Why Did God Make Lightning?

While riding in our van earlier this evening, we encountered a fairly intense thunderstorm. The lightning was flashing all around us and the rain was coming down fairly hard. Each of the children started asking questions, such as “Can lightning strike us while we are driving in our car?” “If you are wearing rubber soled shoes can lightning strike you?” Then Hannah asked a very profound question, “Why did God make lightning?” Being the scientific genius that I am, I replied, “I don’t know.” As I drove down the road, my mind went back to my ninth grade Earth Science class. I realized that was 24 years ago and I couldn’t remember a whole lot about lightning. It is just something that I take for granted. I’ve seen the damage it can cause, and I’ve heard the horror stories of people being struck by it, so I know enough about it not to mess around during a storm. After a few moments, Hannah again spoke up. She said, “I prayed.” I knew what she meant. She had prayed for our safety first of all, but she had also prayed that it would stop which was evident on her little six year old face. We pulled into our neighborhood about ten minutes later and she excitedly exclaimed, “It stopped!” “How about that,” I replied, “you prayed that it would stop and it did.” She turned around to her sisters and again exclaimed, “I prayed that the rain would stop and it did!” Now, there may be some farmer that was praying for a bigger rain for his crops, but I’m glad the Lord heard the prayer of a little six year old girl. You may think, “Yeah, but it was probably going to stop any way.” Maybe so, but that is the way God works in our prayers. We’re never really sure what He is going to do. And on this night, the rain stopped.

Oh yeah, I got home and looked up lightning on Wikipedia. I realized that I’m not the only one that doesn’t understand lightning. Scientist are just now starting to discern what it is and why it strikes. I like to think of it as a relief of pressure as cold air and hot air collide. Something has to give, so BOOOOM!

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Podcasting Our Sermons

I spent a while this afternoon updating our church website to include podcasting. Getting started with podcasting is easy. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection and a media player such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, or others (you do not have to have an iPod to listen to a Podcast).

 

Here are two easy options for listening to our podcasts:

iTunes is a free download for both Windows and MAC users and does NOT require an iPod.

 

 

 

 

Can I Pray the Lord’s Prayer?

I have a fifteen minute radio program that is broadcast at 10:45 AM and 6:00 PM daily. I have been working my way through the pattern of prayer that Jesus gives us in “the Lord’s Prayer.” I believe most of us realize that this isn’t a prayer that we are to just repeat, but that it is a pattern for the way we should pray. This morning on the broadcast I read the words of an unknown author. See if they apply to your prayer.

  • I cannot say “our” if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment.
  • I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child.
  • I cannot say “who art in heaven” if I am laying up no treasure there.
  • I cannot say “hallowed be Thy name” if I am not striving for holiness.
  • I cannot say “Thy kingdom come” if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day.
  • I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I am disobedient to His Word.
  • I cannot say “on earth as it is in heaven” if I will not serve Him here and now.
  • I cannot say “give us . . . our daily bread” if I am dishonest or an “under-the-counter” shopper.
  • I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against anyone.
  • I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path.
  • I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I do not put on the whole armor of God.
  • I cannot say “Thine is the kingdom” if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject.
  • I cannot attribute to Him “the power” if I fear what men may do.
  • I cannot ascribe to Him “the glory” if I am seeking honor only for myself.
  • I cannot say “forever” if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by the things of time.

This prayer goes much deeper than most of us ever consider. By meditating on each of the phrases in the prayer and the statements above we realize that this prayer is ALL about God. I know these thoughts were challenging to me. Hopefully they will challenge others.

The candles wouldn’t blow out

abby.jpgWe celebrated Abigail’s ninth birthday on Sunday night, the night before her actual birthday. Joanna fixed a delicious Oreo cake (it was out of a box, but it was delicious). Abby was really excited. She had already gotten a scooter from Grandpa and Grandma Jeffers and Mimi and Bopbop gave her Heely’s (skate shoes), then she got to open a bunch of presents (mostly clothes) from our family. When Joanna brought the cake in with nine candles glowing, we all sang Happy Birthday. Abby started huffing and puffing and couldn’t get the candles to go out. Hannah even went over and helped. They were blowing and spitting all over the cake. It was quite humorous. Finally, Joanna had to pull out the candles and drop them in a cup of water. She almost caught the paper cup on fire. It was all in good fun and we all had a good laugh. Abby is now nine years old and fairly set on what she wants to be when she grows up. She told me a few months ago that she wants to be an evangelist. Maybe she ought to listen to my sermon from a couple of weeks ago. What she means is that she wants to travel with an evangelistic team like the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Association. She wants to sing and play her flute or the piano. She wants to teach the children. That would be wonderful if she has an opportunity to lead little boys and girls to Christ some day. She is already inviting her neighbors and friends to our VBS this week.

Moving my blog…

uhaul.jpgMoving is a tough job. Joanna and I have moved several times. Before we were married, we moved everything into my Grandmother’s basement (move #1). We then were married and moved everything into our little one bedroom apartment in Greenville, SC (move #2). The next year we moved everything back to my Grandmother’s basement while we were looking for a place (move #3). We then moved into our farm house in Clemson, SC (move #4) where we stayed for almost a year before we moved everything back into my Grandmother’s basement (move #5). We were married for less than two years and had moved five times. We then moved to Rock Hill, SC, to a basement apartment in my Mom’s first cousin’s house (move #6). After three years in that apartment, we finally owned our own house (move #7). We were in the house for just a little over a year before God led us away from Rock Hill. We moved everything back into my Grandmother’s basement (move #8). After about five months, the Lord led us to Muncie, Indiana, where we moved into an apartment with Dr. and Mrs. Dersch (move #9). After a few months the church provided for us a house on church property (move #10). We were in Muncie for four years before the Lord led us here to Wilson (move #11). Moving is tough.

Well, here we go again. This time I’m only moving my blog from typepad to wordpress. I subcsribed to typepad to get my feet wet in the blogosphere. The subscription comes with a price tag. I have since opened up a free account at wordpress. I’ll keep the blog up on typepad for another week or so, before I cancel. My new weblog can be found here pastorjd.wordpress.com. Come on over and visit us in our new home.

My how time flies!

Caleb celebrated his fourteenth birthday on June 18th. Last week he informed his sisters that he had four more years with us and then he would be going to college. Joanna was watching the World Cup Celebration last Sunday afternoon when I looked back at her and saw her crying. “What’s wrong?” I asked. I knew she didn’t care who won the match. She sobbed, “The next time they play the World Cup, Caleb will be getting ready to go to college.” Wow! Time does fly. The book of James tells us that our life is a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Like a warm breath on a cold day, our lives appear and then “poof,” they’re gone. Abby is turning nine on Monday. That means she has been with us half of the time of her life before college. Now, I feel like crying. That is why it is so important to seize the day.

We tried to seize a little bit of the day today by going to Raleigh as a family for lunch. heelys.jpgAfter making a hospital visit this morning, studying, and delivering my radio broadcast, we left for Raleigh around noon. We went to Crabtree Valley Mall and had lunch at Panera Bread (yummy!). We then went searching for Abby’s birthday present from Mimi and Bopbop (my parents). Abby found exactly what she wanted – Heely’s (skate shoes). She put them on before leaving the store and has been practicing all afternoon. We then went nike.giflooking for Caleb some new soccer cleats. We finally ended up in Smithfield at the Nike Outlet where we bought some new cleats and five new basketballs for the church vbs next week. Our theme is Mega Sports Camp. Children will choose from three different camps: basketball, soccer, and cheerleading. Joanna also bought a couple of outfits for her P.E. classes this year. She is excited about teaching part time now that Hannah is in school. I can’t believe that Hannah is going all day now. Our lives are a vapor.

Old Friends…

I heard from one of my best friends from high school earlier today. I had found him by searching for his name through Google. With just a little information you can find just about anyone. If you are having problems finding someone, don’t pay one of those expensive internet search agencies. Contact me first. I’ll do it for a lot less money. On second thought, I don’t have the time. All you have to do is enter relevant information into Google’s search and chances are you just might find your friend. Anyway, I haven’t heard from Andy in about twenty years. Wow! I emailed him a coded message a few months back. He saw it and thought that it was a joke, but while cleaning out his email folder today he realized that the message could have come from only one person. I’m sure he got a good laugh out of it. I would love to see my old friends and see how much THEY have changed.

I uploaded my pictures to Flickr today.