank You’ so I will end with one as well.

To my Lord, my life is incredible. You have blessed me beyond what I could dream. Thank you for my wife.

To my wife, thank you for being awesome and sticking with me for the last 20 years.

How about another 20?