August 16, 2017 (photos at the end)
So it’s been a while since I wrote one of these. My last month has been a little crazy. A few highlights:
- July 7-16 – Ellen and I spent our vacation driving to Northern PA and then on to Illinois to see our daughter Alissa. On the way back we stopped near Grand Rapids MI for a couple of days to visit our son David. I sat through an opera that he directed… It was actually… amazing. (Did I just say that?!)
- July 16 – Pie and Praise at BBB
- July 17-22 – One week of continuing education to try and figure out what I am going to preach on for the rest of the year. I wasn’t very successful.
- July 23 – Immediately after worship, Ben and I drove out to Muncie, Indiana. We got there at 7:00 P. M. and loaded up my son David’s apartment (from the 2nd floor, I might add! With no elevator!). We then left Monday morn at 7:00 A.M. for the return trip home.
- July 25 – Unload the U-Haul truck into our basement.
- July 29 – 45th High School reunion. Not a big deal except for the fact that I’m the chair of the committee. 6:30 A.M.-11:00 P.M. L-O-N-G day.
- July 30 – Drove out to Dayton OH right after church to attend my father’s ship’s reunion from WW2. He has been gone for 15 years but it is an honor for me to pay tribute to him and his shipmates by attending their reunion.
- August 2 – Back home from Dayton.
- August 4 – Drove 7 hours to NY for a short term mission trip to care for babies of teen mothers.
- Babies, babies and more babies.
- August 9 – 7 hours back from NY
- August 10 – Drove to Crestfield for the completion of our Church camp there.
- August 12 – Home again, home again, jiggidy-jig.
- August 13 – Corn Roast at BBB
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not complaining… just a bit worn out.
I wanted to share with you an observation I made during my/our travels. Honestly I must have passed at least 100 locations with road construction signs. I’m pretty sure I saw ALL the signs there are to see! Just a few:
- Construction 3 miles ahead
- Men working 2 miles ahead
- Road work 1 mile ahead
- Men at work 1500 yards ahead… (you get it right?)
- Fines doubled in construction areas
- No shoulder on the right ahead
- No shoulder on the left ahead
- Traffic patterns altered ahead
- Orange and white barrels
- Orange cones
- Orange poles
- Flashing signs: “Speed limit 45. Your current speed is 65.”
- Men standing with “stop” signs
- Women standing with “stop” signs
- Detour signs
- Etc, etc, etc…. ad-nauseam.
The great irony is this… I would estimate that 90% of these places had not one person working! Not a soul was visible. There were no trucks or equipment. There was no visible indication that anything was going on except for the signs mentioned above. In their defense, it was after hours or Sunday on a few (a very few) occasions. I do not write this to be critical… I have no idea how these things are scheduled. I only ask this question: If there are signs that say “Men working ahead” and there are no men and there is no work… can one really justify a “Men working ahead” sign? I think the obvious answer is “NO.” Just because there is a sign or someone calls something “work” does not mean it is indeed “work.” Simply by definition that’s true. I suppose it could be called “potential work” or “future work” or “day off work” or “we’re almost done but not yet ‘work’”… but don’t call it what it’s not, i.e. “work.”
Why do I say all of that? Well, look at these verses from James 2: 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds (works)? 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds (works) is useless? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds (works) is dead.
It would surely seem from these verses that calling ourselves “Christian” without any “works” is at the very least “questionable.” If there is no “God work” going on in your life… if you are doing nothing to further the Kingdom and you do nothing in the Name of Jesus… if you are basically living for yourself and your own self interests… then I would be VERY wary about putting yourself in the category of “Christian.” I can hear some of us now… “Well you know at some point in the past I did ______.” Seriously? Outside of certain disabilities… there is no “retirement plan from Christian work.” The short of it is this… just like the road signs… labeling ourselves as something doesn’t make us that without works to prove it.
I need to add one critical piece of information. “Works” do not “save” us. They only prove who we are.
So, what are you “working at” for Jesus?
Below are a few pictures from the past month.
Opera cast with David. It was a Mozart comedy.
Michael (3 years old) and me (62 years old). He was one of the 100 babies Ellen, Rebekah and I along with 100 other volunteers looked after.
Double or nothing.
Best childcare worker on the planet.
Whoops another great childcare worker
Two of my heroes who served with my father during the war. If you look closely you can see their ship on the back window of the truck.
My father on the left and Ken Fidler in the middle circa 1943. Ken is also pictured on the right in the truck photo above.
Crestfield 2017. Bottom far right (very small)… campers are getting younger every year!
Corn Roast at BBB. There were actually more people there than just Ellen.