Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Things that Clarify...

It's no secret that our lives are very full.

Most of us in this culture are so busy that we barely have time to take a breath, much less fit any other important appointments in our schedule.

We are busy with many things...but are we busy with the most important things?

When Jesus was on earth, He had LOTS of important things to do.

He had healings to do, meetings with the Pharisees, teaching time with his Disciples, meetings in the temple...

He was a busy man!

You can be sure that there were always more people looking for more time with him.

Yet, He never wasted His time! That's one of the things that makes Jesus such a compelling figure: He was always busy doing His Father's work. (John 6:38).

Sometimes it takes moments of clarity to help us understand this simple reality:

We are filling our lives with lots of things, but very few things really     matter.

When He was here on earth, Jesus had friendships...including with Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus.

Once, when He and the disciples were over there for a meal, He had an important lesson to teach...

"As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 

Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Mary had discovered an important truth: The MOST IMPORTANT thing you and I can do is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him, growing closer to Him in the process!

All the other things we make ourselves busy with--even legitimate ones--pale in comparison to that priority.

So...have YOU taken the time today for "the One thing worth being concerned about"? 

Have YOU taken the time to sit at the feet of Jesus?

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Commercial" Wisdom...(with videos)

The Super Bowl...the #1 sporting event in the world, watched by more people than any other.

Many watch it for the game...cheering on the Ravens or the 49ers (or just hoping for a good game).

Many more watch it for the commercials.

Those multi-million dollar chances for companies to get their name or their product out. Some companies invest practically everything in their advertising budget to make a splash and hope that people remember their product.

There are always the funny ones...this year, I thought the Oreo and Sketchers spots were creative and humorous. 

There are others that are 'over the line', in my opinion: Go Daddy and Calvin Klein would fit in that category.

But this year, there seems to be something else going on:

The 'buzz' about most of the commercials this year is about a Dodge ad entitled "God Made the Farmer" with a narration from the legendary Paul Harvey. (watch it here:)

Also, the Budwieser ad of entitled "Brotherhood"  (Watch it here: )

and the Jeep ad, narrated by Oprah Winfrey that saluted the troops (watch it here: ) ...all 3 of these garnered critical acclaim and made it to the top of many people's lists.

Yet, these ads frustrated some of those I watched the Big Game with, because they didn't really deal with the product! The Dodge Ram commercial didn't mention anything about engine size, towing capacity, etc. The Jeep ad mentioned nothing about off-road clearance or gas mileage, and the Clysedale ad did not tout Budweiser's hops or barley...they simply presented something bigger.

I think these ads identify a spirit...a mindset...a philosophy that the advertisers think we are looking for.

And I think that's "Commercial Wisdom", and it's pretty accurate.

I think Americans in particular, and humans in general, are looking for deeper meaning in life, rather than only the short term, circumstantial things. We are attracted to those things which give us stability, purpose and meaning!

I think that's by design!

The philosopher and mathematician Blaise Paschal once said (paraphrasing) "There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every man, and it's a whole that only God can fill."

The Word of God says it this way: "He has planted eternity in the human heart." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Perhaps THAT explains why these kinds of ads really stand out...they touch our souls! They reach us at the core of our being!

...and in that the show the fingerprint of God on the heart of mankind! more video: