What Does Jesus Think?

November 25, 2011

Black Friday in the good old US of A. Who is the marketeer that originated this, or was this in the deepest, darkest parts of a place where nothing good ever comes out of? Don't get me wrong, I am not going to type about the evils of gift giving and "Satan Claus" or anything like that. I am just trying to get a perspective.

I sat at the Thanksgiving table yesterday in a restaurant (if that is even allowable) and overheard a conversation of a person who said she had to run to sundry different places just to get a local newspaper because they were being bought in multiples by people who wanted the coupons in the advertisements.

Later that evening, I went over to my niece's house to visit her and her family and my brother and the rest of his local family. There they were sitting around the dining room table going through the ads and coupons to find their "Black Friday" deals. Maybe I am not too up to date with the whole thing, and the fact that I have to work the day after the holiday impedes me from being a partaker, but even if I wasn't working I doubt I would be part of the scene. I am usually a last two weeks, even last two hours type of shopper. I really do want to change that somewhat this year.

The reason for the title here, though, is the fact that people can't wait to run out and line up outside of stores and malls, even in the worst weather sometimes to try to get the deal that is almost nonexistent. The "42 inch television for $299" or the 2 for one whatever that the merchandisers use to lure people into the stores. Even with fine print showing that there are only five available or certain sizes only or whatever, people will still try to get the bargain.

My inspiration today was a news article at a local mall where there were reports of women getting into shoving matches and fist fights over a special on yoga pants at Victoria's Secret. Really? Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of just that. Thanking God for his faithfulness, guidance, protection and provision throughout the year. For many it is a time for the family to get together to stop their busy lives and appreciate each other.

Do we really need to now make the focus on just shopping? There will be lots of that for us over the next few weeks. Let's take some time to consider each other and not impulse buying that is being so heavily promoted by the merchandising community. They'll make their money, we'll get our gifts and soon enough, it will all be over.

Just remember, Jesus is the reason for the season, and we should remember to have fun and be patient. Trust Him to help you to help others while we are out there and remember, the deal you may have lost out on today will be back. It was just a "come on" by the advertisers and not worth the fights.

Be blessed and let God guide you throughout your buying season. Now I have to go out to the mall...;)

What Will Your Legacy Be?

November 14, 2011

I hail from Pittsburgh PA in the USA. There has been quite a fury and spotlight from a little town built around a little town about three hours east of here. State College is the home of the Pennsylvania State University, which has been widely in the news because of a salacious and disgusting scandal involving a former assistant Football coach who was as well the director of a program for children entitled Second Mile. The man in question was at one time speculated to be the successor to Joe Paterno, the greatly successful and legendary coach of the Penn State football team. This could have been one of the greatest honours he could have attained in that field. Unfortunately for him and many others involved he let an obsession control him and has caused him great trouble. He has affected many families and young people by allegedly doing things which I will not even mention or discuss in this writing which can be read by anyone who happens upon it. His name (which I will not mention due to the legal implications hanging over him) will be known in a very negative light from hence. Mr. Paterno, who is well known and highly respected by his followers and supporters, now has some answering for things that he had little interaction with but when confronted one time did virtually nothing. He may have not known or understood the severity of it, or maybe he did and didn't want to have a scandal involving the university for which he worked. These things are for others to consider.

Today I am interested in legacy. What will Joe's legacy be? I hope he can recover from bad publicity and possibly one great action not being taken with enough influence and judgment. After all, “the Captain goes down with the ship”. He was the most influential man in his town and at the university.

For the accused, I hope that he can find forgiveness in his family and ask God for forgiveness and healing and deliverance because the legacy he will leave on Earth will be one of such that if anyone would be reminded of him would be as negative as one could get. I shan't elaborate due to the nature of his crimes and the devastation of the lives of his victims and their families.

I just got through perusing a biography of Roy Orbison. He is considered by many as a legend in the entertainment field and pop culture covering generations from the 1940's through 1988. His accomplishments were greater than the tragedies and shortcomings in his life and he could always find a way to recover. It was stated in one account, “As the psychedelic rock movement took hold in the late 1960s, Orbison felt lost, later saying '[I] didn't hear a lot I could relate to so I kind of stood there like a tree where the winds blow and the seasons change, and you're still there and you bloom again.'" He went on to even greater things in the years to come. His legacy is multifaceted and is still being celebrated in the industry.

The Holy Bible ­— The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 26. A man named Paul, a Jewish born Roman citizen brought before the court on false charges but eventually lost his life to the corrupt and godless Roman government. You can actually get a more detailed understanding of his situation by starting your reading with chapter 22; or just start reading the beginning of the book of the Acts to get a greater perspective. His legacy was one of a man who persecuted the Church that Jesus Christ had established. He tortured, beat, imprisoned and antogonized Christians until he became one, after which he was the most zealous person to see the world changed for the sake of Christ's gospel. He was entrusted by God to write most of the New Testament documents because he didn't write because he was a writer, but an instrument in the hand of God. His legacy was that he gave “all he had and all he was” for the cause of Christ. Your legacy will be what you make of it, but in light of eternity, only what is done for Christ will last.

God can make or change a legacy. What will your legacy be?