Why are these men smiling?

Today’s post is just for fun… So, why are these guys all smiling?

I have a theory!

It is said that Mr. Nixon was a legendary poker player.  When he came home from World War II, he financed a car, a house and his first Congressional campaign with his poker winnings from his days in the Navy.  Later, when Mr. Eisenhower was president and Mr. Nixon was vice president, Mr. Eisenhower held a weekly poker game in the White House.

On one occasion, Mr. Nixon was invited to play with Ike and the boys…  After the Vice President cleaned them all out, he was not invited to play again.

Notice that Mr. Nixon is playing cards and Ike isn’t?

OK, we know why those two are smiling!  Obviously the other guys don’t know the story…

Or… I guess they could all be enjoying Mr. Lincoln’s jokes.

Please feel free to leave your guesses!

(Mote on the image:  This is my photo of my copy of “Grand Ol’ Gang” by Andy Thomas.)

Advertisements

Gone Into Hididng

Tom was a Christian.  He was committed; he was serious. He worked in a factory, and many of his coworkers were tough men, men who used rough language and who liked to drink and play hard…

Tom was afraid that if he didn’t go along with them that he wouldn’t fit in, that he wouldn’t be accepted.  He didn’t want them to think that he was soft or strange; he just wanted to be one of the guys.  So when he was at work he talked like the rest.  When to boys went out for a few brewskies on Thursday nights, Tom went along and behaved just the way everyone else did: He was one of the boys.

The boys liked to make fun of Christians… OK, the boys made fun of everybody, there wasn’t anything about making fun of Christians that was special; it wasn’t even intended to be anything more than fun, but it made Tom uncomfortable.  In time, the boys picked up on this, and one day someone asked him after several brews if he was a “churchie”.

Tom denied his faith. He didn’t really mean to, he just wanted to fit in.

A few days later when Tom was in his weekly Bible study, he learned something, something that he already knew.  Jesus had made an interesting comment one day when He told His listeners that if they confessed Jesus before men, He would confess them before the Father…

Tom felt convicted because he knew that he had denied Jesus before men; those men who were his friends.

Tom had not only hidden his faith, but he had also hidden from his faith…

Another passage ran through Tom’s mind that evening.  Jesus had told His disciples that the reason that people don’t follow Him was that they preferred the praise of men.

Tom was ashamed.

Teaching Trip

I’m off this afternoon for Illinois, where I will be teaching Spiritual Gifts for the month of February; Sunday sermons and Wednesday evening classes through March 1. If you are going to be in the Quad City area of Illinois and Iowa (i.e. Davenport, IA, Moline, IL area)  you are welcome to drop by Milan Christian Church. Sunday starting times are 9:00 and 10:30 and Wednesday is 6:00 pm. For location and directions here’s a link to their website. Should you be able to drop by, please be sure to say hello, it would be great to put a blog and a person together!

As for blogging during this time, I’m planning on at least one post every day; maybe more, so don’t forget to check in here. I’ll also be posting about the experience as time permits, and who knows? That might just be the best part. I’ll also be checking my mail and so on, so it will be more or less “business as usual” here at The Life Project.

In addition, I’ll try to arrange for links to podcasts of the classes for those of you who might be curious to follow along; I am expecting a great class. Anyway, I’ll have to let you know if I can work that out.

So, I’ll be off for Union Station a little later on for the “Capitol Limited” which is scheduled to arrive in Chicago tomorrow morning, where I have a six-hour layover, and then another train west from there to Galesburg, and if I am lucky, somebody will pick me up. The layover isn’t a bad thing for me, since it will allow me to visit my son who is finishing up his degree in Chicago…

Oh no; I’m on a train overnight, and don’t arrive until tomorrow! …and we have discovered that tomorrow never comes: Great, just great, I’ll be stuck on the train forever!

Here, let me rephrase that: I’m scheduled to arrive Friday, and when I arrive, it will still be Today.

Much better.

Now you might ask why I’m taking the train for 20 plus hours when I could fly and be there in a couple of hours. Well, it’s like this: I’m just as much of a 10-year-old around trains as I am around planes. If you have the time, trains are way cheaper, you see more, the seats are way more comfortable and all you need is a Kindle with a Netflix app and you’re good to go. They all have WiFi and every seat has a plug-in… and you can always use the phone… and of course, you skip all of the hassles and nonsense of the airport. So, off I go!

More Thinking; say it isn’t so!

See? I told you I’d write some more about this today. Oh yes, I remember, that was yesterday, but look: It’s still today!

That proves it: HA!tumblr_mjf7dbc1FD1s2r067o1_500

Since yesterday, when it was “today” and today where it’s still “today” I’ve had another thought; yikes!

It could be that while we were on our recent adventure through Ecclesiastes with the Teacher, I might have spend too much time under the sun chasing after the wind; maybe that is why I’m now convinced that tomorrow never comes, and the “future” is a scam.

In both cases, “tomorrow” and “the future” only exist from the point of view of the past, but we live in the present whether we want to or not: It is always “Today”.

Tomorrow never comes.

“One of these days” and “some day” also never come; they are frauds.

Here’s an example: Once upon a time, my Dad told 9 year old Me that “one of these days real soon” he’d take me to Catalina Island, but not today. 40 plus years have passed, but “one of these days real soon” never happened because every single day is “today”.

I still have never been to Catalina Island.

I am thankful for my Dad, even though we never went to Catalina, because he taught me very well; I was trained to say the right things when I heard the voice of an authority figure. I knew immediately how to respond the day I heard, after a manner of speaking, His voice when it called my name: I said, “Sir!”

That’s when I heard it the second time: “Follow Me!” I did what I was trained to do.

“Yes Sir!”

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:13

As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 3:15

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

Hebrews 5:5

For me to say now that I am thankful that I gave Him the right answer when He called would be quite the understatement; thanks Dad, for otherwise I might have said “OK, one of these days real soon, Lord.”

“Tomorrow” never comes, “some day” never comes; “today” is the only day there will ever be. What will you do when you hear His voice?

“Tomorrow” “some day” the “future” are all meaningless; chasing the wind.

I Had a Thought

1114 018-LR

…and if you are anything like me, you know that when a thought actually comes along, it can be disturbing. There I was last night, minding my own business and watching “George Gently” on TV. I don’t know, maybe the plot was dragging a little bit, but my mind began to wander; then it happened. A thought.

It just hit me like a ton of bricks: Tomorrow will never come.

I didn’t like this thought very much; don’t they say “the sun will come up tomorrow”?

The problem is that every time the sun has come up, it wasn’t tomorrow; it was “today.” I thought some more…

Last Sunday, I thought that “tomorrow” would be on Monday, but when I woke up on Monday morning, it was still “today.” Yesterday was Tuesday, and I thought that today would be tomorrow, but as you know, today is actually “today” and “tomorrow” is still tomorrow; Thursday. I thought some more… again.

“Yesterday” comes all the time, but we can’t ever be there. “Tomorrow” is always supposed to be coming, but it never arrives for what we think is going to be “tomorrow” always turns out to be “today” so that “today” never seems to end… but that makes no sense!

That’s when I hit the pause button; I was missing too much of the mystery, I’ll never guess who did it if I miss too much of the plot. And then I thought some more… yet again.

“The future” might be a lot like “tomorrow.”

If you would have asked me in 1980 if 2015 was “the future” I would have said that 2015 was definitely the future; the far off distant future. I would have wondered if I would actually live long enough to see it. Now, 35 years later, here we are: I made, if barely. Now we know that 2015 is not the “future” because just look around you, it’s still the present, just like it’s always been, and every day of the 35 years in between 1980 and 2015 has been “today”. There’s something fishy going on here.

Well, right about then, Mrs. Don asked how long I was going to leave the show on pause, and I recognized the voice of She Who Must Be Obeyed, so I set these thoughts aside and resumed “George Gently>”

This morning when I got up, I did some checking, and do you know what I discovered?

It’s still “today” and “tomorrow” hasn’t come yet. It’s also still the “present” and the “future” still hasn’t come. OK, now I’m starting to get irritated…

This morning I had another thought, Heaven help me!

You know “some day” and “one of these days”? They haven’t come around yet either, because we seem to be stuck in “today.” Kind of like that movie “Groundhog Day” (only way different) I have quite a few things I’m going to do “some day” and even more that I plan on doing “one of these days” and as soon as these days come, I’m going to get onto those things; maybe that will be tomorrow, if “tomorrow” ever gets here…

Make no mistake, dear reader, I have a lot more to say about this, but I’m going to take a little break right now, because I think I’m getting a nasty headache. I’m not waiting until tomorrow to get back to this, at least not until I get a better handle on what’s going on here; I’ll be writing more on this TODAY!

In His Cathedral

tumblr_metvkr2zFh1qas1mto6_r3_1280

The greatest of cathedrals are not made by the hands of men, but by the very hand of God Himself.  In those cathedrals, you can go to pray and to listen to the sounds that are not sounds made by men.

If you listen very carefully, you may even hear the voice of God.

People often say that they can worship God anywhere; in the desert, by the sea, in the forest…  I happen to agree with them, for these are wonderful places to worship Him.  Surrounded by His awesome creation, taking it all in, it revives our spirit.

I can only think of one better place to worship God than in the midst of His creation, and that is in the midst of His people, for when we are in the midst of His people, we are not only surrounded by His handiwork, but we are also right in the midst of His purpose.