Archive for April, 2013

Why Me?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

I wrote this a while back when we were visiting the Biltmore Estate. I am writing from our room at the impeccable Inn on Biltmore Estate, nestled among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it has been a rainy day, the view is still spectacular and the day has been wonderful.   Shortly, we will be going down to enjoy dinner and another stunning view from our  window table.  It doesn’t get much better!  Earlier today Cathy and I paid ninety-eight dollars to walk through an old house.    To refer to the Biltmore, the largest and possibly the grandest house in the nation, as an “old house” might seem a bit peculiar (; however, I mean no disrespect. It was money well spent.  George Vanderbilt’s house is an incredible masterpiece of architecture, engineering and grandeur — truly a magnificent work of art. I’m glad we were able to come here and I recommend it highly.

Shortly, before our trip I heard the heart wrenching story of Mr. Cho who recently died in China.  Mr. Cho had been a factory worker all his adult life.  He had what was considered by Chinese standards a very good job with excellent health and retirement plans. His future seemed secure.  Two years ago the plant went bankrupt and was closed. In addition to his job, Mr. Cho lost both his health care and his retirement.  Then he got sick; his wife did the best she could on her income of twenty-eight dollars a month, but it wasn’t enough to provide proper care for her husband.   Mr. Cho died last month.  His wife said that her husband “couldn’t afford to live”.

For some reason I’m having a difficult time getting Mr. Cho off my mind. The last two years of his life Mr. Cho and his wife lived on twenty-eight bucks a month.  Like I said, we just spent three and a half times as much for a two hour walk through an old house.  I can’t help but wonder, “Why me Lord”?

Something to think about

Couple of Idiots

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

This past Sunday my message was about why God allows bad stuff to happen to good people. About an hour before the service started God gave me a painful and nearly tragic illustration. As I was hanging a sign, a 30” bungee cord that I had stretched much too far came loose and hit me in the head just above my left eye. I saw stars and think I remember hearing the coo- coo birds! Another inch and most likely I would have lost an eye. Here I was literally doing the Lord’s work on earth and that happened. What kind of God is that?  The same one that allowed me to get an education so I could read the warning label that said “Bungee cords are extremely dangerous. Always wear eye protection and never stretch a bungee cord more than 50%.” It was the same God that blessed me with a free will that allowed me to choose to disregard the warning. I have gone through life disregarding warnings as a matter of routine. Let those of you without sin cast the first stone. “It can never happen to me” is the mantra that has infected humanity since  before Eve plucked the apple off the forbidden tree.

Last week I was in line at Kroger when the woman in front of me bought two cases of beer, some frozen pizzas and two cartons of Marlboros. The woman behind me remarked that she did not see how people could afford to smoke. The cigarette lady retorted, “Honey, I’ve had a bout of throat cancer, but I’ve still got to have my smokes”.  At the time I thought she was an idiot. Each time that I have looked at my black eye in the last few days, I have understood that she is not the only one that I know.

Something to think about


Thursday, April 4th, 2013

A while back a man died in a tragic accident. His death was well publicized and many people who knew him came forward to tell of how he had enriched their lives. I did not know him well, but I had been around him enough to come to the conclusion that he was the real deal. He was not a fake or put on, but rather a man with an unabashed love for Jesus Christ. He would tell anyone who would listen about Jesus in a style that was uniquely his. God gave him that gift! Yet, like the rest of us, he was far from perfect. He realized that Paul’s words in Romans 3 about all of mankind being together in the “sin boat” certainly included him. Unlike some, he never claimed otherwise. Sadly, there are twenty-first century Pharisees, blind to the log in their own eyes, who have arrogantly decided to pass judgment on this man’s very soul. In direct contrast to the Savior whom they claim as Lord, but obviously do not actually follow, they proudly cast the first stones. How shameful! One day in senior religion class at Father Ryan High School, the subject was who gets into heaven and who does not. After nearly fifty minutes of discussion, Father Alan Cunningham left us with this thought. “When we get to heaven we are going to be surprised at whom else is there and who isn’t”. Jesus referred to the Pharisees of his day as the worse kind of hypocrites. Some things never change.

Something to think about