Who am I?


Now what?

A man who has worked for the same company for 25 years suddenly finds himself out the door, due to downsizing. His self-identity has been tied up in his profession. Starting over at his age is a daunting prospect.

Long before he thought it would happen, a professional athlete’s record-setting career ends abruptly with a debilitating injury. Now that his glory days are over, the very thought of being a “has-been” is unbearable.

A woman whose chief role in life has been nurturing children must now adjust to the empty nest. What is she to do with herself now?

How will we respond?

If we haven’t already experienced it, likely we will. Being forced out of a role that has given us a strong sense of self-worth and identity can be emotionally devastating.

Our comfortable, familiar world has suddenly lost its reference points, and we are adrift.

A healthier perspective

Child-rearing is vital. Careers are necessary. But usually we fill these roles for a few decades at most. Then what?

What we need, both during and after our cherished roles, is an over-arching and undergirding sense of true meaning and purpose transcending and energizing all aspects of our lives—right down to the very last breath.

In Christ we have it, and only in Him!

“I came,” He said, “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

When Christ is at the very center of our lives, then everything else falls into place. We do not derive our identity from a role, but from our relationship with Him.

That’s what gives us the ability to adapt, adjust, and even thrive regardless of life’s changes.

If this sounds unattainable, let’s consider this: Many who have tried Christ’s way can testify from personal experience that before they knew Him, they didn’t really know how to live.

But now they do.

And so can we.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Deadline Living

How long?

Sometimes patients hear, “I’m sorry, but you have only a few months to live, at most. I suggest you get your affairs in order.”


One day Isaiah brought King Hezekiah this message: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live’” (2 Kings 20:1).

Hezekiah was only about 39.

He prayed. He wept.

God granted him 15 more years.

How well?

Ironically,  most of the good we know about Hezekiah belonged to his first 39 years, while all the bad we know about him occurred in those final 15! (2 Kings 20:12-19; 2 Chronicles 32:24-33).

As someone said, “It’s not how long we live that matters, but how well.”

If you knew your time was running out, what changes would you make?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions

What are we here for?

Does life have meaning? Does it have purpose? If so, what is it? And how does that affect the way we spend our days?

Is the Bible what it claims to be—the inspired, authoritative word of God? (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

If so, how will we conduct our lives?

But if the Bible is only a human document, then where do we turn for guidance?

What will we choose?

These are questions we cannot ignore. We must decide.

If we focus on this life only, we will live one way.

If we make our choices with eternity in view, we will live an entirely different way.

So does it really matter what we believe?

And does it matter whether what we believe is true?


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The Hourglass


This life

Although we no longer use the hourglass to measure time, it illustrates our brief life on this earth.

The lower chamber represents the days we’ve lived, the top chamber our future, and the narrow neck the present.

To make the analogy true to life, the upper chamber remains covered—we cannot tell how much time we have left.

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).

Eternal life

If we are wise, we prepare for that eventuality by regulating our lives by Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 7:24-27).

We can then “depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better . . .” (Philippians 1:23).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Understanding at Last!

The litter I picked up was from a college math class. Both sides were practically covered with calculations, figures, equations, etc.

It was algebra—I think. Just because it didn’t make sense to me doesn’t mean it didn’t make sense.

At first, he couldn’t make sense of it.

Psalm 73 is a personal account of a man who was deeply troubled by life’s unfairness. “. . . my feet came close to stumbling . . . . I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

His initial conclusion: “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure . . . for I have been chastened every morning.”


But then he got it!

After realizing that God will destroy the wicked but bring the righteous to glory, his final conclusion was: “Surely God is good . . . to those who are pure in heart!” (vv, 2-3, 13-14, 1).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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When Blessings Become Burdens

While riding the trails at a state park, my bike fenders became so clogged with mud and leaves I could barely go.

Carrying the bike on my shoulders soon wore me out, so I started dragging it on the ground. A stroll through the woods would have been much more pleasant.

Life can be a lot like that!

What was supposed to be a help became a hindrance. Possessions can do that.

“. . . not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15b).


The Source for life as it was meant to be

Jesus provides what mere things cannot: true meaning for this life, with something far better to look forward to on the other side (Matthew 6:19-21).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Thoughts from a Railroad Crossing


Years ago I was waiting at a railroad crossing on Wellington Street in Greenville. How long the train was I couldn’t tell, but it would go east for a while, then west. Back and forth. Back and forth. Over and over. Over and over.

Finally three Kansas City Southern locomotives came into view. They were pushing the train, and it looked like my wait was about to end.

Nope. They stopped, then back and forth some more. I strongly suspect a switchman somewhere was making up a train. I could have turned around anytime I wanted but decided to stay awhile and observe. (It’s a good thing I did, because it provided the thoughts for this post!)

From where I sat all I could see were a few cars at a time. If I could have had a bird’s-eye view of the entire string of cars, it would be clearer as to what exactly was going on. Lacking that, I could only trust that whoever was in charge of all this to-and-fro business must know what he was doing.

In a similar way, we can see only a small segment of reality. Our perspective on life is extremely limited. Often life doesn’t seem to make sense. But if we could just see the Big Picture . . . .

Help for our limited perspective

One benefit of Bible study is the broad view of life it provides us. From the Scriptures we learn that something big is indeed going on, not only all around us but also behind the scenes.

The Bible does not answer all our questions nor explain every mystery. But it does furnish enough light so that we can see that life is not meaningless and it is definitely going somewhere.

Even the painful reverses of life are part of the process. The long enforced waits have their place too in the Grand Scheme of things. They teach us patience. They teach us trust.

The Source for all we lack

God is in control and He has a plan and it is good! We can be part of His plan anytime we are ready to cooperate with His will.

On one of the freight cars that passed back and forth that afternoon, someone had written, “Trust Jesus.”

Yes, let’s trust Jesus—enough to obey Him (Matthew 7:24-27; Hebrews 5:8-9).

Trusting Him equips us daily to deal with whatever may come down the track.


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