Anchorage International Airport

TSA’ – Tell Someone About … i.e. … If You See Something Say Something. This message is prominently posted throughout today’s airports and transportation terminals . . . a gloomy but necessary warning reflecting the state of the tenuous world we live in.

Long before 9/11’s tragedy and the TSA’s formation it initiated, If You See Something Say Something existed. In ‘Days of Yore’, just like now, we’d ‘TSA’ about:

• Our children – first step, tooth, athletic skills, academic awards, graduation, family, etc.
• Ourselves – jobs, accomplishments, family, vacations, etc.
• Sports & Automobiles – albeit, fewer teams and fewer models fueled the passion.
And we’d do it all via ‘old fashioned’ technology . . . face-to-face vs. Facetime . . . snail-mail vs. e-mail . . . telegram vs. Instagram . . . phoning vs. texting. Hold on now . . . I’m not just another ‘ole duffer’ dissing technology (well I am an ‘ole duffer’). Tech has undeniably contributed much to benefit our world. However, somewhere along the way we’ve become a depersonalized society necessitating If You See Something Say Something signage.

Some of the topics we ‘TSA’ about today have since adopted a much more confrontational venue:

• Politics – the decision is no longer which candidates are the best among several favorable choices, rather which are the ‘best’ among a bickering field of less than ideal choices.
• Situation ethics and individual rights now influence decisions and legislation more than the common good standards of basic morality.
• National division is prevailing over the unity patriotism promotes.

There’s another ‘TSA’ message that has existed for 2,000 years which has sadly diminished significantly. It’s not directly about our children, ourselves, politics, sports and automobiles, basic morality or patriotism . . . but its message is the most important. This anonymous poem poignantly expresses it:

“My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On earth I walked with you by day,
And never did you show the way.
You knew the Savior in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim,
You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together here on earth,
You never told me of the second birth.
And now I stand before eternal Hell,
Because of Heaven’s glory you did not tell.”

Christians, myself included, in deference to ‘offending’ someone, are often hesitant to Tell Someone About Jesus, the Savior and Creator of it all . . . and in doing so we commit the greatest of all offenses.

QTC – Confrontation

battling denali dall sheep rams

Dall Sheep Rams – Denali National Park, Alaska

QTC – Quote . . . Thought . . . Contemplation

Jesus – These things I command you, that you love one another – John 15:17
Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.

John Ortberg from Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them – Telling people what they want to hear is not love. When people are engaged in destructive, soul- threatening, behavior, they need a mirror. They need someone who will tell them the truth. Nathan loved David so much that he was willing to risk his life to be a Truth-Teller. Ironically, we often chicken out of speaking the truth for infinitely lower stakes.

We all need a Nathan in our lives. We can’t handle the enemy on our own. Who is the Nathan in your life?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer – (4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church. His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship has been described as a modern classic. Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews.He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.

Happy 2019 ???

Happy New Year???

Remember giving and receiving that greeting 366 days ago? I do, and am grateful I’m still here fogging a mirror to wish you a Happy 2019 as I enter my 76th year on the planet . . . I know, I’m old!

But, (I’ve learned to dislike that 3-letter word) let’s take an honest look in the rearview mirror . . . how truly ‘Happy’ was your 2018?

Some basic 365 day Life Math will give us the answer. Place each of 2018’s 365 days into one of four categories . . . Happy . . . So-So . . . Bummer . . . Bad.

Let’s start with my favorite (and yours too I bet) . . . ‘Happy’. Perhaps it was a birth, a marriage, a financial windfall, an ailment cured. No question, those days belong in the ‘Happy’ column.

Then there’s those “Can’t complain” days. Put em’ in the ‘So-So’ column.

Do we really have to tally the last two categories? . . . Yep, no cheating allowed.

Remember the day someone unfairly dissed you? . . . You got the flu? . . . You spent 3 hours in a traffic jam? . . . You forgot your wedding anniversary? Place them in the ‘Bummer’ column (although the latter might qualify for the Bad category.)

Onto the least favorite most of us would like to plumb forget . . . The death of a loved one . . . The divorce . . . the ‘sure thing’ investment that headed south-of-the-border and kept going all the way to Antarctica . . . the dreaded diagnosis, “You’ve got cancer.” Each a ‘Bad’ column entry we wish we could erase.

OK, time to tally up the columns . . . how truly ‘Happy’ was your 2018?

Like me, I suspect they’re aren’t 365 days in your ‘Happy’ column, and some of you may have gone through 2018 with a lot more ‘Bummer’/’Bad’ days than ‘Happy’/’So-So’ ones.
So what’s to be done? . . . wish each other a 2019 ‘Happy’ 10 months, 15 weeks, 10 days . . . or just, “Hang in there” with a few futile “It’ll get better” platitudes thrown in?

The problem is we’re using 365 day Life Math to calculate the ‘Happy’ quotient, not Salvation’s Eternity Math where there is “…no more death … sorrow…crying…pain… and God will wipe away every tear away . . . for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

I want to share with you my 2019 New Year Resolution . . . it’s my heart’s prayer that before locking in your 2019 resolutions you’ll have an one-on-one conversation with your heart and honestly contemplate two things that are for certain:

1. Whether it will be in 2019 or later, none of us will get out of this life alive . . . that’s 365 day Life Math.

2. His Revelation 21:4 promise calculates for everyone . . . the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’ (me) who have genuinely accepted and believe in Him . . . that’s Salvation’s Eternity Math.

Which Math have you chosen? Failure to choose is failure to live . . . forever.

May 2019 be filled with His very best ‘Happy’ days for you and yours . . . the best is yet to come!