Thursday, October 19, 2017

White Gold


The World Series is near! The following, from March 4, 2007, may be my favorite baseball related lesson ever!


I couldn't believe the headline, trumpeting Baseball's First Billionaire. No athlete is worth that much! Beginning to read the account, I was confused because the player, Matt White of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was someone I had never heard of. A twenty-nine year old journeyman, the left-handed pitching White is on the Dodgers' Spring roster but no lock to be with the team when the regular season begins. Sometimes, we forget that athletes exist in lives outside the spotlight, where character is defined by more than the talent to throw a ball. It seems that Matt White has an elderly Great Aunt Josephine who several years ago needed money as she prepared for life in a nursing home. In an act of family loyalty, he purchased fifty acres of her Massachusetts' property for $50,000. White paid scant attention to the land until this fall when he considered building a house on the plot. Searching for a good location, he kept noticing sheets of rock that seemed to be everywhere. Calling in a geologist, he learned the material is known as Goshen stone, in demand for building and landscaping. White has been informed that there is approximately twenty-four million tons of this deposit on/under his turf. With the going rate for Goshen stone being $100 per ton, a little calculation tells us there might be $2.5 billion on Great Aunt Josephine's former fifty acres. This is a guy who is a struggling career minor leaguer, a marginal at best major league prospect. No one actually expects Matt White to become a billionaire. Still, one name does come to mind; Jed Clampett. But the Clampett clan's oil fortune in the Beverly Hillbillies sitcom was only about twenty million dollars, or a drop in the quarry compared to the Goshen stone windfall. The interest alone from Matt White's mineral deposit could dwarf the riches of Jed-Granny-Ellie May-Jethro. Plus, this baseball player is much more cultured than the least-welcomed neighbors in Mr. Drysdale's neighborhood.

I could write for days about this story. How many spiritual applications could we come up with? For starters, Matt White is in this position because he followed the Bible teachings to take care of your family, especially in regards to widows. Isaiah 58:7 lists a condition of God's attentiveness to our petitions as this: "not to turn away from your own flesh and blood." How about Jesus' Parable of the Treasure Hidden in a Field, in Matthew 13:44? That piece of land, like this one, was not inaccessible. How many others walked its paths, never dreaming of the vast wealth it contained? Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to this prize that others overlooked. How about distractions? The Messiah told us we can't serve two masters. White's lifelong goal is at risk because of the media's fascination with his human interest angle, bombarding him with interview requests while he needs to be focusing on conditioning and working his arm into game shape. Matt White wants to be judged for his baseball ability while the rest of us are enthralled with his potential to suddenly become fabulously rich. His great discovery can derail him from his career. This past week, my classes studied the Parable of the Rich Fool. I asked my students if they would rather be A: poor but wise or B: rich and foolish. Not surprisingly, many chose option B. We have this belief that money can solve all our problems. I believe it may cause Matt White headaches he never considered the first time he kicked that slab of white rock. How about the Parable of the Talents? The master expected the servants to invest what he gave them. Two did, successfully, while the other simply buried it in the soil. How many of us leave our abilities under the surface, never putting forth the effort to excavate the gifts the Lord has graciously bestowed on us? Matt White can leave that Goshen stone untouched and it will be like so many of us, an unbelievable vein of untapped potential. WHEW!! So many lessons, so few hours until school in the morning! I hope Matt White makes it. Maybe the Lord entrusted him with these tremendous riches because He knew the sudden wealth and fame would be in good hands. I am confident of one thing. I bet somewhere in a Massachusetts' assisted living center, Great Aunt Josephine is being taken care of in a manner befitting her position.


Applicable quote of the day:
"Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth."
Ernest Hemingway



God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
http://www.hawleybooks.com/

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Don Meredith And Time Travel



While I don't believe in time travel, it's a fascinating concept! The following is from February 23, 2006.


I love to read. Having time to do it is another matter. Years ago, I read one of the best books in my memory. In 1992, Harry Turtledove authored Guns Of The South, a novel of alternative history. The premise of Guns requires the reader to tolerate time travel. White separatists from South Africa go back to the time of the American Civil War, attempting to rearrange the future by manipulating the past. Arming the Confederacy with AK-47 rifles and knowledge of Union troop movements based on historian Bruce Catton's writings, the Afrikaners try to alter the outcome of the War Between The States. The men from the 21st century hope that if the South prevails, apartheid in Africa will not be overthrown. It is a fascinating concept. You have to suspend reality to swallow the story but it opens a Pandora's Box of possibilities. I had a birthday last week. My folks' gift to me was What Ifs? of American History, edited by Robert Cowley. What Ifs? is a collection of essays by historians who contemplate life in the United States IF key moments in American history had alternate outcomes. What if FDR had made overtures to Japan in November of 1941 and Pearl Harbor remained a peaceful Hawaiian paradise instead of a buzzword for war? What if John Kennedy had decided against a November trip to Dallas in 1963? What ifs can go on for eternity. Historians love getting the last word...but there is no last word. There will always be another thesis, angle, or twist to the accepted truth. All history is revisionism. Historians write and no one wants to keep reading the same spin on the same events that happened before any of us saw the light of day. It's a lucrative business!

Monday Night Football is no longer free. Starting this fall, the games ABC has carried since 1970 will move to ESPN. I don't remember specifics of any MNF games growing up but I remember the announcers: NFL great Frank Gifford, the loquacious Howard Cosell, and my favorite, former quarterback Dandy Don Meredith. Actually, I only recall one thing any of them said. Dandy Don verbalized it but I doubt the quote originated with him. It's not quite the Gettysburg Address but it has its own depth of meaning: "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas." That was life in a nutshell to the former Dallas Cowboy star. Truer words were never uttered by an athlete turned broadcaster. I laughed today, listening to a man prominent in Canadian hockey explaining why our Northern neighbors fell apart in the Olympics. This is word for word; "I'm not making excuses BUT..." We are tough on kids when they make excuses but adults are no better. "I would have accomplished this or that but the boss-teacher-coach-parent, etc. didn't like me. I could have made straight A's- played in the major leagues- married the homecoming queen- won American Idol if I had wanted to." We've all heard it. We've probably let something along those lines escape from our own vocal chords. Historians rewrite history; the rest of us do it with our own biographies. We feel better when we think how it might have been. Time we waste on that line of reasoning is time we could use to improve what lies ahead. Our future is moldable, our past is set in stone and baked in the oven. To the Christian, the future is Jesus and the past doesn't count. The long ago has been washed down the drain at Golgotha along with sins we wish had never been committed. What if someone could go back to the past and change our future? The simple explanation is that God did just that by making the sacrifice that would alter the eternal fate of his children. It was set in motion by Adam and Eve but we were involved in the master plan, too. Revelation 13 tells us that Jesus was ''slain from the creation of the world.'' I can't fathom God and his relationship to the clock but he acted at just the right time by sending his Son. That would make the story line of another great book. We call it the Bible.

Applicable quote of the day:
"I know where I'm going. I want to see where I've been."
Baseball legend Jimmy Piersall (explaining why he ran around the bases backwards on a home run following his release from an asylum)

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dressed To Coach



You know the old saying, 'Clothes make the man.' If you are a long time reader, you might recall how my lovely sister in law, Sally, convinced me over the course of several years to completely revamp the way I look at dressing for work. It took patience (on her part) and numerous trips to Jos A Bank along the way but now even I admit I'm at least a decently dressed guy. During the academic year, I bring shirts/pants/ties/shoes/socks/belts to school each week and my teacher's aide lays out what I'll wear the next day. This year my aide is Cristina, an amazing young lady, and her choices have been earning me rave reviews for dapperness. But her wardrobe selections only cover Monday through Thursday. Like many schools with uniforms, WCS celebrates a Spirit Wear Friday in which faculty/staff and students can wear approved WILDCAT gear with jeans. I resisted for several years but have become a convert to the Levis-Westbury Christian t-shirt, again due in large part to Sally. But I have this quirk- I won't wear polo shirts. And most coaching tops fall into the short sleeve with collar genre. When they are issued to me, I always give mine to another faculty member, usually a volunteer or adjunct coach. During games, I dress nicely in my school garb with dress shirt/pants/shoes/tie. For me, there is no in-between the extremes of t-shirts and the Jos A Bank look. That is, until last Friday.

Two weeks ago, our Athletic Director, Mark Krimm, handed out a new pullover to all of our coaches. Mine is shown above. They look sharp and don't have the typical pointed down collars. So, I took, for me, a leap of faith and wore it for Friday's Spirit Wear. The compliments came almost, to quote a movie title, fast and furious! It seems the new look sported by many of our coaches is a hit. I was asked if you can buy them in the Wildcat Store but alas, they are reserved for those who patrol the sidelines of our fields and courts. Throughout that Friday, one comment stood out. It came from Caelan, a senior and one of our multidimensional Wildcat athletes. His statement to me?
"Now you look like a real coach!"

A real coach? I chuckled. I have more coaching experience by far than anyone on our staff. What I take that Caelan meant was that he'd never seen me dress like his other coaches dress which I'm sure is true. In that light, I take his seven words as a very nice compliment!

Without an exhaustive concordance check,  I can't recall the Scriptures speaking of the wardrobe any of the main characters with one exception. Well, also maybe not including  Adam and Eve and their fig leaf and we know the soldiers gambled for Jesus' clothes at the cross. The exception in my mind is John the Baptist. My students all know he wore camel's hair and a leather belt, living out in the wilderness. He could have dressed like a priest- he was the son of a priest but he followed God's calling and set the stage for Jesus. But John also dressed like Elijah, the prophet of old who many believed John was. It doesn't look like any of the other seers dressed like Elijah or John. They had their own ways and their own manners. But they had this is in common with John and Elijah- they spoke the word of God. I ask my students if John could could get a preaching job today and the consensus is he would not- too many red flags! At the top of the list, he didn't dress the part. Neither do I, most days. I can blend in now when I need to visually but I hope my effectiveness rests on my words and actions and not my new threads..... even if they are kind of cool! And I can attest, much less scratchy than one made of camel hair!

Applicable quote of the day:
If you see me walking down the street, you're gonna see the same guy as you do on stage, dressed the same, looking the same, and nothing changes. I'm just one person.
Daryl Hall

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

The Boss


I have students who don't know why others struggle to like them. They might get some insight if they read what is posted tonight. The name of the student in the entry below comes up every year in my classes as I explain the artists who painted the mural of Jesus on our classroom wall. You will understand why after you read this entry from 1/11/06.


Our mouths get us in trouble. We say things we don't mean and we speak before we think. Our electronic age has added to our woes. Athletes, politicians, and entertainment celebrities are recorded constantly. I listen to Houston's 790 AM radio, an ESPN affiliate. This week, the morning hosts were kidding ESPN football analyst Sean Saulsberry for something he said on Stephen A. Smith's TV show. In response to Joe Theismann's prediction that Washington would be in the Super Bowl, Saulsberry promised that if the Redskins did make it that far, he would walk naked from Bristol, Connecticut to Washington, DC in January. You know what has happened. The Redskins now have a shot of making it and Saulsberry is backtracking. He says in that eventuality, he WILL walk from Bristol to the nation's capital but it will be in the spring, he will be clothed, and the event will be used to raise money for charity. Good save- most people can't get out of it that easily! A big controversy this week is whether James Frey, the author of the bestselling A Million Little Pieces, fabricated or embellished parts of his book. Random House today announced they will refund the purchase price to consumers who wish to get their money back. The Senate is undergoing contentious "Advise and Consent" hearings in the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court. Every spoken or written word from this judge in the past thirty years is open for debate and interpretation. A jurist leaves a paper trail that can come back to haunt him or her. We are talking about Jesus' teaching on speech in my 10th grade Bible class. The Savior taught that our words should be few. In Matthew 5:37, on the topic of oaths, he put it this way:
"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No;' anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

We talked about lying and having to tell a lie to cover a lie you told followed by a third lie to cover up the cover up lie. Lying is complicated! The truth is simple. The more we talk, the more we get into trouble, whether with honesty issues or with words leading to anger. In James 4:4, we are told that, "no man can tame the tongue." Some come closer than others in the taming process.

In the music world, 'the Boss' is legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen. In 1974, Jon Landau of Rolling Stone Magazine penned this prophetic line: "I have seen the future of rock and roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau was correct- Springsteen contributed classics like Born To Run and Born In The USA to the American musical landscape as well as scores of other hits over thirty years. At Westbury Christian School, Boss carries a different identity. Suphanut Chansangajev is a WCS sophomore. He is from Thailand and he is brilliant. Because of difficulty in pronouncing his names for native English speakers, he simply answers to Boss. My limited knowledge of Thailand and its culture leads me to believe the Thai people as a group are very reserved, at least to western standards. If so, Boss would seem the model Thai young man. He excels academically, never gets in trouble, and plays football for our Wildcat squad. I've never had a lengthy conversation with Boss. He is the quietest student I've ever taught. He smiles constantly and is a great artist. One characteristic sets Boss apart from most of the human race: EVERYBODY LIKES HIM! He is universally admired and loved by faculty and student body. I asked my 10th grade Bible class why this was so. They knew the answer. "Boss never says anything to make anybody mad." They are absolutely right. There have been times when I almost had to force him to speak up but it was the product of shyness, never disrespect. The kids know that Boss never has an unkind word for anyone and never lies about anyone. He has the teaching of Jesus down to an art form, the 'yes and no' clause. Most of our problems with others are caused by words. When we limit what we say, we don't have to remember what we said. Sometimes, kids want to know why nobody likes them. I have a counseling solution. I'm going to tell them, "Go see the Boss!"

Applicable quote of the day:
"The speed of the boss is the speed of the team."
Lee Iacocca

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Monday, Monday

Tomorrow is Monday- what will it bring??? This is from November 18, 2013.
I don't like Mondays. Mondays are by far my least favorite day of the week, during the school year and during the summer. Even after many years of teaching, I never feel I can be ready for the new week. Monday is when grades are to be updated on RENWEB, our grading Internet link with parents and students, and that includes the previous Friday's assignments. (Every other week, I give 110 tests on Friday that must be graded and entered by Monday.) Lesson plans for the week are also due Monday on RENWEB and I try to have all of my tests and quizzes sent to the incomparable Jennifer Zalud for printing as well. Factor in the normal daily preparation to teach that Monday and it can be overwhelming, especially for less experienced instructors. Hey, even The Carpenters lamented 1/7th of the week in their mournful hit Rainy Days And Mondays...and if you don't know the song, the next line is always get me down.

The Monday Syndrome carries over to basketball practice as well. We are in our fifteenth week of school and every Monday has seen a less than stellar practice first period, which is our time slot. (I should note that I consider the Tuesday after Labor Day and Columbus Day as Mondays in that it becomes the first day of the week.) I think there are logical reasons. First and foremost, my players are sixth-seventh-eighth graders and they are social. Usually, they have not seen each other in more than sixty hours and they have some catching up to do. As a group, they are more easily distracted and less focused on Mondays and maybe they just dread it a little like I do. Like coach, like player, like maybe.

So guess what happened today? WE HAD A TERRIFIC PRACTICE! There was nothing to predict it would be a great one and yet, that's the way it turned out. I added two new drills to work on areas of struggle and we repeated another new drill the kids really like. We were coming off a Friday night game that we lost but which left the kids feeling better about themselves as a team. It started a little slow as I got on them for being silly in the pre-practice prayer but we straightened that out and then, wow. I wish we could bottle it but you can't. Mature teams are consistent but even adults and coaches are inconsistent. Why is one day better than another, one practice better than another? I'm not sure but I do know that we enjoy them too little and despise them too much. Psalm 90:12 makes this point:
 

"Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Too often I endure days instead of numbering them. What seemed like a never ending year back on our first practice of the year, on a Monday, has now dwindled to the place where the sand on the bottom of the hourglass is almost equal to the sand on top. My time with these kids will run away quickly and there will be no more days, Mondays or otherwise, to be together as a team and learn lessons that will endure after the basketballs have been put away for the last time. By my calculations and discounting the weeks of finals, only nineteen more Mondays in the 2013-2014 school year. I'm already emotional.


Applicable quote of the day:

“So. Monday. We meet again. We will never be friends—but maybe we can move past our mutual enmity toward a more-positive partnership.” 
 
Julio-Alexi Genao

To hear The Carpenters' classic Rainy Days And Mondays, click below!http://youtu.be/F42VVAwa6tA

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Mother And Alzheimer's

Mom with Dad and Scott 
My mom was the sweetest and most Godly lady whose very existence was shattered by Alzheimer's. This is from November 24, 2005 and was my first discussion of her situation.  You'll notice one of the comments was left by my dad.


My mother has Alzheimer's. That is one of the hardest admissions I've ever made. My realization of her condition was gradual. The first I remember her struggling was six years ago. We had a reunion at her childhood farm in Arkansas and since I had not made that drive since college, I called and asked her for directions- she couldn't tell me. At the same gathering, a cousin asked Mom for her address to update the family information list and Mom didn't know what it was. It has been a steady decline since then. My father had all the tests done, put her on the latest medications, and rededicated his life to fulfilling his marriage vows- the better or worse, sickness or health part. It's hard on the kids but the strain is on Dad. We see her on holidays and in the summer but he has to be aware of her every minute. The balance between maintaining dignity and assuring safety is a tight rope for those providing the care for the Alzheimer's patient. Dad walks it every waking moment and probably even in his sleep. Mom has no stress- the wear and tear is on him.

When I taught psychology at Friendship Christian School, Ron Welch would speak to my class on Alzheimer's. His father-in-law, a former college professor, had the disease and Ron would tell about the way it was manifested in his life. I was fascinated by the rituals and what seemed to be bizarre behavior. Little did I think some day I would tell my own stories. How could I know that I would watch my mother pour Italian salad dressing on Wheaties instead of milk and not be able to tell the difference? Who could guess that she would not know which of her siblings and cousins were still living or deceased? Mom was always a servant and still tries to be helpful. She constantly rearranges things and puts them up to the point where Dad's expensive hearing aid disappeared and was not found for weeks. We are fortunate. Her health is good and she still knows us somewhat. She is incredibly sweet, while some Alzheimer's victims become belligerent. While she cannot tell you what day, month, or year it is, she still remembers the old hymns at worship services by heart. The best way I can describe Mom is that it's her but it's not her. I hope that makes sense.

Let me tell you about my mother. She was an incredible elementary teacher who balanced work with family. She was a preacher's wife who stayed above church politics, if there were any. Mom was never too busy to comfort us when we hurt, correct us when we were rockheads, pray for us when we were in trouble, and keep us more than adequately clothed and fed on a minister's salary. She found time to be a Cub Scout den mother and became surrogate mom to many young ladies who lacked what we took for granted. Later, she became a noted speaker in marriage seminars and taught younger women, as the scriptures command, to love their husbands and children. Mom has influenced many to be what the Lord wants and expects them to be. She could get her feelings hurt. Once, I gave away a food processor that she had given me. It was impractical for my needs and it was taking more time than it was worth to use but it crushed her when she found out and she cried. (I learned from my mistake!) That's the mother I remember, not the one who Dad has to tell, "It's Steve" when I call so she won't have to figure it out. Not the lady who asks, "What do you think?" when I ask her who came over for supper because she doesn't know and she tries to hide it. Not the woman who cuts up every tomato, apple, or potato that Dad leaves on the kitchen table, trying to maintain her usefulness. Not the woman who couldn't understand why she was not allowed to drive anymore for the safety of everyone on the road and herself as well. Not the woman who has to wear an identification bracelet in case she gets lost.

If your mother has good physical and mental health, count yourself blessed. Tell her you love her at every opportunity and for no reason at all. Thank her for making you make your bed when you were little. Be grateful she enforced the family rules even when it hurt her more than you. Hug her because God gave her to you. And while you are at it, thank God, too.

Applicable quote of the day:

"In Alzheimer's, the mind dies first: names, dates, places. The interior scrapbook of an entire life fades into mists of non-recognition."
Matt Clark


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

Dad And The Statler Brothers



This is about the death of our father. It's from April 14, 2013.

In about seven hours, we'll pass the five year anniversary of Dad's death. In the early morning hours of April 15, 2008, Roger Wayne Hawley went home to be with the Lord. The last five days of his life were unlike anything I've ever experienced. We gathered in St. Louis, told him how we much we loved him, and planned the funeral. Through the magic of the Internet, I was able to send out constant updates on his condition. Here is the last one before he died:

Dad is hanging on. His speaking and moments of awareness are becoming fewer and fewer. The St. Luke's staff remains caring and empathetic. As pain and agitation increases, we can increase his dosage of morphine. The doctors told Dave that it is incredible how Dad has even survived this long, considering the litany of debilitating traumas he has faced in the past nine months. A hospital is a microcosm of the world. As Dave and I entered an elevator, a couple got on as well. They were about to become great grandparents as their grand daughter was about to give birth to a baby named McKenna. Scott and I also passed a room several down from Dad's where a very elderly man lay in his bed with no one there to comfort him. (We made a vow to visit him tomorrow if we see he is still without company.) Hospitals mirror the joy and pain of our daily lives. So many have e-mailed and we greatly appreciate it! Thanks for your unceasing prayers for Dad. Please pray his suffering will go away.

Dad hung on about five more hours or so. As I read that above update, I thought that there is a little girl named McKenna who should be celebrating her fifth birthday tomorrow, unaware of who we are or how our paths crossed. I was filled with sadness as I re-read about the old man, dying alone and question what I do to help the lonely. I pondered what pictures to use as well. All came from our Grandpa Hawley, the picture taker in our family. I picked none of Dad by himself because Dad, the best people person I've known, was rarely by himself. In the lower shot, Dad has just baptized an unnamed young man at Nebraska Youth Camp. Dad was always the evangelist up until his death. He and Mom always held Bible studies in their home no matter where they were living and Dad preached the Gospel all over the world. (Any of you NYC alums know who the new brother in Christ is?) The other three photos had to be with Mom. Without Mom, there was no Dad but that is simplistic. I never knew a couple who while being very different fit together more perfectly. When Mom's world caved in around her with Alzheimer's, Dad's collapsed as well but taking care of his beloved might have been the best sermon he ever preached. His complete dedication to her probably hastened his death but what a way to go.

I wonder how long you keep making notes of anniversaries like these. I never heard my mother mention the anniversary of  the death of her mother who died very suddenly when Mom was pregnant with me. We watched as Dad took care of his dad in the months leading up to my Grandfather Hawley's death and it once again hits me how life is a cycle, a circle. We all have little memories towards the end. Mine is the saddest question I've ever had to answer. On one of my trips to St. Louis shortly before the end, I visited Mom in the nursing home and then went to St. Luke's to see Dad. When I told him about seeing Mom, in a wavering, hopeful voice, he asked, "Does she ever ask about me?" I had to tell him no but that she always loved him and he loved her more than words can ever tell. And so on the almost fifth anniversary of his death, I'm going to dedicate one of the greatest love songs ever to my father in his memory and his bride of fifty-nine years, The Statler Brothers' I'll Go To My Grave Loving You. Thanks for everything , Dad. You were the best father we could have asked for. God blessed us with you.

Applicable quote of the day:
"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
Clarence Budington Kelland


To watch and listen to the Statler Brothers sing I'll Go To My Grave Loving You, click or copy/paste the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mcqEkjURnM

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Over Charged

I need to charge my phone, my camera, my electric razor..... This is from January 9, 2011.
I'm running out of outlets in my apartment. In one electrical socket, my Water Pic is getting charged. I'm typing as my Compaq laptop is plugged in and staying at 100% power. My Black and Decker Dust Buster vacuum is getting replenished in yet another outlet. In the opposite wall's outlet, my pre-paid cell phone is being juiced up from an extremely low battery and right above the phone, my brand new Sonic Care Electric Toothbrush is maxing its charge. All of these modern conveniences have the wonderful quality of mobility. But, they also have the downside of being rendered useless if too long removed from their power source. I think there is a Bible school lesson or sermon illustration in that scenario somewhere!


Let me go back to that Sonic Care Electric Toothbrush for a minute. It was a Christmas gift to me from Dave and Sally who are satisfied customers of the product. I brought it back from Kansas not having used it and opened the box in Houston. The directions said to charge it for twenty-four hours before initial use. So I charged it for twenty-four hours, which became forty-eight, which became seventy-two, etc. The truth is, it's been eight days and that electric toothbrush is fully charged and still charging..... but never used. Aren't we like that, sometimes? We want to serve and we recharge our spiritual batteries and recharge some more and some more....and we leave the work of the kingdom undone. We're so concerned about being ready that we do nothing, and sit on the table just like my brand new Sonic Care Electric Toothbrush. It's charged, it's ready, and it's idle. Well, maybe tonight or at least tomorrow. In John 4, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus DID NOT tell his disciples that sometime in the future the crops, meaning the lost, would be ready to be gathered. In verse 35, the Master told his men that, "They (the fields) are ripe for harvest," while the Samaritans from the village of Sychar were coming out to hear what He had to say. His first two words in verse 36 were, "Even now." I need to add those my words to my spiritual vocabulary....and probably to my dental vocabulary as well. That toothbrush is as charged as it ever going to be.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait...The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count."
Robert Anthony


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com