We Have Forgotten

I named this site, "Common Sense Christian", not because I felt that I possessed anything unusual in the common sense department, rather; I gave it this name because I am convinced that Christian living is common sense. This particular piece addresses a rather difficult topic, but one that I am convinced needs more than just a few second's consideration. So, here are some rather disturbing statistics. Use the common sense that God has given you to arrive at your own conclusions as to what these numbers mean.

2,976 - the number of innocent victims on 9-11-2001 (19 hours)

2,402 - the number of innocent victims at Pearl Harbor (15.5 hours)

6,069 - the number of U.S. deaths in the war on terror through 6/6/11 (39 hours)

25,000 - the approximate number of U.S. deaths in the Revolutionary War (7 days)

36,914 - the number of U.S. deaths in the Korean War (10 days)

58,169 - the number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam War (16 days)

116,708 - the number of U.S. deaths in WW I (31 days)

407,316 - the number of deaths in WW II (109 days)

623,026 - the number of U.S. deaths in the Civil War (166 days)

1,343,812 - the approximate number of total U.S. deaths in all wars (358 days)

War, as someone so aptly put it years ago, is Hell.

But, what are the hours and days in parentheses beside each death total?

They are the estimated times it has taken Americans to kill a like number of babies through abortion.

At the average of the 3,750 abortions that Americans have committed each day since we legalized this hellish act, it would take just 358 days to match the total number of U.S. deaths in all wars since the time of the Revolution. Not even a year...

If you know someone who has had an abortion, they need to know that it can be forgiven - but they do need to repent because... if war is Hell, then what is this?

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV

 

We Are Not Alone

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. Benjamin Franklin, age 81,  addressing the Constitutional Convention on June, 28, 1787

One of the most pleasant realities of this life is that we are not alone. Too many people struggle through life with burdens that God never intended for them to carry on their own. Because of this, many people get discouraged, depressed and just plain worn out. Fortunately, there is a cure: Wake up!

At the Constitutional convention mentioned above, the attendees were deadlocked. They simply could not agree on a constitution with points acceptable to all men present. They were discouraged and worn out and ready to just forget about it and go home. That was the moment that Franklin got up and reminded them of the beginning of a struggle some 11 years prior. He further reminded them of the difficulties of the task of that day and how the men involved didn't make any decision without first beseeching the Lord for His guidance and blessing. We all know the outcome of both of these events.

So, what burdens are you struggling with in your day-to-day life that wouldn't be eased by asking God for His help? If we have been trying to do everything on our own, maybe it is time to wake up and request the assistance of the only One who truly knows what is needed to make our lives what they should be.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

 

Use Your Time Well

The length of our days is seventy years, eighty, if we have the strength.

Moses

 

One of the most sobering thoughts is how brief this life is. It hasn't always seemed that way though. In fact when I was just a boy time seemed to go awfully slow. This was especially true when waiting for summer to rescue me from school, not to mention that seemingly endless stretch of time between Thanksgiving and the arrival of Santa.

 

But the older I get, the faster time seems to go. What, for example, has happened to our three babies? It was only a few weeks ago that my wife and I walked them to their first day of Kindergarten. Now, one is married with a sweet wife and son, one runs her own business, and our last "baby" is set to graduate from college in a mere 4 months.

 

And... somewhere along the line... I turned 54! How this happened, I'll never know, especially since my wife of thirty-two years is only 29.

 

This is when we can appreciate the beauty of God's wondrous plan: We were not created just to live for a few brief years on this planet before fizzling out like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July. Instead, we were created for an eternity of years! This means that the older and more worn out our physical bodies become, the closer we are to taking hold of the eternal youth that God has reserved for those who have been born again.

 

Just think of the enormity of God's promise to Christians: We are going to live forever! But think of the enormity of the warning to those who are not Christians or who are not faithful: They will be separated from God forever. God, who does not lie, has promised these two eternities. Since this is true, we better start using our time well. Are you... using your time well?

 

"I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

Thomas asked Him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:2-6, NIV

 

Unsung Heroes

True heroism is... very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost. 

   Arthur Ashe

Yesterday, the sky was filled with smoke. I am looking out at a blue sky this morning because of two remarkable things that happened last night. The first, and most important, is that God answered our prayers. The second reason for being able to look at a blue sky this morning is because of heroes. Not the kind of heroes that you read about in books or see on t.v., but real heroes. Unsung heroes. Our heroes.

For a good part of yesterday afternoon and late into the evening, our unsung heroes fought a large fire just west of our town. The fire was fed by a combination of tall grass, a six month drought, and high winds that swirled and changed direction every few minutes. These men and women came from all over the panhandle of Texas - some paid, some not. They came to rescue their neighbors, their neighbor's homes, their neighbor's livestock and, to a very real extent, their neighbor's way of life.

They breathed in smoke for hours - first in the heat from the flames, and later in the cold of the evening and from their damp clothes. Now many will be sick for weeks because of what they put their bodies through, but they will answer the next call all the same, not because they have any desire to be recognized as heroes, but because they have that urge to serve others. Today when we thank them, and we will thank them, they will pass it off as nothing. But, it isn't "nothing". - it's the stuff that real heroes are made of.

They have, in a small way, what Christ had for each one of us. He spent His life in service to a people who were often unmindful and sometimes ungrateful, but He served all the same. Then, He was arrested and spat upon and beaten and put to death in an almost unspeakable manner for having performed that service. He didn't do all of that to be recognized as a hero, He did it because of an urge to serve others, and to save others, regardless of the cost. That urge is strange to many, but it has a name: It is love. I think that our heroes understand that noble urge to serve just a little bit more today... and we thank them with all of our hearts!

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 

   John 15:13, NIV  

 

 

Turning Down the Volume

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid.

Mark Twain

Have you ever noticed how loud our politicians are? I think they must believe that the louder they say something, the truer it must be. Or maybe they just believe that's what the voters believe - so they are very, very loud.

It's the same way in my chosen profession. Many preachers seem to think that they must yell whenever they have an important point to make, but experience has proved something else to me. I have noticed that the best way to make an important point is to lower the volume a notch or two. This does two things: First, it allows those who wish to sleep to continue to sleep. Second, and more important, speaking in softer tones causes those who wish to listen to lean forward and perk up their ears (as opposed to backing up and covering them).

So, the next time you hear someone yelling, be it politician or preacher, ask yourself this question: What is so wrong with their message that they feel they must shove it down your throats with volume? The fact is that those who seek the truth will find it, even when it's whispered. Further, those who are perceptive will know better than to believe the lie, even if it is broadcast at high volumes over loudspeakers.

The quiet words of the wise are to be heeded more than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Solomon

Ecclesiastes 9:17, NIV