Beware What Thou Wisheth

Beware

Pullybone, Furcula, Wishbone; commonly classified as a forked bone part in fowl.  Located in the chest area, people would usually take this ‘wishbone’ out of a chicken, then two people would each grab one end and pull it apart.  The one left with the biggest part would wish for good luck to come their way.  Nonsense?  Yup!

Wishbone

Long, long ago, and far, far away, two guys wished for the same thing.  It doesn’t happen often, but both men had their wish granted.  One was elated, and one was…executed!  True story?  Aren’t the most trenchant stories stranger than fiction?  The story is true and it’s recorded in the Bible!

Genesis chapter 40 records the plight of these two troubled individuals.  Both men were servants of the Egypt’s king who fell out of favor and subsequently fell into prison.  While in prison, they were assigned to a caretaker, an Israelite named Joseph.  One day Joseph noticed both men were lethargic and asked what troubled them.  Both men described their dream but couldn’t understand its meaning.  The two men wished that Joseph could help them.  Joseph focused everyone’s attention on God.  Rather than using the situation to make himself look good, he turned it into a powerful witness for the Lord.  Joseph said: “Do not interpretations belong to God?” Genesis 40:8   One secret of effective witnessing is to recognize opportunities to relate God to the other person’s experience.  We must learn to speak up as Joseph did—and give credit where it belongs.  It was not Joseph’s knowledge of dreams that helped him interpret their meaning.  It was his knowledge of God.

After telling Joseph of their separate dreams, God revealed their meaning to Joseph.  They begged Joseph to reveal the meaning of the dreams.  He did.  One man would be returned to his former position serving Pharaoh.  The other man would be hanged!  Joseph asked the man who would be pardoned to speak to Pharaoh on his behalf.   To tell Pharaoh that Joseph was falsely charged and languishing in obscurity.  The man agreed it was the least he could do for the man who saved his life.

Everything happened just as Joseph told the men.  One was restored to his former position as Pharaoh’s chief wine steward and resumed his former life.  One was executed by hanging.  Something happened to the man asked to mention Joseph to Pharaoh.  He forgot!  It wasn’t until years later when Pharaoh had a dream that couldn’t be interpreted that the wine steward remembered Joseph.  He told Pharaoh of Joseph’s ability to read dreams.  Joseph’s wish to get out of prison was granted, God grants wishes, too.

Bottom line:

When we feel passed by, overlooked, or forgotten, we shouldn’t be surprised that people are ungrateful or absent-minded.  In similar situations, trust God as Joseph did.  More opportunities may be waiting for you.

Been Stuck in a Rut?

Been Stuck in a RutEverybody is visited by depression, lethargy, and moodiness. Like the Bible says, it’s not being tempted by sin that’s the problem, everybody’s tempted; it’s yielding to sin’s temptation that gets you stuck in a rut. Like depression, lethargy, and moodiness, it all depends on how long you decide to visit them.  Visiting them for extended periods of time and you’re gonna see grass growing under your feet and between your toes.  Professional help is available and they help sort out what’s ailing you, but ultimately it’s up to you to do the changing to get yourself better.


wheel“Stuck In A Rut” was an old 1800’s phrase coined when covered wagons got their wheels stuck in a ‘rut’ or worn groove in their path or road.  They would often rock their wagon, buggy or mode of transportation back-and-forth, sometimes with a personal push, to get the vehicle out of the rut.  Today we often use the phrase referencing the feeling of doing the same thing over-and-over which leads to boredom.  Some businesses making a $100 million a year without any gain complain that they’re ‘stuck in a rut’.  What rut to be stuck in?     

 People who have a few years under their belt come to realize, that most of our “personal” problems are self-inflicted. Health concerns are a medical matter. Life’s problems are often focused too much on us, and too little attention focused on others. D.L.Moody had trouble getting to sleep if he hadn’t witnessed to someone or tried to help someone every day. Jesus didn’t complain about all the splinters and calluses he suffered from being a carpenter. Peter the apostle was a professional fisherman and he was good at his trade, so good that Jesus told him that he would be a “fisher of men”. What an insightful observation that came true over and over.

It is a certainty that if you dwell on yourself exclusively, your ego will become as large as the great outdoors and you will grow to neglect others and be self-consumed with your own uncomfortable situation. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:17 Use your time here on earth wisely.  Paul was saying “the days are evil”, they still are, so we need the same sense of urgency to keep our standards high, act wisely, and do good whenever and wherever we can.  Apart from God life is fleeting and empty.

Bottom Line

If your mountain bike gets a flat and you’re without a spare tube, stuff the tire with grass.  Leave one side of the tire bead on the rim, pack the inside with wads of turf, and then pop in the other bead.  It’ll save your wheel until you get home or help.  Wallah!  You’re out of another rut.

Harmonic Convergence

Harmonic Convergence was the name given to the world’s first globally synchronized meditation. That’s right – Global Groupthink Groupies. This was supposed to happen in August 1987. It was supposed to coincide with the alignment of the planets (or most of them). Some adherents believed that these signs indicated that the earth was about to undergo an “energy-shift”. The followers of this convergence believed the earth was about to experience a change in global perspective. From one of conflict to rainbows and happy thoughts.  Earth’s collective karma, dharma, and freckles would then begin skipping happily down the yellow brick road. World peace was just ahead.

Wishful thinking or Wooden thinking?

Religion has the same problem. There are so many different “organized religions” that people don’t know what or who to believe. Confused about which belief is correct? Look at all the religions to choose from. There’s good ol’ Atheism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Paganism, Sikhism, and Taoism to name a few of the big hitters. Some of these have over a billion followers! That’s a world of people searching! Surely a billion people can’t be wrong can they? You’d be surprised at how many of them will be when death comes a’knockin.

Maybe you’re thinking, I’ll just follow the religion my parents taught me, they were good people. Sorry to interrupt your train of thought, but being a good person has nothing to do with going to heaven. There will be millions of “good” people in heaven, but there will be a lot in hell too. It’s not about being good! It’s about that old fashioned word from the Bible – Faith.

What is this faith that the Bible takes so seriously? It’s a personal belief in who Jesus Christ was and is. It is; believing what Jesus taught in the Bible. Hebrews chapter eleven is affectionately known as the Bible’s “Faith’s Hall of Fame”. Read it. Give it the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval test.