Author Archives: Administrator

Doing the Wrong Thing

In 1958 before I knew Christ, I had a terrible car accident. A car full of women going home from work ran a stop sign and I hit the car broadside going 50 miles an hour. Bodies flew out the window, including Bob’s, my best friend. Two women died and all of us were severely injured. I wrote the following late; trying to report my feelings as a young boy of only 15.

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The ambulance began to move slowly, but was soon racing at top speed in and out of traffic. As I looked at Bob’s helpless form lying on the stretcher, I wondered if we would make it in time. Just moments before, his head had penetrated the windshield of my car as I collided with another vehicle.

As I bent over the broken body, I placed my index finger on the pressure points below his ears; pressing in an attempt to stop the gushing flow of blood coming from the huge gash on his forehead. I pressed in vain, for the crimson life giving serum continued to stream in torrents, flooding into Bob’s eyes and running down my hands. An uproar of anxiety came upon me, “Why doesn’t the bleeding stop?” “If it continues he’ll die*. Oh Lord, don’t let him die!”

The driver continued to make his way professionally through the Friday night traffic. I wondered why he did not go faster, as the seven miles to the small town hospital seemed like seventy. “Will he make it in time? Will a doctor be on duty?” These thoughts raced through my mind as I renewed my grip on the pressure points. “Why can’t I stop the bleeding? Will Bob die in my arms? Am I holding the right points?”

We arrived after what seemed like an eternity. Outside the emergency room I paced, my head ringing with the question, “Will he live?” A door opened, revealing the small form of the doctor. He walked toward me, and a smile crossed his lips as he spoke words sweeter than honey, “He’s going to be okay”. (I found out later that I had held the wrong pressure points).

Why the Music Battle?

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders” (1 Chronicles 16:8-9, nasb).

Recently I had a wonderful time in 1 Chronicles and read again about the priests of the tabernacle and temple who were assigned the responsibility of providing music. Some priests were dedicated just to singing; this was an important responsibility of one aspect of worship.

These singers were priests. They were not new believers or teenagers, but instead were mature leaders (young and old) in the ministry of worship under guidelines of ministry.

I wonder if the fact that mature people are not the ones writing the music and leading the songs of worship may be one reason why we have so many music battles in the local church. In most churches the worship leaders are young people; many are dedicated and godly people, but still young. They have a wonderful responsibility to and in the church, but not in leading public worship.

Older people have spent much time in the Word of God and have had their senses trained to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). When they hear certain tunes and lyrics, their godly nature grates at the music.  Sometimes they may not even understand why they react to some music!

Another reason for music battles in the church is that often the lyrics are not biblical. The music sounds like that sung in the world, not in the worship of our living God.

Youth music and catchy choruses are not necessarily wrong, but should not be used in a public worship service. People should be lifting their eyes to God in praise with songs that are biblical and tunes which are singable.

Much of the music used in churches today is not singable.  Notice the congregation – who is singing? Many times the older people attempt to set an example for younger people. The older people are trying to sing while the youth are not singing at all. The only people singing are the performers up front as they put on a show instead of leading the congregation, as the tabernacle priest, in praise and worship of God.

Also, why not take the band off the platform and place it on the side? One of our associate churches in the Philippines has a large worship band including drums, guitars, trumpets and other instruments, but the musicians are placed to the side where they cannot be seen. This switch would be beneficial in many churches, especially since most of the band leaders dress like they are going fishing, camping, or on a picnic, instead of to worship God. They should dress neatly to show respect for God and others without looking like they just got out of bed, still wearing pajamas.

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the LORD in holy array… O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (1 Chronicles 16:29,34, nasb).

Why Do We Perpetuate Lies and Untruth?

It seem like we in the church have a problem with perpetuating lies and untruths.

For example, I read in major Christian publications and hear from some of the most well respected church leaders, something like the following: “It is wonderful that the church has finally awakened to its responsibility to care for the poor.”

The church has always been at the forefront of caring for the poor and social justice. Of course, there have been lapses in obedience (by some in the church throughout history) to the commands given in scripture to care for the poor, orphans, widows, and the needy (as all commands), but God’s people have always been at the forefront of ministering to the needy with the Gospel and compassionate care.

“And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.  And the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:10- 11, nasb).

Why are we not more friendly and kind to others?

I am most likely coming to the end years of my life. I am 71-years-old and probably do not have too many more years. I was supposed to die nineteen years ago with cancer as the doctors only gave me three months to live.

I was waiting at the pharmacy for a prescription. An older lady seemed quite distressed with problems and about losing some prescriptions. As she was leaving, I simply said, “I am sorry you are having such difficulty. Is there anything I can do to help?”

She immediately started to talk about how she lost her purse, how her medicines were not working, her diabetes count was up, and so on. She followed me as I went through the line and stayed with me until I got my prescription. When I was leaving she said, “Thank you for talking to me and cheering me up. I appreciate it very much!”

Our brief conversation probably irritated the other people in line, as the lady was quite loud. But so what! She was blessed in the Name of Christ for a few moments and I trust God will use this brief kindness in her life to manifest His glory.

So, don’t be like what my grandkids call a “grumpy gut”. Smile. Say Hello. Be friendly. As Christ has changed our life and given us a new life in Him, does the world see this change? Are we just as grumpy, rude, and miserable as the world, or do we have the joy of Christ evident in our life?

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12, nasb).

 

Who Is Waiting For You?

Recently, Margaret and I took him with us to visit a dear friend in an assisted living home. As we entered, she was sitting facing the door and said, “Oh, wonderful! I was waiting for someone to visit me.” As she has gotten older, friends and family have dropped off and she, as so many other “older folk” has few visitors.

Loren, a Christian friend of ours in his 80’s, heard of a grumpy man in his 70’s who said he had no friends any longer and complained of not being able to mow his lawn. So Loren, even in his old age, visited him and even mowed his lawn.

Dad Jespersen had friends that visit, especially to study the Bible on a regular basis. Dad lived with us so is not lonely, but there are many elderly and others who have no friends and no visitors. Perhaps they are waiting for you!

The Word of God says, “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, esv).