Blindfolded

The Netflix movie Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, is causing quite a stir these days. The characters in the movie must make a journey blindfolded in order to avoid danger. Copycats have come up with various “Bird Box” challenges in which the participants must perform certain tasks blindfolded. Some have run into walls. Others, unbelievably, have attempted to drive while blindfolded.

Clearer minds have put out the word that this behavior is inadvisable. Do we even need such warnings? Apparently so. That’s just sad.

The Bible warns against spiritual blindness. Those who live without Jesus are walking in the dark, and, sooner or later they are going to run into something that will hurt themselves or someone else.

How much better it is to remove the spiritual blindfold and walk in the light with Jesus!

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”—1 John 1:6-7

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Active Seniors

Carol Channing

Broadway star Carol Channing died Tuesday at the age of 97. Channing was known for her memorable performances over the years in such productions as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Hello, Dolly!” She was still performing in her 80s, including her one-woman show, “The First 80 Years Are the Hardest”.

Channing’s career reminds us that many senior citizens have opportunities to continue to make a difference with their wonderful contributions.

In Joshua 14, Caleb talks about how the Lord had blessed him with the ability to live a long life of vitality and strength—“…So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” (vv.10-11)

Let this be an encouragement for us to continue to attempt great things for the Lord, even as we grow older.

 

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Valued Possession

In Reed, North Carolina you will find the Reed gold mine. It was first excavated in 1799 when Conrad Reed discovered a strange rock on the Reed farm. In 1802, a jeweler in Fayetteville offered Reed $3.50 for the rock. It turned out that the rock was gold and was actually worth $3,600. Do you know what Reed did with that rock for three years? He used it as a doorstop at his house!

How often are we oblivious to the true value of things?

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”—Matthew 13:44

 

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Parable of the Birds

There once was a flock of birds who forgot to fly south for the winter. Now it was late in December and it was getting awfully cold. God loved those birds and didn’t want them to freeze, so he sent his only Son to become a bird and to show them the way to a warm barn where they would be saved from the cold. Most of the birds were leery of this cocky new bird who said he knew the way to safety. The leaders of the flock felt threatened by this bird, so they killed him. Some of the flock believed this new bird and were saved from the cold by flying to the warm barn as the new bird had directed. Most of the flock, however, refused to believe this bird, and they died from the cold.

“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”—John 1:11-12

 

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He Stilled the Storm

It continually amazes me to see how often the Old Testament predicts the coming life and ministry of Jesus that unfolds in the New Testament.

Psalm 107:28-30 says, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.”

Doesn’t this sound like an eye-witness account of how Jesus calmed the sea for his disciples? Yet it was written centuries before the event actually happened!

Whenever we see these prophetic messages in the Scripture, it serves to strengthen our faith in God. Let’s always be on the lookout for these prophecies that would later be fulfilled in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and let’s be ready to share these truths so that others will be strengthened in their faith.

 

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Reading Between the Lines

In her song Stoney End, Barbra Streisand sings, “I was raised on the good book Jesus till I read between the lines.”

That’s when people get into trouble, when they start reading between the lines. The “good book” is God’s Word to us about how to live our lives. The Bible explains the nature of God and what he expects from human beings, the crown of his creation. We do well when we pay attention to the Word and take it seriously, obeying its commands.

People who read between the lines are inserting their own beliefs, which are often contradictory to what the Lord says. God says that we need to be careful not to take anything away from what the Bible says, nor to add to its words. Reading between the lines leads to false beliefs, which leads to wrong actions.

Let’s be careful to just read the lines.

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.”—Revelation 22:18

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What’s the Weather Like?

I recently heard about a man who has a special rock that tells him what the weather is like. He keeps it right outside his kitchen window. If he looks out and sees that the rock is casting a shadow, he knows that it is sunny. If the rock is wet, he knows that it’s raining. If the rock has snow on it…well, you get the picture.

The point is, we just need to use our common sense to understand what is obviously true. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that.

“’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord…”—Isaiah 1:18

 

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Issue the Warning!

A 9-year-old Ohio boy was struck by a stray bullet while watching television around midnight on New Year’s Eve. The boy is said to be in serious condition after he was hit in the hand, shoulder and chest area. The shooting appears to have been accidental.

Just last week, Cleveland police, along with other agencies across Ohio and the country, issued warnings against celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve. We need to be careful about firing off dangerous weapons in a casual manner. Sometimes innocent people get seriously hurt.

“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”—James 3:7-8

 

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Keeping It Together

Gayle Urban writes about the time she was browsing in a Christian bookstore and discovered a shelf of reduced-price items. Among the gifts was a little figurine of a man and woman, their heads lovingly tilted toward one another. “HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY” read the inscription. It appeared to be in perfect condition, yet its tag indicated “DAMAGED”. Examining it more closely, she found another tag underneath that read: “WIFE IS COMING UNGLUED”.

Whenever it seems like your life is falling apart, remember that Jesus is the one who can hold it all together for you.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”—Matthew 11:28

 

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Resolve to Exercise

With the coming of a new year, many people resolve to improve themselves in some area. A popular resolution is to get more exercise.

I heard about a man who suddenly decided that if he started running he would live longer. He said, “If my wife catches me she will kill me!”

There was another fellow who came up with his own specialized exercise program. He moved his couch to the other side of the living room so that it would be farther away from the refrigerator!

If you decide to get more serious about exercising this year, I hope you fare well with your resolution.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”—1 Timothy 4:8

 

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