10-30-14 Nobody is Totally Worthless

Nobody is totally worthless, he/she can always be used as a bad example.

I visited a guy that was serving time in jail…again.  I asked him what happened and he said that the cops had it out for him.  I had to delve a little deeper for the story.  It seems that one of the conditions of his probation from a previous offense, stated that he not frequent bars.  He did anyway and got in a fight to boot.  They caught him driving home.  He claims he was not inebriated but they arrested him anyway.  I asked why.  He said he had no insurance and no driver’s license. Plus, he didn’t have his glasses and can’t see without them.  He spouted that a driver’s license and insurance was stupid because he could drive better than most people on the road – even without his glasses.

I tried to explain to him that if he had obeyed the conditions of his probation and had not driven without a license he wouldn’t be in the crowbar hotel.  He just couldn’t see why he had to keep the rules.

Now, I am not the smartest person, but I do know that one can stay out of a lot of trouble by obeying the rules.  God gives us a way out of temptation.  It comes in a two word form or a contraction.  It’s “don’t”.  When tempted, don’t.  When you want to break the rule, don’t. All I need to do is remember that.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-29-14 Mugwumps

“I can’t decide should I or shouldn’t I,” I wondered.  “Maybe I should use a ‘life line’ and call my wife.”  She had wanted me to pick up some Kleenex.  I looked at the myriad of choices.  Who knew that tissues came in so many fragrances? Would the color of the box matter? I figured I could just grab a box. But then again.  I didn’t see any rough and tough manly tissues with cattle feedlot aroma. Not came in auto body shop fragrance either.  How can a man make such a choice for a woman?  Then again, how wrong can a person go with Kleenex? What a dilemma! Such had choices.  What to do, what to do… I was stuck on the fence. 

A former pastor of mine had a name for those Christians that sat on the fence regarding their spirituality - those that can’t decide what side of the fence to be on.  He called them mugwumps.

The problem with sitting on the top strand of a barbed wire fence is its instability. A mugwump tries his/her best to cling to the fence with her/her mug on one side and their wump on the other.  Meanwhile, flapping his/her wings for balance. (I tried this as a kid and ended up falling – barbed wired hurts, too).

Eventually, I made a decision and brought home some tissues.  She would either like them or not.  I don’t remember the outcome, so I assume I did ok.  In like manner, the mugwump gets tired of the effort and makes a decision for or against God.

The thought today is to get off the fence on God’s side.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 .

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-28-14 Stupid Stuff

Stupid stuff happens to me and I hate stupid stuff.  I don’t like to talk about it because I rarely see it happen to other people. For example, yesterday I bought a pop.  I put it in the freezer so that it would be super cold – just the way I like it. After a while I took it out.  It had not frozen.  Now, I have done this enough to know that when I open it, it is likely to form ice slush at the top.  Perfect. 

On this morning, however, I took the pop out of the freezer, unscrewed the lid and nothing happened.  No big deal.  It just hadn’t been in there long enough.  I took a swig, put the top back on and set it on the coaster and began working on my computer.  After a bit, I took the pop, unscrewed the lid and pop spewed all over.  It was not a dribble, yet it was not a gusher, but it was a definite spew.  Ice formed at the top. This should not have happened because it had already been opened.  Stupid stuff, grrrr. 

Certainly this does not come under the category of a fiery trial, but more of a nuisance event. But I still like to think of stupid stuff as strange – as in unique to me.  Some of these events can actually be considered minor disasters.  Regardless of the magnitude of my “trial,” I have a hard time rejoicing.  I understand that my reaction can reveal Christ’s glory or my carnality.

This verse says that instead of grumbling about stickiness spewing on my clothes that I can be glad with exceeding joy.  I’m working on that. 

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” I Peter 4:12-13.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

10-27-14 The Little Red Shop Towel

In vo-tech, I learned to defend myself against malicious marauding gonna-be mechanics snapping shop towels at vulnerable students.  The professor of the lab time would, on occasion during the summer session, allow a hapless student to defend himself. I learned efficient moves and tender spots to snap. I learned dipping the tip in fluid would cause welts upon the attacker’s skin.  I also learned that the little red shop towel was more efficient that a large bath towel in the dorms. I could get in close and get the attacker to back off.  On one victorious occasion, I was able to fend off four rag-snapping bullies. I became the self-proclaimed champion of shop towel snapping. Self-defense was legal and beneficial for my personal self-preservation.

When our enemy sets out to destroy us, we can stand against him.  The devil is ultimately behind the wicked attacks, but we have to deal with his heart-hardened human representatives, too.  God gives us permission to do so: “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13.

The Jews in this instance did not seek a confrontation. Their enemies in the kingdom wanted to take advantage of a law put into place by Haman. The King gave the Jews a legal opportunity to fight back with a new law. They were given every legal means to protect themselves, which they did.  Notice in this verse that they did not take the spoil.  This means they only fought for their lives and nothing more.

“But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,” Esther 9:16.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff