Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can You Believe It?

Here I am, sitting here, looking at the computer, and I don't know what to write. Hmmmm. What can I write about tonight? I watch Jay Leno talk with Rush Limbaugh and nothing comes to mind. I look on Facebook and all that is going on there, and nothing comes to mind. And so what do I write - nothing. OK, maybe maybe I am writing something but it is really meaningless. So would I read it if I was you? Not really.

But then that made me think of something. Isn't that really how many things are in this world? Does baseball really make a difference in the world? Yes it makes an economic impact but in reality, it doesn't matter if the Cards clinch their division tonight or not. Yet we will spend how much news time talking about baseball. We will go to games and sit there and watch a game, cheer for a player that gets a hit, and forget that he makes a few million dollars a year to hit that ball once in a while. We sit there watching, spending our hard earned money, making loads less than him in a job that actually makes a difference in the world (as a teacher, nurse, janitor, etc.).

Does much of what we hear on the news make a difference in the world? Not really. We just like to listen to it. And listen we do. We spend countless hours a day watching the news - Fox, CNN, MSNBC, all the local channels. Is it worthwhile? I don't know.

I guess I didn't really have much to say. So tonight, I pray that God will bless you, strengthen you and guide you in your life. That, my friend, is something that makes a difference in your life. Without Jesus in your life, all is lost. With Jesus, there is a future and hope. Hold onto Him. That is all I have to say.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Aerosmith Revisited

I wrote the other day about something being wrong in the world today. I feel even more strongly about that this morning. Last night Penny and I went to the Cub/Card game in St. Louis. (Thanks Giudeon.) It is always a good rivalry between the two teams. And there is always good fun to be had by the fans ribbing each other. That is to be expected. If it didn't happen, you would think something was really wrong in the world today. The game had its good moments and it also had it boring ones. Normal game.

What got me thinking again was the 4 people that sat behind us. They were Card fans. You would expect some ribbing from them. But these people were just plain obnoxious. They were not ribbing another fan for the love of the game. They were doing it just be plain old nasty. The more they drank. The worse they became. They weren't even cheering on the Cards. All they could do was sit there and say derogatory things about the Cubs and their fans. They picked on one person after another, just being mean about what they were saying. When Mrs. Price (Rev. Price's wife) and I told them to stop, they did for a half inning. Then they started in again, this time even worse.

Why were they doing it? Because they could. We live in a world that says it is all right to express yourself and it doesn't matter if you are hurting someone else or not. It doesn't matter if you are offensive as long as you express yourself.

I was raised differently than that. I was raised to respect the other person no matter what. My folks taught me that the Christian way to live is to hold your tongue, even if you want to tell someone off. Why? Because it isn't right to let your sinful nature run your life.

But in today's world, we are taught that it is all right to say things that are mean, nasty, and down right self-centered. In fact if you don't, then you might be "harming" yourself. So go ahead, be obnoxious, be mean, be nasty, it is the way that we are told to live.

My friends, that is wrong. There is something wrong in the world today and unless we return to a world with Christ at the center, it will get worse. People will abuse others because they feel like it, and for no other reason. They will say things that hurt, because they can and feel like it. They will attack others, hurt others and be unkind to others for no reason at all other than their sinful nature is running their lives.

It will only change through Christ. Then again that is the only way anything changes. So in a way, I am not saying anything new. I just hope that we wake up before it is too late. In truth, I don't think we will.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

There is something wrong in the world today...

Listening to Sirius (satellite radio) tonight, I heard the song from Aerosmith "Living on the Edge." The line in the song goes, "There's something wrong in the world today..." And then it goes on to explain all the things that are wrong. All I can say is that for a change, Aerosmith got it right.

There is something wrong in the world today - the same thing that has been wrong through out the years. It is called "sin". I know that it isn't PC to talk of sin today for it might make someone feel bad about themselves. But perhaps we need to call sin - sin. It is a sin when a person of authority is not shown respect. It is a sin when a person in authority doesn't show respect. It is a sin to be a racist. It is also a sin to label something "racism" when it isn't. It is a sin to hate someone just because. It is also a sin to show disrespect to parents, to siblings, to neighbors and to complete strangers. It is a sin to openly shout out at someone when you should be silent. It is also a sin to be hypocritical and say that the person should be rebuked when you yourself has done it.

There is something wrong in the world today - it doesn't want Jesus Christ. It claims it can live without Him. Remove true Christian prayer from school and then wonder why a boy is beaten by two others on a school bus on the way to Belleville West. Try to remove "In God we trust" from money and "One nation under God" from the pledge and then wonder why the president and the congress are doing wrong so often. They are serving their god and not the God. Can we expect anything else (from both sides of the aisle!).

How do you correct things? Confess your sin, believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, follow Him only and live at true peace and in true love with one another. Sounds simple. It is - except that there is something wrong in the world today...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


What can a person say about life? There are ups and there are downs. There are highs and there are lows. There is hope and there is despair. There is love and there is hate. There are so many things that can go on in life - good and bad, joyful and sorrowful. So what do you make of all of life? How do you face life?

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28 NIV) How does that help me in all of those things that I face in life? Remember that - nothing in all creation can stop that love of God.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." (2 Corinthians 4:8-12 NIV) Hard pressed but not crushed! How? Through the death and life of Jesus Christ! He died and rose again for us, to strength us to help us and to carry us through our daily life.

That, my dear friends, is true life - found only in Christ Jesus. Without Him, we would be crushed. With Him, we are not crushed. Which do you prefer? Crushed or not crushed? the choice, my friends, is up to you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why would I be surprised?

"I've seen women who cross their legs before they sit down to the table." (line from REO Speedwagon's "Like You Do") I thought of that this morning as I thought about life in general. I have seen a lot of things, done a lot of things and experienced many things. I have met people of all walks of life, from the street wise junky to the high brow executive. I have faced murderers, rapists and bangers. I have talked with theologians and politicians. And when all is said and done, I guess I am still naive and hopeful.

I still believe that true life and happiness is only found in Jesus Christ. No matter what happens in this world, and I will guarantee that it will be an awful world to live in, there is still hope found in Jesus. The world cannot give that hope. Drugs can't. Alcohol can't. Sex can't. Pres. Obama can't. Congress can't. The doctor can't. Food can't. Power can't. Money can't. Family can't. The only One that can give real, lasting hope that doesn't disappoint is Christ Jesus Himself.

So why am I still surprised that people refuse Him? Why do I still find myself hopeful when I talk to someone that they will respond to the love of Christ and turn from their self-centered, self-serving life of destruction? It is because I know the hope and life in Christ. I know the peace it brings, even when others don't want to let you have that peace. I know that even if family turns its back on you, you have Christ. You may lose for a time, but you gain for an eternity.

I have seen so much but I still want to cry each time I see someone reject the hope found in Christ. Why do we trust in men so much? Why do we hate so often? Why is it that we cannot live in the peace of Christ? It is because we are still in this world. The Prince of Darkness rules this world. He is the Father of Lies. In the end, he has convinced so many that Jesus cannot help, bring peace or hope. And so, I am saddened as another person shows that they want nothing to do with Jesus. It brings tears to the eyes and causes the heart to break.

It makes no sense. But that is what sin does. It corrupts the perfect in Christ and destroys the hope that comes from Him. He gives peace that passes human understanding and yet so many spit on Him, turn from Him and follow the emptiness that they are offered. If only...

Friday, September 11, 2009


The sky was blue, O so blue. It was a wonderful fall day, the kind of day you wait all summer for - a touch of cool in the air, the sun rising in the east, a bit of a morning mist in the air. Life was good. The fires were going. The folks were cooking apple butter. The apples had been peeled. The fires had been stoked. The large copper pots were in place. Filled with the apples, they were waiting to bubble. Young and old stood around, taking turns on the paddles. There is a buzz in the air. Apple butter cooking sets the tone for the day. It will be a good day.

Then the news. One plane. One tower. And shock. What is going on? Smoke from the building. It can't be. What a terrible accident. Those poor people. God be with them. What is that? A second plane? A second tower? What is going on? What about the Pentagon? A plane there too? What is this? What happened to the day? Where is the joy? And then, they collapsed. they just came tumbling down. Those monuments to the strength and power of mankind, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center that marked the skyline of New York City were nothing but a pile of rubble. Smoke, paper, terror filled the air.

Back at Ferrin, the kettles bubbled away, being stirred by the same people, only there was little talk. The sky was still blue but it was empty. No planes. No travel. No hope. No future. We had been attacked. Where would it lead? What would happen now? Were we safe? Would we be at war? As the kettles bubbled, the hearts were wondering who was in control.

Sitting here today, September 11, 2009, the sky is blue. The sun is rising. There is a morning mist in the air. It is a glorious fall day. And the answer to the questions have come. Yes, there would be war. The economy would be trashed. Lives would be changed. Security would be questioned. People had changed.

And the same One is in control. On that day, 9/11/01, the Lord was in control. Today, 9/11/09, the Lord is in control. that day showed us that we are not gods. We are not invincible. We are ones that are in need, need of His strength, His control, His love, His mercy. There is strength in that knowledge. There is peace that passes human understanding. Standing in the presence of our Lord, we knew that we were safe, no matter what man tried to do to us. We were safe in the Lord. Towers might fall. Terrorists might attack. But the Lord is the Lord of all. His will, His power, His love wins in the end.

Did we learn the lesson? For a few short days, weeks, or months, people focused on God and what He would have us do. Then, the fear faded. We returned to our lives. We focused on our thoughts. We let sin begin to lead us again. At one time it was about God and how He would have us live. And then we returned to pre-9/11. We became self-centered, self-righteous, self-serving and we forgot about God. We remember 9/11. But do we remember what is truly important? Do we remember that our lives belong to God?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Moody Blues

Last night (Saturday) Penny and I had the pleasure of going to the Fox theater in St. Louis in order to see the Moody Blues. They are one of my favorite musical groups, having been a following since my brother Bub returned from Germany with several of the groups albums. They were on vinyl at the time. I was enthralled with the music that they made and soon became an avid listener to the Moody Blues. Penny and I have had the opportunity to see them several times - at the Muny, at Riverport and at Alpine Valley (WI). Up till now I would say that the best concert they put on was at Alpine Valley.

That was until last night. The show they put on at the Fox was tremendous. They really did seem to be hitting on all cylinders. I was a little wary as Ray Thomas had retired and was no longer with them. Who would play the flute? And what about the songs "Legend of the Mind" and "Veteran Cosmic Rocker"? Who would hit those melodic sounds and play the tambourine? It might not be the same.

The pre-show music was great. It was like having the Moodies warm up for the Moodies. They played song after song from different albums. And for a person like me, letting the sound wash over them, it was wonderful.

The show started 10 minutes late but was worth the wait. From the opening notes you knew that you were in for something special. Justin and John played and sang right on track. Graeme Edge lead nicely on the drums. Adding to the sounds were Norda Mullen on flute (doing an excellent job), Bernie Barlow backing vocals, Gordon Marshall on percussion and Paul Bliss on keyboards.

As the Moodies wound through their musical selections, you knew it was going to be a musically sound and wonderful evening. I would love to say that I remember the set list but I don't. Like most concerts that I go to, I find myself lost in the music and while I tell myself to remember the set, I don't. the beauty of the music washed over me and I was enthralled.

Norda did beautiful on the flute. The set list included many songs that we had never heard them play live and I think it was because ray was unable to hit the notes on the flute like he used to. Norda hit the notes wonderfully and I could tell that Penny thoroughly enjoyed it, and was impressed as she used to play the flute herself (always loved to listen to her play).

What was wonderful is that the Moodies played an hour, took a set break and were back for another hour. It was by far, the best concert I have attended of the Moody Blues. It was the last night of the Summer Nights 2009 tour and they really seemed to pull out all the stops. They hit 3 different songs from the 1978 "Octive" album which tends to be one of my favorites. They also played "Peak Hour" from Days of the Future Past which really showed their range in musical abilities.

Yes, we were able to see the Moody Blues once again. And I can say that even though the Moody Blues have been around for over 40 years, they are still bringing a new dimension to their music. It truly was "Lovely to See You." Will they be back, I get the feeling that it might have been the last time that I will see the Moody Blues with Justin Haywood, John Lodge and Graeme Edge. Ray Thomas has retired. Mike Pinder left long ago (so did Patrick Moraz). Who will be next. My guess would be Graeme Edge though I think he really enjoys the crowd and being out in front of the people.