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Archive for September, 2014

An Author with an Itsy Bitsy Platform

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Open BookOne of the most important concepts in the publishing industry today is the notion of “The Platform.” You may not know what that is, but think for a moment about people who’ve recently released a book—people like Hillary Clinton, Bill O’Reilly, and John Grisham. These authors have a built-in platform. The mere suggestion they might write yet another book has readers signed up to buy a copy before one word has been penned.

That’s a platform.

Publishers and literary agents will ask a potential author, “What’s your platform?” If you’re on the news regularly, have already written a best-selling book, have held  a prominent political office, or have even committed some serious offenses against humanity, the publication industry is  willing to sign you up immediately. Thus, platform is less about writing and more about having visibility and authority in the eyes of the world.

When the Son of God came to earth, he had no platform. He lived his life in relative obscurity in a small town that had a bad reputation. Yes, he gathered around himself a group of followers, but they were few in number and mostly considered the riff-raff of society—prostitutes, tax collectors, and a handful of rebels and fishermen.

Jesus, the very Author of Life,  had an itsy bitsy platform.

Yet, He did have something to say. In fact, He had a lot he wanted to tell people—about Himself, about His Father, and about the fact that He was the Word. His Word brought into existence everything that was, everything that is, and everything that will be. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1.

The message he delivered received bad reviews from those in authority, from the people who had developed a platform of their own. At the earliest opportunity, they crucified Him, intending to obliterate his words.

But the words were important; the words were Life, the words brought Life. They were taken up by others who had no platform, but who faithfully wrote down what He had said, who delivered the message he could not deliver because he had no platform.

May all of us with itsy bitsy platforms never fail to deliver His Words. By doing  so, we  provide Him with a platform the world cannot ignore.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation . . .” Isaiah 52:7.

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Do You Believe In Aliens?

September 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Outer Space 2Following an “in-depth” discussion about this question with my fourth-grade grandson, I began considering the reason he gave for why there had to be aliens in outer space. He said he believed there had to be different kinds of creatures in other galaxies, because when they came to earth and found human beings, God would use them to teach us earthlings how to . . . well, at that point, the conversation advanced to a stage beyond my ability to comprehend.

His concepts of what mankind should be able to do–as taught by aliens–encompassed a plethora of not only physical achievements, but mental gymnastics as well. Let’s just say there wouldn’t be any need for homework in fourth grade because children would have all math and reading knowledge already implanted in their brains when they were born!

As engrossing as his thoughts were on this subject, his abilities to think of these things fascinated me even more. If a fourth grade boy can imagine God’s creatures being changed into incredible specimens of marvelous capacities, how much more can that boy’s Creator conceive of fashioning His from-dirt-to-living-flesh creation into a New Creation?

God promised our future resurrected bodies would be like nothing our limited human minds could comprehend. Isaiah 43:18, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

Ezekiel 36:25, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

While it remains a mystery (far deeper than a fourth-grade boy’s mind), what kind of capacities God will give His children as we dwell together with Him, there is one certainty. The apostle John wrote of it in 1 John 3:2-3: “. . . what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

How Can I Find Happiness?

September 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Three pic garden photoAs I enjoyed an early morning quiet time on my patio recently, I became captivated by the play of light and dark, shadow and sunlight, across the foliage of my backyard. I had just been reading a devotional about mankind’s universal search for happiness. In the article, C. S. Lewis’ classic, Mere Christianity, is referenced, particularly this quote, “All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

After reading this quote, I glanced up from my iPad and saw the patterns the early morning sun was drawing in my garden. Some flowers were in shadow, while others were in sunlight. The flowers highlighted by the sunlight looked “happier” than those flowers residing in the shadows. Why was that? Well, obviously, it was because the “happier” flowers were basking in the sun’s light, while those in the shadow were not receiving the sun’s full benefits.. 

Although I’m quite certain flowers do not experience human emotions, my garden’s shadows and sunlight illustrated the truth of my devotional reading. We all seek happiness, but as long as we remain in the shadows–substituting other people, pleasures, and pursuits for God in our lives–we will never be truly happy.

“You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11.

Turn your face toward the Son. Bask in the warmth of His Light today. 

Categories: Devotionals, Happiness
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