Category Archives: Seriously

Bear with Me Please

There is something that every time I hear it, my heart groans. I believe when it is said, it is meant for good, but it still troubles me. What is it? 

When something happens for good and a person wants to give God the credit, he says it was a “God thing.” You might scratch your head and wonder how that could ever trouble me. Well, my God is holy and righteous. He is the Almighty God of the universe. If mankind were to see Him, we would die because of how holy God is. 

Yet, when people use the above expression, it brings God’s name down to something common. There is no reverence, awe, or respect. The Jews didn’t even say God’s name because it was so holy. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance expands on the word “vain” to include these words: emptiness, nothingness, and vanity emptiness of speech.  

May we give God proper respect and glory. He is worthy of our praise. “Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you” (Leviticus 22:32).

Posted in: Seriously

Which One Are You?

When you have a discussion with a Brother at church, what generally do you talk about? Is it the weather, sports, activities, or the things of the Lord? Is your conversation empty or edifying? “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).

Here Is a Warning

Warning labels began being applied to poison substances in the mid 1800’s and without doubt have saved many lives. Ingesting harmful substances can cause longterm health repercussions and even prove deadly. We knew a family whose son had his throat seriously burned by drinking out of a cup that appeared clean but once had lye in it. It was a rough road for him for a long time. 

My Brothers, none will argue that ingesting sewage is harmful, and there’s been no argument to my warning regarding moral sewage in previous Seriously articles. What your eyes, the windows to your soul, dine on have great impact on your soul and resulting spiritual walk. 

Don’t you wonder how many dads have a poor relationship with the Lord due to their optical “malnutrition.” They have never experienced a close “sweet” walk with the Savior. They haven’t hungered and feasted on His Word because their appetite is poisoned. Sadly, they don’t even know what they are missing. 

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:34-35).

“Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Sewage Faucet

Paul begins Colossians 3:1 with the phrase, “If ye then be risen with Christ” is another way of saying, if you are saved, because what was to follow wouldn’t apply to those who are hell-bound (John 3:36). Then he continues, “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). The lost care nothing for heaven, because they are consumed with the world. The world is their life and what they love. 

That is not to be the case for someone who has been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. His eternal home is not earth, but heaven, where our Lord Jesus is. 

John admonishes similarly in 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” We draw near to what we love because it has our thoughts and focus.

The networks can’t tell you how to think, but they tell you what to think about, because whatever they stream, you fill your mind with.    

A dad’s response following last weeks’ Seriously. 

“Yes!  Well said. I fully agree. If you recall, I work as a psychiatrist.  One of my most common non-pharmacologic prescriptions for people I treat is, “stop watching the news all day.”  It makes one depressed and anxious.  I usually tell them to set a limit of 10-20 minutes per day, then turn it off.  But really, never turning it on in the first place would be even better. Thank you for pointing out this truth from God’s Word!”

Savory Sewage

Living in Florida I remember being fascinated any time I heard about a sinkhole event occurring, sort of like a modern Korah, Dathan, and Abiram moment (Numbers 16). Likely that single event of Numbers would hold the all-time, world record for sinkhole devastation. 

There is a costly, modern day sinkhole of another sort that impacts many (most?) men today. Sadly, few recognize the longterm consequences. However, I’m confident there is a horrific “cost” to God’s kingdom due to all the hours it sucks out of men’s lives and the negative impact to their souls. What is it? It is the news, and man’s insatiable “need” to be informed about every illegal, disastrous, scandalous, juicy, gory, and immoral event that the networks can find to keep their ratings up. 

Do I hear cries of “Heresy!” “Outrageous” “Insanity!”? Please extend me a bit of grace. Consider what the result of mentally “ingesting” the list from above? What profit is there? Does it build you up in Christ? Does it enrich your life or foster love, joy, or peace? Do you have a far greater hunger to read God’s Word as a family than you do to listen to or read the news? How many families are starved for the Bread of Life, while Dad is feasting on the sewage of the world?

Since it is a shame to speak of the works of darkness, it is certainly not good to listen or read them. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12). 

My Brothers, Scripture tells us what we are to feed on. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). 

Playing With Fire

It was a hot day during summer vacation. My buddy Jack and I were taking the shortcut home across the vacant lot. I glanced back at Jack, and to my horror, he was tossing lit matches over his shoulder. Why? He was Jack. By the time we got the grass fire stomped out, our tennis shoe soles were severely melted. 

I wonder how many professing Christian dads reading this are playing with fire. You might lose your wife, your children, your home, and even your job. Maybe you aren’t tossing matches over your shoulder, but those compliments to other women, or special movies or “racey” TV shows (I’m confident that some of today’s commercials would have caused Job to cover his eyes), spicy Youtube videos you watch or books you read may be lighting a little fire of a different sort. Could you be saying, “Doin no harm. I can handle it.”? 

Consider Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. God appeared to him and warned him. Still he ruined his life and tore up the nation because he wouldn’t obey his God Who told him to not take foreign wives. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:4). 

Might you and I do well to steer way clear of s*xual temptation? Its power is so strong, we won’t overcome it. We must run from it. 

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). 

Pedal to the Metal

There was an expression I heard and then used growing up when I was ready to be finished with a project or school report, “Good enough for government work.” However, once I was saved and began reading my Bible, I learned that God calls His children to a higher standard. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

May I challenge each of us to consider our walk with the Lord. I shared before about not being satisfied with being barely on the good side of the “line of sin.” That is a “good enough” mentality. There should be no “good enough” when seeking Him. “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore” (Psalm 105:4).

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15).

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). 

My Brothers, may we give Him our all. 

Easy

The concept of “easy” made one man billions and billions of dollars because he played to the “flesh” of customers who wanted to buy online that way. Satan led the way by playing to the flesh of billions and billions of people, purchasing them and destining them to hell. 

Mankind likes easy. My flesh likes easy. However, Jesus’ command for us to follow Him isn’t easy. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

There is a young brother with a wife and two little girls serving as missionaries in the Ivory Coast. God graciously spared his two little girls when they were deathly sick the end of last year. In their December/January newsletter, when the girls were sick, there wasn’t a hint of self pity or blaming God. Seth is a church planter and also seeking to reach men in prison. I love their hearts. Their life isn’t easy. 

In their April/May newsletter (BTW the date at the top is wrong, November 2020), they mention the need of two computers. In all the years of sending out Seriously/Corners emails, I don’t think we have ever asked for your financial support, but now I am. Would you help them? 

Whatever you would give goes to them through their mission board, Baptist World Missions (baptistworldmission.org). You can give online. Scroll down to “Click to Donate Online,” then “Amount” and for “Designated to,” there is a drop down list where you can find his name: Seth Cuthbertson. Thank you so much. Note: that link doesn’t work in Chrome for me but it did for Teri. 

I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter as well. You can do that through the Subscribe link at the top left of their newsletter page. 

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

Times Have Changed

Are you concerned about the state of the nation and your children’s future? In our lifetime we have had the “good life,” but things have changed. Have you thought much about why the change?

God blessed this nation with everything a country could hope for: incredible climate, bountiful natural resources, a paradise of cropland, freedom of religion, a government founded with the concept of trust in God, and laws that paralleled a Judaeo Christian mindset. We have been blessed beyond measure and imagination. 

It is my opinion that the United States is God’s answer to anyone on earth or in heaven (Hebrews 12:1), who might claim God unfairly blessed and favored Israel. He brought a microcosm of all the world together in the US to represent the world. 

God can point to the U.S. and say “I gave you everything, if not even more than I gave Israel.  Look what you did with the blessings and freedom (Galatians 5:13) I gave you. I made the US a melting pot of the nations, but you followed the same evil path that Israel did. I judged Israel, and I must judge the United States as well.” Brothers, if God doesn’t judge the U.S., He would have to apologize to Israel, and that isn’t going to happen. 

What if we Christians had pursued our God wholeheartedly, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30) and fervently shared Christ (Matthew 28:19), bearing fruit, instead of the pursuit of our own happiness (fun and pleasure), might this country still be the Christian nation that it was? I think not only was but better. 

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Avoiding Marriage Disappointment

What if tomorrow you find a note your wife had hidden for you to discover and read while at work. With a big smile, you begin reading it anticipating a surprise she has planned for you. To your disappointment, she shares something very serious. 

She explains how the marriage hasn’t met her expectations. She tells you that you are a nice guy and relatively good to her, but she has discovered she really doesn’t love you and is bored. She assures you that she won’t be seeking a divorce or another guy, as she believes that is sin. She would like to just be friends from here on out for the sake of the kids. She plans to take college classes, get a degree, and pursue the career she always wanted. 

Feeling as if you just had the wind knocked out, you think about how you have provided for her and shared your life with her. As you reflect back, you agree that you aren’t real gushy and romantic. You also know you work a lot, but that was to give her a good life. You remember your dad’s words before you got married, “Son, women marry for love and companionship. Don’t ever forget that.” You mumble to yourself, “Well dad, you were right.” 

Brothers, don’t let that or worse happen to you. Love your wife. Spend lots of time with her, and cherish her. Lead her spiritually into a deeper walk with Christ. Does she know that you would die for her? Will you live for her? 

What about your relationship with the Lord Jesus? Do you actually have one? He took all your wretched sin and in return gave you His righteousness so you could have eternal life. Are you living every moment of your day for Him? Are you deepening your walk with Him by being in His Word and having a quality prayer time every day? He died for you – live for Him. The more you abide in Christ, the better husband you will become. 

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28).