Modern Technology Sure Adds to My Confusion

There are times I long for the good old days. Not because they were necessarily good. Nor because I was old then. Neither because they only lasted a day.

Simply because things were simpler then.

When I sent a letter it was usually hand written. Spelling mistakes were ignored by anyone who cared about me. At least my mom never complained about anything of the sort.

Now I have the option of using my phone to send a message to someone, whether I care about them or not. The “keypad” on my phone is quite a bit smaller than my fat fingers frequently.

There’s one pesky modern convenience on my phone I find extremely annoying and frequently obnoxiously incorrect.

Don’t tell me I’m the only person on the planet who battles with Spellcheck on a regular basis.

For anyone reading this who hasn’t had the privilege of meeting said obnoxious practical joker let me introduce you to it.

Whilst typing your message to be sent out three spaces appear above your keypad. As you type it offers suggestions in those three spaces that it “thinks” you may want to use as the next word in your next sentence. Occasionally this does speed the process of sending out a message.

Sometimes it seems the word I want to appear isn’t in my phone’s vocabulary, until I type the last letter of the word I want that is.

More times than not the suggestions are so off the topic of what I want to say it throws me out of my train of thought as to what I do want to say.

Let me give you a for instance so you have a clearer picture of why this upsets me so.

I had a dispatcher text me about a delivery I made the previous week. He wanted to know about one particular order that the customer insisted wasn’t unloaded at his facility, even thought he signed for it as being delivered.

I actually did recall said delivery. I knew it was all there. So I texted back that “I don’t remember any freight being left on the trailer at the end of my run.” At least that’s what I wanted to say.

Spellcheck had other nefarious options for me to transmit to my boss. As I got to the word ‘any’ it came up with an off the wall suggestion for me that made do a double take. What my phone wanted me to confess to I knew I had never even considered let alone done. Especially as a born-again Christian who does his level best to honor God by honoring my body in every conceivable manner.

I’ll tell you what my stupid phone with unknown intelligence offered me to send out.

“I don’t remember an affair”

Like I said earlier I’ve never even considered having an affair, which would be why I don’t remember ever having one to begin with.

But, I’m still depraved enough that I’m pretty sure if I did have an affair I would want to remember the best parts of it even though it’s wrong. Don’t cluck your tongue at me like that. You’ve got that much depravity in you, too. You’re just too self-righteous to confess it.

I’ll give you a tamer for instance that happened to a writer friend of mine. This one was still embarrassing to the victim.

Cindy was on a vacation and wished to keep her peeps updated with her events. She sent out that they road their bikes to a park.

One of her peeps tried to point out her mistake in a polite way. I was more blunt since I don’t appreciate practical phone jokes.

I commented on her post “Methinks you rode your bikes on the road.”

Cindy quickly corrected spellcheck’s mistake. The worst part of her embarrassment is she does a certain amount of editing for a publisher. Yikes.

Jesus’s opponents had a certain twist to their dealings with Him back in His good old day. At one of His mock trials they had so many false witnesses to what He did that they contradicted each other.

Caiaphas, the high priest, finally got fed up with how slow this was taking so he turned to Jesus and asked Him point blank, “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?”

Jesus gave a two word answer that said all He needed to say. “I am.”

Every mind in that room was immediately taken to the burning bush Moses talked to. That’s the name God told Moses to tell the people who sent him to them to deliver them.

The label of blasphemy was given quickly as reason enough to have Jesus killed. More deception was needed to convince the Romans to end His life, but God was behind it all anyway. That’s why Jesus came to earth to begin with.

When you’re telling people about Jesus don’t beat around the bush. Explain it as you would to a six year old. If you can’t do that then you don’t have a clear concept of salvation to begin with.

Society is too confused about Jesus already. Don’t offer them muddy water to drink. Give them the living water. It’s up to them what they do with it.

If they reject it they aren’t rejecting you. They’re rejecting the God who came to save them from an eternity without Him.

I hope I’m clear about this.

Keep smiling.    Wade

May Your April March On

May your April march on one step at a time

with flowers that bloom and poems that rhyme

The sun warms you more a bit more each day

that’s just how God planned it what more can I say

The trees that looked dead now bloom and turn green

their pollen comes forth and causes your sneeze

The mud your dear children wear home on their clothes

exactly how it got there nobody knows

The siren that blows with approaching dark clouds

is trying to save you not simply be loud

You can ignore it and continue to play

or seek proper shelter and ask folks to pray

When the wind stops you can see the aftermath

it is at that time you can pick up the trash

That’s just how life is, one moment it’s fine

then all is upset by a tempest in time

A loved one is ill, or worse yet they die

your job is dismissed all you can do is cry

These storms in your life that seem too hard to bear

will bring forth new growth with lessons to share

You will find someone who needs you to hear

the pain they hold close as they cry all those tears

Just be there and listen at first as they tell

of their hardships and trials you know too well

When they hear how you endured the same thing

your answers will hit home in God’s great timing

He comforted you with another lost soul

now He’s using you to help heal their woe

That’s how all things work together for good

we all help each other as God knew we would

To be like His Son is God’s ultimate goal

the best first step is to give Him your soul

He’ll shape you and mold you by giving a gift

only you can use to give others a lift

May your April march on one step at a time

with grace in each step to pass down the line.

LAUGHTER FOLLOWED BY A DISMISSAL

Abraham smiled broadly as Jesus approached.

Jesus’s smile was just as big. “So, how’s that baby boy doing?”

“He’s just finishing up another feeding. Sarah will let us know when they’re done.”

One of Sarah’s servant girls walked out of the tent and tied the flap open. She bowed to the men before she went back inside.

Abraham tied the other flap open. “I’m sure they need some fresh air in here. Isaac is quite the tooter.”

Jesus chuckled as He followed Abraham inside.

Abraham stepped aside when he approached Sarah. “We have a special guest, my dear.”

When Sarah saw Jesus’s smile she broke out in laughter.

Jesus came over and pulled the blanket back from Isaac’s face. “How’s our son of promise doing today?”

Isaac grabbed Jesus’s finger, then passed some gas.

Everyone laughed.

Sarah laughed longer than anyone else. “I can’t stop laughing. Thank You for this son. Who would have said Sarah would nurse children in her old age. Yet, here I have Abraham’s heir as my own son.”

Jesus stood back. “I’m not at all surprised by this. Make sure Isaac passes the importance of this miracle down to future generations. They must hear of it often.”

Isaac squirmed, moaned and passed more gas.

When Sarah and Abraham looked back at Jesus He was gone.

****

A few years later Abraham threw a great feast in celebration of the weaning of Isaac. The air was filled with laughter and cheer.

Isaac rarely left Sarah’s side as guests from all over gave their congratulations to the family.

Ishmael snuck behind Isaac and poked him in the ribs with a stick. “What’s the matter? Momma’s boy can’t walk all of a sudden.”

Isaac held his side. A tear rolled down his cheek. “Oww.” He stood closer to his mom.

Ishmael rubbed his stomach. “I bet you can’t eat as much meat as me.”

Sarah looked around for Abraham. He was laughing with guests near his tent.

Hagar walked over to her son.

Sarah glared at her. “I wish you’d control your son better. He has no right treating Isaac that way.”

Hagar raised her eyebrows. “Oh, lighten up old woman. Boys will be boys. Get over it.”

As Hagar and Ishmael walked away Sarah got Abraham’s attention.

Abraham approached his wife and son with a smile. “What is it my dear. Are we ready for our guests to leave? I was thinking of asking them to spend the night.”

Sarah pointed at Hagar and Ishmael. “Those two have to go. That slave’s son shall not share in the inheritance with my son.”

Abraham looked at Ishmael, then back at Sarah. “But, he’s my son. I can’t just throw him out like yesterday’s trash just because you had a son, too.”

Sarah folded her arms and stared at Abraham.

After a silent minute Abraham turned away and dismissed his guests.

****

Abraham spent the night pacing in his tent contemplating his options.

God’s voice was clear. “Listen to Sarah. She’s right this time. There must be no confusion as to who receives the blessing and the land. Don’t worry. Ishmael shall become a nation as well because he’s your son, too.”

First thing in the morning Abraham filled a skin with water and draped it on Hagar’s shoulder. He handed Ishmael some food he packed for them.

A tear rolled down his cheek. “You must leave here. God has promised me our son will be fruitful. It won’t be easy, but you’ll survive.”

When they walked away Abraham returned to his tent.

********

Every family longs for an heir to pass the traits and distinctions down to future generations. In most societies a son passes the name along with all the other obligations. First-born sons were given the honor of this honor most often.

When God’s promise seemed to have taken too long Sarah used an accepted practice of her day to fulfill the role of a son to Abraham. When God’s promise came on His timetable Sarah’s son became THE son to pass all Abraham had to.

To avoid future confusion and possible contamination of the inheritance Sarah demanded Ishmael leave. Abraham had spent over a decade developing Ishmael into his rightful heir. How could he just let him go?

While wrestling with his dilemma God answered Abraham’s petition. “Let Ishmael go.”

I’m sure Abraham thought this would be the most difficult thing God would ever ask him to do.

God remained this extreme with future descendants. Remember? Joshua was told repeatedly to annihilate entire cities’ worth of people in conquest of the promised land.

Why?

It’s the same reason God had Isaac’s son and grandchildren taken to Egypt and left there for over 400 years.

God’s people are called to be unique. Blending in with society around us isn’t an option.

Is there someone, or something, that you need to let go because they’re keeping you from following God completely?

Who you spend time with has a tremendous impact on who you become. Choose wisely.

What you listen to repeatedly forms your thoughts. Decide shrewdly.

How you spend your time tells a lot about your priorities. Prioritize well.

Drastic cuts may need to take place in your life.

Long-standing friendships may have to end.

Family members may have to take a back seat in your life.

You may not be able to cut some folks out completely, but you can reduce the amount of time they have in your life. Difficult discussion will need to be made.

If your job places expectations and demands on you that you know aren’t God-honoring you should think about a new employer. Hard choices need to come.

What you consume on your computer and/or phone should be in line with God’s Word. If you can’t control it then you should get rid of it.

Ishmael’s descendants impacted Isaac’s kids by taking Joseph to Egypt as merchandise to be sold.

Ramifications are in place, but the future is still forming.

Control it as best you can.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

If Life was More Consistent I Think it Would be Easier

I still derive most of my income from driving trucks, eighteen-wheeler semi’s mostly. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve come up behind a vehicle traveling slower than me. My inclination is to pass them when it’s safe to do so.

More times than not the other driver speeds up before I can get in front of them. Sometimes I do complete my pass only to have them pass me back a short time later.

All I ask is they travel a consistent speed so I can get on with my life with as little frustration as possible. Is that asking for too much?

I like to plan my day so I don’t have to attempt to squeeze my big rig through very many drive through windows for my meals. It makes restaurant managers a bit unhappy when a trucker tries it…or so I’ve heard.

One time I was fixin’ to return to Texas from Tennessee and saw a fastfood joint across the street from where I spent my off duty ten hours. It was about eleven o’clock at night. I decided to grab some hot food for the road.

Come to find out the doors were locked because they stop serving inside at ten. So, being the hungry redneck I am I walk through the drive thru to buy my meal.

I stood at the order stand for almost a minute in the dark all alone. So, being the hungry Texan I am I walk up to the window on the side of the building to order food. Nobody showed themself inside the building.

So, being the persistent hungry country bumpkin I am I walks back to the order stand. Two cars show up to get there meals. I thinks, “Good, now maybe I’ll get someone’s attention.”

After a few more invisible moments the driver in the second car tells me they can’t take my order without a car. Being the hungry trucker I am I…no, I didn’t cuss at all. I’m too God-fearing a man for that.

I threw up my hands and marched up to the building window knowing somebody will have to come to it to serve the kind folks with real jobs who don’t have to drive through the night for their living.

The gal inside finally sees me and asks where I came from. I point across the street and explain my dilemma with as few words as possible. She informs me she must see my car to sell me food.

Being the hungry truck driver I am I storm across the road to my rig and eat my cold peanutbutter sandwich rather than give these@#$%& Tennesseans any of my hard earned money.

Another time I was coming back from Houston. It took longer than I thought it would so I pulled into a truckstop to buy food from a taco joint in it that I had a gift card for. I placed my order and handed them said card to find out they’re too attached to the truckstop to accept my bought and paid for card with their name on it.

So, being the skinny hungry guy with no cash on me that I am I drive to the next exit to a truckstop I have an awards card for with enough points on it to get a meal, at least I had in the past. They tell me they’re not part of the truckstop that’s under the same roof as them. So I had to walk over and settle for a lousy candy bar that I could eat for my hard earned points.

I have one question. Why can’t we all play by the same set of rules?

Have you ever wondered why God gave us a book to read as a guide to live by. Yes, I’m talking about the Bible.

For several generations of people stories were passed down to let everybody know what happened to those folks who came before. Yeah, some imaginative types like to embellish in inopportune moments. Before you know it some kid kills a giant with a slingshot.

Wait a second, that actually did happen. My bad.

I’ve learned an interesting thing about books. The words in them don’t move much. Most of them don’t move at all. I can have a book collecting dust for a decade and it says the same thing to me the next time I read it.

God gave us a written language with ink and paper that doesn’t change because it’s just like Him

Yeah, God doesn’t changed neither.

When I was a kid they told me policemen, teachers and others in authority were to be respected. When I became a teenager they told me to question authority. Now they wonder why they have less control of their classrooms than they used to.

Inconsistent rules are funny animals that way. They’ll sneak up behind you and bite you when you least expect it.

When God calls something a sin at the beginning of the Bible it’s a sin. It doesn’t matter how many generations of folks say it’s acceptable to the next generation. God is the only One who makes those rules. A sin is a sin is a sin. Amin?

So, if you’re tired of being frustrated by the lose standards of society go back to the Book and discover what our Creator designed as an acceptable lifestyle.

I know, there are a lot of different translations out there, but they say basically the same thing.

God is love and light and truth.

Got it? Good, now go get it.

Keep smiling.   Wade