November 10, 2014

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?” “Sure,” they said. “Why not?”

~Mark 10:38, MSG


Ignorance is not always bliss, sometimes its just plain ignorance.


my thoughts red

James and John got caught up in the moment and ask for something with an addendum: In God’s kingdom, a cross or a bitter cup of suffering precedes glory. You cannot get glory apart from suffering. They ask for the glory but had no idea what was in the cup that accompanied the glory they were seeking. Ignorance may be a bigger problem than we realize. In Matthew 22 Jesus told the Sadducees, “You don’t know the scriptures and you don’t know God’s power.” Jesus prayed for the Jewish Religious establishment while on the cross, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” In Acts 3 Peter said to the Jews,  “Friends, I know you had no idea what you were doing when you killed Jesus, and neither did your leaders.” Pilate washed his hands in front of the Jews and said, “I am washing my hands from the responsibility of this man’s dead.” The Jews screamed, “We will take the responsibility. Let His blood be on us and our children.” I have a feeling, their children wished they had stopped with ‘us’.

Ignorance is bliss when your grandson jumps off a bluff into rock pit where you have to land in a certain spot or face death or injury from the hidden rocks beneath the water. I don’t need to know when my kids or grand kids are going to do something stupid. In this case, ignorance is bliss. To be ignorant of the word of God when every household and every computer has multiple translations is not bliss, it is sin and we will be held accountable just like Pilate and the Jews.


  • Sorry about last night. I’ve been having problems with my stomach. I was born with a defect which was repaired in 1971 but it is going to have to be repaired again. I went up to Tennessee Saturday evening and rode the cotton picker with Jerry Allen and it has a ladder leading up to the cab. As I was dismounting, I missed the last step.  I fell backward to the ground. I didn’t think any damage was done at first but by Saturday evening I could not get relief. Yesterday was rough but I feel much better this evening. I was coming back to preach last night but my wife had a come-a-part. Since she is my primary care giver, I made a decision to let her have her way. I’m going to rest today and tomorrow and try to be back Wednesday. Expect anything from the blog. I may not miss a day but then again, I may miss several. My repair job is scheduled for Thursday.
  • I think Renea got enough Sunday to do 63 shoeboxes. My goal was 100 but I am thankful for the 63.
  • Today we pray for MINISTERS and MISSIONARIES.


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes… I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’ ‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good’ ‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?” Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”Good. Anything I can help you with?’ ‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’ ‘Would you like to take some home?’ asked Mr. Miller. ‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.’ ‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’ ‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’ ‘Is that right? Let me see it’, said Miller. ‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’ 

 ‘I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked. ‘Not zackley but almost.’ ‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy. ‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

 Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’ I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles. 

 Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. 

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.  

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. ‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt.’ ‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ….With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles. 

 The Moral:  We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath. Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself… An unexpected phone call from an old friend…. Green traffic lights when you drive…. The fastest line at the grocery store…. Your keys found right where you left them. 



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