Monday, August 29, 2005


April 10,1912, the largest and most luxurious ship ever built slips her moorings in Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York. She is the RMS Titanic and this will be her only trip.

Titanic was the pride of the White Star Line and stood at the pinnacle of man’s technological accomplishments. Moreover, she was believed to be unsinkable. There were two schools of thought regarding this. One said, she is literally invincible. The other said that, though she could be sunk, any iceberg large enough to sink her would be easily seen in time to turn out of the way. Either way, in Titanic, man believed he had mastered nature itself.

I will now pause so that any Christians reading this can take a few seconds to think about this biblically, something Titanic's builders clearly never did (to me, the most appropriate biblical concept is that about building bigger barns). The night of Titanic's destruction was one of calm seas, and it is said that the spotters aloft did not even have binoculars to aid them. They did not have the aids to help their view! We have all seen in the movie that, although her crew had been warned about icebergs by other ships navigating through that region, she was traveling at near top speed of about 20.5 knots: after all, she was unsinkable.

Of course, the crew ultimately spotted the berg and came hard over; but it was much too late. She scraped the iceberg's side, the great ship shuddered, ice hit the deck. The ship glided forward as if unhurt. Children played in the ice, all seemed peaceful: was it possible all was well after all, that the ship was as unsinkable as had been claimed?

The men below decks knew better: invisible from above, the ship had been struck a fatal blow. As all sailors know, it is the ice below the water line, the ice beneath that which can be seen, which does the most damage. The foundational ice, the heart, the core of the berg sinks ships, not what can be seen or what falls on the deck. The visible ice is but a warning of the hidden danger. And so it proved that night.

In less than three hours, Titanic plunged to the bottom, her pumps barely buying time. She took 1500 souls with her. The world was stunned. And it would be 73 years before human eyes looked upon her again.

Like the crewman tasked with watching for icebergs, we as Christians are tasked by God to discern the times in which we live and act as the watchman, crying out a warning to all who will listen and taking appropriate steps to avoid or neutralize the danger. We have been fairly good at spotting many visible parts of our spiritual icebergs: evolutionary teaching, pro-abortion court rulings, confiscatory taxation, God's removal from our schools and public places. We picket, we vote for Christians, we pray.

But all too often we fail to regard the philosophical underpinnings or world and life views which prevail all around us. We fail to remember that it's what's beneath that tip of the iceberg, whether physical or spiritual, which does the real damage in our lives. We must attack the core beliefs, of the worldview that began with these words “hath God said?"

The first step in this battle is to understand the two pillars of the Christian faith: (1) "in the beginning God", and (2) "thy word is truth", total truth for all of life. The battle must first be won in our own hearts. We must develop an all-encompassing worldview that addresses every aspect of the creation.

All was lost in the first Adam; all is being restored in the second. Pray that God might help us develop spiritual binoculars -- employing the lenses of His Word and focused by His Spirit -- which allow us to see the whole iceberg; and when we do, to humbly share that knowledge with our other crewmembers.

May God bless,

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sharing your faith

Beach thought 6
God always has you exactly where you are supposed to be every moment of your life. As someone once said, “there are no backup plans with God for your life only plan A”. Once you accept this and know that you can honor Him wherever He places you, you can have peace within that no enemy can steal. Our real calling in life is to show the love of Christ in our lives and share His gospel with those that do not know it. There is opportunity to do good and see changed lives everywhere. I have had the blessing of seeing many beautiful sunrises and sunsets while at the beach. In the afternoon many people go down to the water and watch the sunset end another beautiful day on the Gulf coast. An elderly couple has been coming here many years and each day they watch the sunset while holding hands, an activity often observed by others and commented on as their perceived love and devotion are admired. This day will be different than the others as it is there last day here and they must head back north to Michigan. What is also not known to other onlookers is that this will be the last sunset over the Gulf that the wife will ever see, as she does not have long to live, but the story does not end here, for 2000 years ago God sent His son to die for this lady and she has committed herself to Him and is trusting Him for the forgiveness of her sins and life eternal. Christ was there on the beach as the sun went down and as she enters the sunset of her life is even now preparing a place for her. When she says,” remember me” he will say come and let me show you your new home. This is the Christian hope which I pray everyone reading this letter has, but since I do not know who all will eventually read this, please bear with me and let me say just a few more things. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and savest such as be of a contrite spirit. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near. Let the wanderer forsake his ways and the unrighteous his thoughts. Return unto the Lord and he will have mercy and abundantly pardon. Though your sins are as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. This is a faithful saying that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Commit your ways unto him and he will never let you down. He will be all you need when he is all you have got. His love will never fail you. If you have never truly committed your life to Christ, do it while it is still called today, Watch the next sunset with him at your side. If you know the Lord as your savior look for opportunities to share your faith, you never know where or when God will use you to change a life. Just a beach thought. In Christ, Shawn.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

True Value

Beach thoughts 4

Walking along the beach, the wonders of God’s creation present themselves and bring to mind many teachings of God’s Word .The sea gulls overhead remind me of a passage where Jesus teaches us God’s care for us, and the value He sees in us. ”Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not of greater value than they? God loved us enough to send his son to die for our sins, does this not obligate us to search the scriptures and see wherein true value and worth lie and align ourselves properly to that which it demands? The scripture teaches that fallen men see worth much differently than God. Since we are not home yet we also need to heed the warnings of the Bible. We all inappropriately value, heritage, degrees, intellect, money, fame, knowledge, possessions. All good if kept in proper perspective. How often do these not go to our heads and improperly influence our view of others and ourselves. Paul writes, ‘For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, But GOD hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; That no flesh should glory in his presence. May I share the thought that our real worth or value is not measured by our achievements done in the flesh but our true value lies in how much we empty ourselves of self consideration and fill ourselves with the desire to serve Christ by selflessly serving others. It is said of Jesus ‘HE emptied himself and assumed the form of a servant.

In Christ,


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Be prepared for helping

As Christians, we are told to always be prepared to share the love of Christ with everyone we meet--to do a kindness, to comfort those afflicted by sickness, tribulation or death of a loved-one. All of us must admit that we never feel adequate or prepared. We can only call upon God for his mercy and help; praying that He will use our feeble efforts to bring a small measure of comfort to those in need. We are told that He will supply our needs, including those words to comfort others. So often, comforting someone is less of doing, and more of being. People are less interested in what you can do or what you know, yet more interested in knowing that you care. A hand on a shoulder or a well-meant hug, we all know a heart filled with compassion when we feel or see it. In these times, the true Christians stand up--no invitation needed. We all must be ready at all times to comfort. A scene in ‘The Yearling’ illustrates the need for readiness and the truth that the “un-churched” often call upon us for spiritual help in time of need. In a scene, Fodder-Wing, the little crippled friend of Jodi, has died. He was the soft spirit of the Forrester family. The mother and family are in deep sorrow. Jodi’s father, Penny Baxter, stands over the grave and is addressed by the father of the dead boy. Not knowing who else to ask he addresses Penny, “Penny, you have had Christian raising, we’d be proud, did you say something.” Penny prays words of comfort in his own manner, “Now you’ve se’ed fit to take him where bein’—crookedy in mind or limb don’t matter. But Lord, h’it pleasures us to think now you’ve done straightened out them legs and that poor back and them hands. H’it pleasures us to think on him moving around as easy as airy one.“ These words bring a smile to the mother of the dead boy. Though it may be difficult to see the best in such a time of sorrow, we must remember to remind those suffering of God’s mercy and the blessings He brings in the life to come. BE the kind of person that people will call on--that person is described by these words ”he went about doing good.”

Just a thought….In Christ,


Friday, August 19, 2005

Sent to the cornfield

Sent to the cornfield.

When I was growing up and TV was black and white only, one of my favorite shows was THE TWILIGHT ZONE. An episode which few who saw it can forget is ”It’s A Good Life”. A young boy named Anthony Fremont has the power to shape reality however he wishes it. A great gift, which he turns to selfish and evil use, instead of blessing the world, he turns it into a living hell. If something annoys him, he gets rid of it. If it does not meet his standard, he kills it. No one can do or say or act in anyway that does not meet his approval. All joy and love and kindness and graciousness are removed. He alone can do good in the world he has created: all others must be killed.

Anthony is a spoiled, prideful, arrogant, self-centered child, with no humility and no awareness that someone greater than himself has given him this power! When he wishes to kill or remove someone that points out his shortcomings, he sends them to oblivion by “sending them to the cornfield.”

In our reality, thank God, none of us have this ability; but that does not mean we have no temptation like jealousy, envy, or pride brought on by our “discovery” of some great theological (in our own sight) “truth”. We do fall to these weaknesses. Since we cannot kill those we disagree with or envy, we send them to a cornfield of our own making by assassinating their character, always of course while hiding behind the flag of doctrinal purity, and usually not to their faces.

In this regard, Anthony is better than we are because he usually is not afraid to go man to man. We slide the knife in very subtly, like Satan. Some of the phrases I have found helpful to use are: “He is an Arminian”, “He is not reformed”, “He is a Catholic”, “He is a “Methodist”, “He is dispensational”, “He is charismatic”, and of course the all-time-send-them-deeeeeeeeeep-into-the-cornfield, “He is a Baptist!” (That last one will make sure that no one listens to or reads anything that person writes!) Off with their heads!

The newer versions that are popular are: “He is not covenantal”, “He is not confessional enough”, “He is one of those seeker-friendly people”,” His worship service is not ritualistically liturgical enough”, ”They do not really have a worship service”, “They do not even have robes or anything!” ”Why they do not even kneel for prayer! Do you think God still hears their prayers?”

Maybe it is time for each of us to humbly examine ourselves with God’s Word and see where we fall short. Again, where WE fall short, as in ME!

When I played on a golf team, occasionally the coach would walk out onto the course to see how I was doing along with the rest of the team. When he said to me, “How are you doing?” I told him how I was doing. Again, how I was doing! Imagine his amazement if, when asked that question, I answered it with “Better than Bill up there on my team. Let me tell you how bad his game is today, blah, blah, blah…his form is just terrible. Let me just tell you about how much better I am than he is! Why I am not so sure he is really even playing golf!”
One more time for the record, and please get this straight: putting another Christian down or badmouthing his beliefs will never make yours correct; neither will it elevate you in God’s sight. It certainly does not edify anyone, especially in the context of a worship service.

If you do not have a Christian worldview of your own -- one that includes humility -- DEVELOP ONE! Do not waste your time criticizing others. This is exactly what the left is doing in the political realm. They do not have a plan for Social Security, so they just criticize Bush’s plan. They convince no one, they solve nothing, and they set an example of which many of their own people are increasingly rightly ashamed.

I will end this with a request. If, like me, you have participated in any of the aforementioned activity, read James 3:8 -18; 4:10,11. I will remind each of us that the Bible says, “Knowledge puffs up.” How important is this point to God? His anointed, the Apostle Paul tells us: he saw and heard things that cannot be spoken, and so that he would not get puffed up God gave him a thorn in the flesh. Our God says, “Touch not Mine anointed.” We better heed this warning, lest He send us to HIS cornfield!

In Christ,