In an old Andy Capp cartoon strip the following exchange takes place between Andy and his wife:
Andy comes into the house and as he is taking off his coat he says, “Sorry if I shocked you, Pet. But that’s how I like to play it – tell it like it is.”
Andy’s wife replies, “That’s one thing about you.”
“Thanks,” replies Andy.
As Andy walks by his wife, she grabs him by his neck scarf and says, “But will I ever see the night when you tell it like it “OUGHT TO BE?!!”
I wish our world and its leaders spent more time working on how things ought to be instead of trying to protect the way things are and have been.
A long time ago a prophet by the name of Micah laid out how things ought to be in these words:
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Would it not be wonderful to live in a world of the “OUGHT TO BE?!!”
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 1:55 PM EDT
As I am going through things these days to toss some and keep some, so to speak, I came across the following about forgiveness.
Lent is a great time to be meditating upon one’s understanding and practice of forgiveness. I must confess that I have had this so long I can no longer read the author’s name. My apologies to you and the author.
“To forgive is the highest
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
The program for achieving a forgiving heart:
Sunday: Forgive yourself.
Monday: Forgive your family.
Tuesday: Forgive your friends and associates.
Wednesday: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.
Thursday: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.
Friday: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.
Saturday: Forgive other nations.
The brave know how to forgive. A coward never does.”
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 4:11 PM EDT
The following is a story that I believe is extremely appropriate for these days in which we live when so many from diverse walks of life are so filled with anger and venom and the loss of the gift of emotional, spiritual and psychological absorption. Or, the inability to “turn the other cheek” as Jesus said.
“Calmness, self-possession, and silence are often the best answers to insults or unfair accusations. When Washington was accused of drunkenness, immorality, treason, and a desire to be king, he refused to reply. Lincoln, slandered and vilified for his war policies, met all with dignified silence.
“In a little North Carolina town many years ago a Methodist minister enraged some of his parishioners by befriending and helping black people. One former army colonel took particular offense and when he saw the minister on the street, he greeted him with a loud outburst of abuse and blistering profanity. The minister stood still, white-faced but calm, while the tirade continued. Finally the angry abuse stopped and the minister said, ‘Is that all? Then I bid you good morning.’ He quietly stepped around the still-angered but now deflated colonel and went his way.”
May we, during this season of Lent, meditate deeply upon the Christ, who upon the cross absorbed the “angry abuse” of the world with the words, “Father forgive them…………”.
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, March 1, 2018 @ 9:56 AM EDT
Lent. It is that time again. The liturgical season of Lent has begun and we have already participated in Ash Wednesday worship and are moving on to Palm/Passion Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday in order to get to Easter Sunday. In order to be prepared to understand and celebrate Easter as fully as possible, we should seek to deepen our understanding of and appreciation for Lent.
We know that Lent is the forty day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (excluding Sundays). We know that this is a period that should be marked with preparation and penitence. The early days of the church used this time to prepare for baptism, which took place on Easter Eve. Today we use this time for study, personal and congregational worship and spiritual renewal.
One of the suggestions I would make, for the purpose of personal renewal, is that we use part of this time meditating upon the key aspects of Christian discipleship. These key aspects are worship, prayer, giving, serving and witnessing. We all approach these disciplines in a number of different ways. However, these very simple characteristics of discipleship, when cultivated through practice, will enrich our relationship with Jesus in marvelous ways.
Indeed, may we continue to grow in who we are and how we live out our faith in Christ during this very special season of the Christian year.
- Doug Fairbanks
Published on Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:44 AM EDT
When the violin of the famous Paganini was broken, it is told that rather than throw up his hands he “challenged” the loss. It was also told that like any person who lost something so valuable, he was disappointed but not defeated. He went out and got another violin. And, he let it be known that he was far from finished when he said, “I will show them that the music is in me and not in any instrument.”
Life is full of challenges, ups and downs, victories and defeats, successes and failures. Dr. Evelyn Laycock was one of my professors at Hiwassee College who knew how to get a point across in such a way that I continue to remember, what I consider to be some of the great insights into life that she shared with her students. One that I remember very vividly and have shared with others is the following: “Failure is not in falling down but in failing to get up once you have fallen.”
Dr. Laycock was a tremendous teacher of the Bible and a great example as a Christian. I believe that she and Paganini had something in common. I believe they understood that the “music” is within, just like the Kingdom of God is within and the expression of the beauty of either is not dependent upon a particular set of circumstances, good or bad. May we claim the “music” that God has put within each of us!
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 3:00 PM EDT