KLOVE Radio Features – July 2020
Two Greatest Fools Who Ever Lived
This may be the most unusual post I’ve ever shared, but its insight challenges me every day. The greatest fool who ever lived would have to be Judas. He spends 3 1/2 years with Jesus, God come to Earth. He’s given numerous opportunities to acknowledge the deception in his heart. But time and again he resists the Holy Spirit and lives a lie. But, the second greatest fool who ever lived scares me even more: Solomon. Called “the wisest man of all time,” (1 Kings 4:30) God appeared to him twice. Yet, at the end of his life, his 700 wives turned his heart away from God and he worshiped their gods, who were actually demons. If Solomon could be that foolish, we can’t assume we are wiser. Jesus, keep each of us from doing foolish things that would destroy our lives.
What Would You Do to Be Famous?
All of us want to be noticed, approved of, and accepted. But what would you be willing to do to become famous? The great basketball coach John Wooden said, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” One of the great ironies of Earth is that God loves to use nameless people. What was the little boy’s name who gave Jesus the loaves and fishes? Who was the woman with the Alabaster Box, or the widow who gave God her last two mites? Nameless, faceless, selfless souls! Unknown on Earth, but renowned in Heaven! Only our God and Creator can give us the validation we crave. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, live righteously and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT)
Jewelry Sales Up During Covid-19
A friend of mine, who owns a jewelry store, told me about an ironic consequence of the Covid-19 virus lockdown. His jewelry sales spiked. In particular, he found out in conversations with some of his customers that, because of reports of people catching the disease and dying, certain individuals finally came to the conclusion that they needed to make long-term commitments to those they loved. A surprising number of his customers decided to purchase engagement or wedding rings. They wanted to acknowledge that, because life is so fluid and unstable, it was time for them to tangibly express love and loyalty to their significant others. What a powerful statement, and one that should remind all of us of the vows we have made, or perhaps need to make, to those we love.
Is There Prejudice in Your Heart?
Do you ever wonder if you have prejudice in your heart? I know I do. Perhaps the following question will pinpoint the answer. Do we look down upon, or even write people off because of their race or ethnicity, economic or educational background, spiritual maturity or emotional wholeness? That’s quite a question. How did Jesus treat others? What was in His heart when He encountered people from different backgrounds, and is that attitude in our hearts as well? He gave us a big hint when He provided a glimpse of the Day of Judgment, “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’” (Matthew 25:40) Judging others or loving others; what will we spend our lives doing?
God’s Protection is Real
Years ago, I knew an older woman who, after escaping death, had a marvelous way of acknowledging that God was involved. One day, while living alone, she was sitting in her living room on her couch reading when she got up to use the rest room. While she was seated on the toilet, there was a violent sound as her entire home was shaken. Making her way back into the living room she saw that a truck had crashed into her home and plowed into the couch she had been sitting on only a few minutes before. Had she still been seated there it would have killed her. Immediately she thought of Psalm 139:2, “You know when I sit and when I rise…” Never believe the lie that God has in some way stopped protecting you.
Wounded Women in Prison
I recently led a Father Wounds class (based on my book) for 40 women in Folsom Prison. Each of these beautiful ladies filled out a questionnaire in which they considered the specific type of father wound they had. I asked them to identify what kind of a child they were. An Abandoned child? Neglected? Fearful? Embittered? Abused? Spoiled? Adult? Or Performance-Driven? To say the least, I was shocked by their most prevalent answer. Frankly, it would have been my last choice. I even considered not including it as an option. Much to my surprise, the most common description of their childhood was “spoiled.” Wow! Spoiled! It reminded me that getting what we want can be more dangerous to our wellbeing than going without. In what dimension of my life am I a spoiled child?
God’s Unchanging Character
Aren’t you glad that God’s character doesn’t change because of what you do? He doesn’t love you more or less because of something you’ve said or done. His decision to love and forgive you doesn’t fluctuate based upon your response. His character is a constant. He personifies faithfulness and offers forgiveness to everyone willing to accept it on His terms. Since you and I were created to know Him and represent Him well, it challenges us to examine the consistency of our own character. Do we change when we’re around other people or out in society? Is our attitude, language, and sense of humor different if we’re trying to impress someone? Representing the character of God well is perhaps the most difficult thing you and I will ever do. But, nevertheless, it is God’s greatest purpose for us. Let’s represent Jesus well!
Do you ever get tired of being compassionate? I have to admit that I do. Years of caring turn into decades. Having conversations with oppressed minorities about the prejudice they’ve experienced or comforting hurting people about their inner pain can be exhausting. At times, I feel I have no more to give. It’s then I have a choice. Do I begin to draw back and gradually shut down my willingness to empathize with those less fortunate than myself? Or, do I ask God for the grace I need to once again learn to love like He loves, patiently and unconditionally? I’m reminded of the poem I memorized as a young Christ follower. “What giving again I ask in dismay, and must I keep giving and giving always? ‘No!’ said an angel, piercing me through. ‘Just give till the Savior stops giving to you.’”
Is Anything Really Stable?
Each of us want our health to be steady, our finances to last long, and our family and friends to be close. In short, we want our lives to be stable. Stable is defined as “not likely to change or fail; what is firmly established.” In this ever-changing world, is there anything really stable . . . unchanging . . . firmly established and unable to fail? You’d have to go to Heaven to experience any of these qualities. So, what’s our best shot on Earth to find true stability? Whatever it is, it must have a solid foundation. We can change many things, but once we build a foundation it cannot be changed. The Bible tells us an absolute truth, “no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have— (which is) Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11, NLT)
The Breakthrough You’re Looking For
Do you wish God had written a different script for you? Do you see your life as an exquisite feast or burnt toast? Are you eating and enjoying every bite or is it boring, bland and predictable? Are you filled with regret and shame or hope and healing? Our lives begin to be truly transformed when we stop asking God to change our circumstances and allow Him to change our perspective! Behind every challenging situation there is a loving God whose victorious perspective is far greater than the trials we face. Embrace the life He’s given you, instead of wishing for what does not exist and would not satisfy even if it did. When you feel like you’ve fished all night and caught nothing, keep fishing! The breakthrough you have been longing for is just ahead.
As more children are born outside of marriage, should any of them be considered illegitimate? An “Illegitimate child” was a term used years ago to describe children who were born to parents who were not married. It was a phrase designed to discourage people from having babies outside of the marriage covenant. Unfortunately, it placed a shameful stigma on a child who had done nothing to merit such shame. The fact is: God the Father has no illegitimate children; only future adoptees into His wonderful family. The Bible says, “For it was always God’s perfect plan to adopt us as His delightful children, through our union with Jesus…” (Ephesians 1:5) May each of us use words that draw people closer to Jesus, and not shame them to believe the lie that He would not accept them if they came to Him for help.