Please be advised that I have taken the advice of some of you and Ellen and I have developed a blog for ruminations. I hope you don’t mind but I am going to take the opportunity to put your email address on the blog site so that you begin to receive it that way. I would greatly appreciate your willingness to pass along the blog site to friends who might want to read some of the thoughts I produce on occasion. You can access the blog by first going to “google.com”. Then in the search engine type “ruminations392”. If you want to sign up immediately… when the page comes up you can go to the bottom right corner with your cursor and it will allow you to enter your email address so that you sign up to receive the blog each time an addition is made. I should also add that it allows you to “unsubscribe” if you so desire. J Thanks for your support.
August 27, 2014
When I was a kid my mother had a huge spool of string. The spool probably stood 10 inches high and if one were to look down from the top it must have been 8 inches in diameter. The point being… IT WAS A LOT OF STRING! I can’t possibly guess how much but it literally had to be miles long. On a number of occasions she allowed me to use it for kite flying. Remember doing that as a kid? I recall when gas stations gave kites away with a fill up. They were always giving something away: fly swatters, plates, cups and anything else that might attract folks to buy gas. That was one source for kites. The others were local stores that sold cheap paper or plastic kites for 25 cents. I knew people who made their own but I never had the patience for that sort of thing. Or the inclination… Or the ability… Or the supplies…
I can recall rummaging through the house looking for some old piece of cloth or a nasty old sheet to tear into strips to make a “tail”. It was impossible to fly a kite without something to hold it down and steady. A few pieces of balsa wood strategically placed; a string across the back to bend the kite to make it aerodynamic (like I knew anything about aerodynamics as a kid!); a string on the front to attach to; the aforementioned giant spool and it was off to the hills. I can recall standing and flying a kite for seeming hours at a time. Keep in mind that flying a kite really meant just… well… watching it float in the air. There were none of these fancy acrobatic dive bomber kites of today. It was really a lot of standing around. I would let the kite out so far that it was a dot on the horizon as it struggled to stay afloat with all the string straining to pull it down.
Do you know when I last saw a kid fly a kite? Me neither. At the beach maybe… but honestly it was mostly adults. It’s hard to fly a kite from inside your living room with the TV on. Or while busy killing someone on a video game. I suppose one could fly a kite while texting. Yeah that would work. But it seems like it might remove… well… some of the serenity. I suspect “serenity” might be another name for “boring” these days.
There is an inclination to be critical of my children’s generation and the one before theirs. To pass judgment on them for spending their lives in front of an electronic screen. Of course I didn’t have to buy them video games. Nor did I have to buy the screen. Or the computer. Or the phone. Or the… I guess I am somewhat culpable myself for their plight. But I also know that my father’s generation was/is critical of my era. The things we didn’t do or didn’t know because we were so much more blessed than those who came before us. I remember him telling me about the cannon that he and his brother owned. Their father (my grandfather) was a machinist and he built it for them. They would stuff it full of paper and rocks and anything else they could hammer down the muzzle, a little gunpowder, a little spark and KABOOM! How awesome would that be!!! Way better than pretending in front of a TV screen.
No question… there is a desire on the part of many of us to “return” to a different, presumably “better,” time. We find ourselves doing a lot of “backward” thinking. At least I know I do! And certainly there is nothing wrong with reminiscing. However if we are living in the past… or even living in the future… then we are possibly doing little for the Kingdom. I heard a marvelous speaker recently imploring his listeners to remember that “life is short.” Not to be depressing, but to remind us that life goes so quickly. If we are going to do something… DO IT NOW!
Each year I tell the parents of our preschoolers here at the church, “Don’t make the mistake I have made for too many years. Don’t tell yourself that there will be time to do ______ with your children. NO THERE WON’T! Before you know it they will be graduating from High School. And not long after that they will be on their own. Whatever it is, if it is within the realm of possibility… DO IT NOW.
I do not ask this question lightly… of you or of myself – what are you doing for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Not, “What are you doing for yourself or for those you love?” What are you doing that will make a difference in the Kingdom? What is your ministry? What do you do in the Name of Jesus Christ? What identifies you as a “Christ-One,” i.e., “Christian?” If you answer, “Going to church and putting money in the offering plate”… wrong answer. Please take a moment to read the words of Jesus below and ask yourself these questions: “Was Jesus serious about this? Or does this not really apply to me?”
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Can you ignore this?