Saturday, November 27, 2021

 The Day Will Come


It is inevitable…the day will come.

The day will come when I will slip on the ice and crack my head on the hard frozen ground, at which point everyone will gasp in astonishment and be concerned for my well being…except my wife…she will double in laughter. 

The day will come when my first child, who was just under 8 lbs and 21.5” inches long, will graduate from high school and head off to college…leaving me as an emotional wreck to secretly weep alone in the bathroom.

The day will come when some arrogant college boy, will lay his dirty little eyes on her beauty and ask her out on a date…at which time I will come out of my weeping stupor and threaten his very life with a spanking spoon used to making “roni and cheese.”

The day will come when he will ask for her hand in marriage…at which time I will pretend my hearing aid batteries are dead.

The day will come when I will escort this former bubble blowing princess down an aisle wearing a white dress that is more expensive than my first automobile, and yet cannot hold a candle to her beauty let alone her value.

The day will come when I will become a grandfather to a little 8lb, 21.5” newborn, at which time I will confront this former college boy and now non blood relative…“How dare you?” My heart will then soften once again when I make eye contact with this new life in my arms.

The day will come.  That is unless I am first hit by a bus.

The day will come when my son gets his driver’s license and my automobile insurance increases exponentially. Oh wait! That day took place a few weeks ago.

The day will come…when I get old….Oh wait!...Never mind.

There are days that lay in wait for us…days that are in the distant or not so distant future.  These days will be significant life changing days.  When they arrive, our lives will never be the same…our lives will be changed forever.  I have experienced many of these inevitable days in my life…days like my wedding day or the day when my first child was born…or like the day when my second…third…and fourth children were born. These are days of change.  These are days of anticipation.

There is a day…a single day…that changed everything.  It is the day that God came in the flesh…the day that Jesus was born. It was a day that had been promised thousands of years before. Then…at just the right time…Jesus was born…Jesus came…and offered us EVERYTHING!

Peter reminds us of this in 2 Peter 3:1 and Paul points to it in Galatians 4:1-7.  This event was the major event in human history.  This event was promised thousands of years before.  It had been anticipated for generations. The day came.  It really happened.  Let’s always remember…Jesus really came!


Saturday, November 13, 2021


“On your marks,” My dad shouted over the 2 cycle engines whining in front of him.

“Set,” he continued, holding a makeshift flag, a white handkerchief with black permanent marker creating a checkered pattern, sitting on the end of an oak dowel.

I leaned in to the handlebars of my red Honda 50cc dirt bike; the #13 donned the front placard as well as the one to my side behind my left calf.  I didn’t mind the number, in fact I requested it…I didn’t need luck on my side…I was better than my opponent.  He knew it…I knew it…and he was about to taste it.  My right hand revved the throttle ready for the flag to drop.


I dumped the clutch with my left hand and my rear wheel spun violently, digging a hole behind me as my back tire sank nearly to the axle…apparently too much throttle.  My older brother, riding an identical bike, brandished with the #6, eased off his clutch and puttered away.  The race had begun, and I had yet to go anywhere productive. The race was a mere three laps and I was going to be hard pressed to make up the gap that was continuing to expand as I sat there idle.  I eased off the gas…climbed out of my hole…and took off. 

The course began with a long straight, followed by a hard left and an easy right as the surface inclined.  At the top of the incline, another left took you back down a steeper slope to a hairpin curve to lead you right back up.  Once on top, the home stretch was a short straight that led to the sharpest left of the course and back into lap number two. 

Not every 7 year old is blessed with the coolest dad in the world, who not only buys dirt bikes for his sons, but also has the foresight to create a race track in the back yard using an ancient disk and a drag pulled by an old Alice Chalmers B.

I had run this track hundreds of times.  I knew it well.  I also knew that despite the lead, I would pass my older brother, and pass him I did.  Just as I was finishing lap number two I was right on his rear wheel.  I slid wide to the right as we approached the sharp left hand turn into the long straight.  I cut hard and gunned the throttle, and shot past him to the inside like a stone from my slingshot.  I was immediately filled with a genuine aura of satisfaction that filled my gullet and tingled the hairs on the back of my neck.  One lap to go and I was creating a dominant lead.  I went up the first incline and was on my way back down when I looked over my shoulder to see where my loser of an older brother was. “Eeek,” I thought…he was closer than I had expected.  I looked a second time just as I was hitting the bottom of the hill.  However, as I looked back, my front tire slammed into a rut and I flipped the bike rear over front.  The bike was ok…I broke its fall. 

My older brother slowed down as he approached the bottom of the hill so as not to run me over.  Was he being nice…or was he gloating? Then he puttered away back up the hill.  Gloating…definitely gloating.  I hopped back on #13, kicked the starter, nailed the throttle and took off, throwing dirt, mud, and sod behind me.  I could still win! I could still win!

I never let off of the throttle! I was gaining on him fast! I was going to do it! And then…I didn’t.  He crossed the finish line about 6 feet before I did.

“Well, I guess you shouldn’t look back huh Ryan!” my dad laughed. 

I gritted my teeth…and cried…“So much for the coolest dad in the world,” I thought.

It is so hard to go through life and keep your focus.  The simple distractions that we face daily are innumerable. We face mountains of tasks, deadlines, family responsibilities, parenting, spousing the list is endless.  Life is hard enough as it is…but then you add in the daunting challenges of sin.  The Bible is clear in its teaching about sin.  Paul writes in Romans 3, that there is NO ONE righteous. Jesus challenges men in John 8, to be free to “cast the first stone,” if you happen to be without sin…there is no one left to cast a stone.  We all sin.  We all have sin in our lives, and we all sin more than we think we do. 

In Matthew 5-7, Jesus raises the bar to righteous living.  He makes what was already impossible…even more impossible…if that is even possible.  He shows us that we cannot do it.  We cannot live the righteous life…on our own.  We need help.  We need Him.  That is how we conclude this message.  We need Jesus to do a work in us.  We need Jesus to change our hearts. 

But what is our role? What do we do?  If he does the work of changing our hearts…what is my responsibility? It is to repent.

We need to repent and get our eyes back on Jesus.

This is a message for all human kind.  The Sermon on the Mount…is a call to repentance.  May we repent and get our eyes back on Jesus.