Monday, January 28, 2013

Keep You Eye On The Target

Two weeks ago I returned to the Canton McKinley Rifle & Pistol Club after almost two years away.

That first day back I knew that I had lost a lot of my skill, but I couldn't believe how much the red dot in my sight was jumping around. I tried to bring it into the black, but it fluttered all over the target. It was never still.

Since the dot was always moving, I began to jerk the trigger as I tried to get the shot off while the dot was in the black. My score was low. I couldn't believe how badly I was doing.

But by the next week I had remembered something important. When you are aiming with a red dot sight, you need to look at the target, not the dot. If you look at the dot you will see how it magnifies your trembling. The more you try to steer it, the more it jumps around the target.

But if you focus on the target center and concentrate on the trigger, the dot will calm down and even appear to stand still sometimes. The gun and your arm are always moving, but the target is still. Focus on the center of the target and you will gradually find the dot there too.

I think that is a good lesson for the Christian life. As long as we look at our various efforts and programs we see the magnification of our flaws. We see our inconsistency and we become discouraged. We are missing the mark. We are erratic.

But if we focus on the goal we will do better. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is unwavering. Concentrate on him and you will come closer to hitting your mark.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting For A Better Offer?

I noticed that the charges for my DSL jumped from $24.95 per month to $48.00 in December. When I asked why, the AT&T person said the $24.95 price was the low INTRODUCTORY price. After a year, you are moved to the STANDARD price. When I said that I wasn't about to keep paying that price, he offered to connect me to somebody in the CUSTOMER-RETENTION department who could give me a BETTER PRICE to keep me with the company.

(Better a low paying customer in the hand, than a customer who flees to another provider.)

But we have long been dissatisfied with our DSL service. I wasn't interested in keeping mediocre service for ANY price. So I've been shopping.

What a racket! Different providers. Different speeds. Different bundles of services. Different levels of support. Internet, TV, Wireless Phones... What do you want? Every different combination of services has a different price tag. And that is before tax.

It is enough to make your head spin. They have live chat people who will shepherd you through the whole process to buy, buy, buy their services. It couldn't be easier, but how do you know what you are really getting? How do you know that you are getting a good deal? How do you know there isn't a better offer out there?

You could be caught in the whirlpool of price and option comparisons forever - and never end up buying the services you need.

This is how I feel about some people who have considered the claims of Jesus Christ.

They understand the offer - their sins can be forgiven by God if they will repent and turn to follow Jesus Christ in faith. It doesn't "cost" them anything - but it does require a wholehearted commitment. God doesn't want what they have or can do. God wants THEM - heart and soul.

Many of my young friends know the offer, but are holding back from the commitment. Why? I am afraid they are trying to get a better offer. They don't want to give themselves to Jesus until they have enjoyed "the pleasures of sin for a season." They are not convinced that a relationship with Jesus is worth more than the various thrills that this world offers.

They don't understand that putting off the commitment to Christ IS a decision. Life is uncertain. You have the opportunity of the present moment. You might decide to follow Christ now, but you cannot decide to follow Christ "later." That kind of stalling now will result in lifelong procrastination. Then it is too late.

There is no better offer. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. A relationship with Jesus is the only thing that has ultimate value - and that value extends beyond this life.

But there is no such thing as a trial offer or a thirty day money back guarantee. You either commit to Christ or you don't.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Troop

While we were in Florida in December, we were able to surprise my parents with an early 60th anniversary party.
The Descendants of David and Ruth Denny (except for Jeff)
It was a rare opportunity to have the whole family together. Here we had mom & dad and all their descendants and spouses (except Jeff, who had to work.)

David & Ruth (Aardsma) Denny
     David & Lola (Sharp) Denny
          Darren & Roberta (Denny) Wells
               Emma Wells
               Caleb Wells
          David & Jessica (Lee) Denny
     Tim & Cindy (Denny) Parido
          Tim & Anna (?) Parido
               April Parido
               Kennedy Parido
          Paul Parido
          Jeff Parido

(Proverbs 17:6)  Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.