Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michael Jackson--thought provoker

The Pinnacle of Success? Michael Jackson's Legacy
Chuck Colson
This commentary by Chuck Colson, the famous Hatchet Man from Watergate, has a real thought-provoker here. Once again, I am's so worth it! I very much loved Michael, and hated all he faced in life. I'm glad God is God and I'm not.

I am an aging, white conservative Baptist. My taste in music runs from Bach to Mozart to Lawrence Welk. Indeed, my staff might say I am the un-hippest man alive.
So you might think that I am surprised by the frenzied and non-stop media coverage of the death of Michael Jackson—perhaps the greatest pop star of all time. But I’m not.
You may think that I don’t “get” why his fans by the millions are grieving, buying up Jackson CDs like they are going out of style, holding vigils at his mansion, desperately trying to get tickets to his memorial service in Los Angeles. But I do.
Here is why they have reason to mourn: Michael Jackson was, by any standard, a musical genius. His albums and his videos thrilled successive generations of pop fans. In fact, I was enthralled myself when I first watched his video presentation at an Epcot exhibit some 20 years ago.
There was, indeed, no one quite like Michael Jackson. And now there will be no new albums, no comeback concert tour, no new dance moves. That’s why they’re mourning.
But here’s why they—and all of us—should mourn the real tragedy that Michael Jackson’s story is. Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic Monthly blog said it well: Michael Jackson “was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone.” He was, as Sullivan noted, nothing but a creature of our culture, which puts “fame and celebrity” at its core, with money as its driving force, without regard for the person caught up in it or the character he exhibits.
By numerous published accounts, Jackson was emotionally abused by his father, a man consumed by the idea that his child could be a superstar. Jackson was a drug addict accused of pedophilia, given to all manner of bizarre behavior. He was, in the end, as Bob Herbert opined in the New York Times, “psychologically disabled, to the point where he was a danger to himself and others.”
It makes the scenes of adoring crowds pushing and shoving to get near yesterday’s memorial service, and the non-stop live television coverage, all the more bizarre and tragic. We worship the celebrity for his fame, degenerate lifestyle not withstanding.
Jackson achieved the summit of what this culture values most—fame—and paid for it with his life. And that is a tragedy.
Life is filled with teaching moments. And for parents, this tragedy is an opportunity to talk with our children about what they really want out of life—what matters most.
And it’s also a time for parents to look in the mirror and ask what we really want for our kids. If the answer is success in life, then we had better know what that definition of success is.
That’s because even Christian parents are not immune to the siren song of fame and fortune for their kids. It’s great that your child can sing and dance. It’s wonderful that he can hit a baseball a country mile. She just might win that academic scholarship to Harvard.
But winning that scholarship, or playing in the major leagues, is not the Christian definition of success. Doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God is.
Character matters. Not fame. No matter how un-hip that sounds.


Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a God!

A friend sent this to me---so encouraging and inspiring! We serve a creative and mighty God.

What an awesome and orderly GOD!!

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.

For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way
for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try
to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only
the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to
a profitable end.

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant... The four legs of
this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other
quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge
body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four
fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow
rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord
is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as
well as in the number of grains.

-Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas,
and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and
the next row an odd number.
-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all
kinds of weather.
-All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord
specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during
the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had
a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and
temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that
were open and those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is
entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes
and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence.

Only the God-planned safe life is successful. Only the life given over
to the care of the Lord is fulfilled.