Are You a Putter or a Put-er?

Putting-the-ballYou probably know what a putter is, but you might have some doubts about a put-er. A putter can be thought of as a person who is putting a golf ball, and it’s also the club that’s used to putt the ball into the hole.

A put-er is some one who “puts on” or “puts off” specific characteristics specified by the Apostle Paul:

  • Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:23-24)
  • Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth . . . and put on the new man of tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (Colossians 3:8-12)

The Putter loves golf; tries to get the ball in the hole; and, thinks being under par is good.  The Put-er loves the Gospel; tries to stay out of ruts; and, thinks being less than par is bad.

Both have an eagle-like focus.  The Putter scores an eagle when he’s two strokes under par.  When the Put-er puts on the new man, his strength is renewed; he mounts up with wings like an eagle; and, he runs without growing weary.

Putter or Put-er:  Are you one or the other, neither, or both?

Get Buff and Boogie

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Tom Tom has started selling a fitness watch, so you can get buff and boogie at the same time.  When I read the article describing this newer addition to the fitness craze, I wondered if the Apostle Paul would have worn one.

Which one of the following songs do you think Paul would have had on his playlist?

  • Onward Christian Soldiers
  • Victory in Jesus
  • On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand
  • I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Paul didn’t have all the gadgets that are available today, but he did know the importance of training and being fit:

“We all know that when there’s a race, all the runners bolt for the finish line, but only one will take the prize. When you run, run for the prize!  Athletes in training are very strict with themselves, exercising self-control over desires, and for what? For a wreath that soon withers or is crushed or simply forgotten. That is not our race. We run for the crown that we will wear for eternity. So I don’t run aimlessly. I don’t let my eyes drift off the finish line.When I box, I don’t throw punches in the air. I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after all this, after I have brought the gospel to others, I will still be qualified to win the prize.”  ~I Cor.9:24-27

Like Paul, we need to live a disciplined life and “strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”

Are You Among the 21%?

21percent_in_red_and_3d_NLI doubt there are many of us that number ourselves among the elite 1% of the world’s wealthiest people.  You may, however, find yourself among those who will be changed by the 21%.

What is the significance of 21%?  If you add it to your situation, it can make a big difference:

  • If you are concerned with your IQ, you probably already know that 50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110. If you add 21% to a score of 100 you become a person with very superior intelligence.  If you subtract 21% from 100, you will find yourself among the ranks of those who are classified as having a “borderline deficiency in intelligence.”
  • The average life expectancy is 71. If you add 21%, you would live to be 86.  If you subtracted 21%, you would only live to be 56.
  • If you are 71 inches tall you might be able to play basketball by adding 21% to your height. At 86 inches tall, you would be taller than LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers  If you subtract 21% from 71, you would be about 4 ½ foot tall, but still taller than Eddie Gaedel.  At 3 foot 7 inches, Gaedel was the shortest player to ever play in an MLB game; and, he did it in 1951 when he played for the St. Louis Browns.
  • If you weigh 171 pounds, 21% would be the difference between tipping the scales at 207 pounds and weighing only 135 pounds.

If you are a person who likes to travel on an airplane, 21% means you may have to buy new luggage. The International Air Transport Association has set some new guidelines for carry-on bags.  The IATA is recommending that bags should be 21.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep which is 21% smaller than current standards.

What would happen if you made a 21% change in your life?  How would your life be different if you followed these old guidelines?

Let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us, and stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

623: A Balanced Life

new_mx623wn_500For several years now, I’ve worn a specific brand of tennis shoes. They are the “623” made by New Balance.

As I took a sip of coffee and started my devotional time this morning, I noticed my shoes on the floor in front of me. I saw something in the “623” logo on the shoes that I had never seen before.

The significance of “623” just occurred to me—Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I’m certain New Balance has never connected the salvation message of Romans 6:23 to their tennis shoes, but every time I lace them up and put them on, I’ll think of this verse.

This shoe theme reminds me of one of the principles that John taught: If you’re going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. He said: “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him (I John 3:17-18).”

What about your talk and your walk? Is it consistent? When people hear you talk, do they hear the love of God? If people follow your path and walk in your shoes will it lead them to Heaven?

Paul’s words to the church at Rome are significant to this discussion: “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace who bring glad tidings of good things!’ (Romans 10:13-15).”

623: I encourage you to take 6 minutes to read this blog 2 times, to think of 3 people who you can influence with your talk and by your walk, and to pray that you can be the one who brings the “glad tidings of good things” to them.