BiTTER or BeTTER:  A Titanic Difference

elite-daily-titanicEven though it sank on April 15, 1912, the Titanic is one of the most famous ships that ever sailed the sea, and of her 711 survivors, the unsinkable Molly Brown may be the most famous.

The difference between Molly and the other survivors is that she never embraced a “victim” mindset.  She refused to yield to the emotional negatives of what she had been dealt; instead, she focused on how she could deal; and, she transformed the negative into a positive.

Molly stepped-up at a critical moment and took charge of her lifeboat.  After being rescued, she refused to be defined by her personal loss and her near death experience. She chose, instead, to lead volunteer efforts on behalf of her fellow survivors.

Molly Brown never played Wheel of Fortune, but she knew the importance of letter placement and the power of vowels.  Molly chose an E instead of an I and became  BeTTER instead of BiTTER. This is the difference between a rose and a thorn.  Some people complain that the rose bush is full of thorns, while others are happy that the thorn bush has roses.

Molly could have wasted the rest of her life bitterly trash-talking the crew of the Titanic, and she could have denigrated the engineers who designed the ship, but she chose the better path in life.

I’ll close with this BeTTER or BiTTER instruction from the Apostle Paul: Put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk—indeed all malice.  Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:31-32

*You might enjoy this brief “Molly Brown” clip.

Lip Service: In Name Only

rhino-trumpI guess it’s somewhat fitting that the date of the Iowa caucus is just a few weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day.  Both are love-hate events, and the language of the participants is characterized by loving phrases of praise or acerbic accusations that are as sharp as Cupid’s arrows.

When lovers and politicians just talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk, they’re labeled as an in-name-only person. This type of false sincerity was the focus of John’s admonishment to young Christians (I John 3:18):

  • Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ~NKJV
  • Don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. ~The Voice
  • Let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. ~Amplified

Donald Trump and a few others vying for the office of President have been accused of being a RINO or a Republican In Name Only.  Individuals like these paint themselves in the colors of the Republican Party and sport a freshly inked GOP tattoo, but they don’t walk the party line.

On Valentine’s Day, a spurned loved may be accused of being a LINO or a Lover In Name Only.  The offender can try to persuade the offended with a box of chocolates and a dozen red roses, but the scent of the flowers can’t undo the smell of betrayal.

My concern is not so much that you might be a RINO or a Lino, but whether or not you are a CINOChristian In Name Only.  Are you a lip-serviceChristian, or are you sincere in your commitment to Him?  As you think about this question, you might want to examine your love-lines and wrinkles in the mirror of John 13:34-35:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

29 More Days

2010_01_21_blog_seed_catalogs-008With the foul weather, frigid temperatures, and bone-chilling wind, it’s hard to believe that the first day of Spring is about a month way.  Proof of this is the frequent appearance of seed catalogues in my daily mail.

Bright red roses and other fragrant flowers will soon be in full blossom.  As the buds of these plant begin to form, gardeners will sniff about them in anticipation of their pleasing aroma.

The scent of a flowering plant is designed to attract insects for the purpose of pollination.  In 1953 chemists could only recognize 20 of the chemicals in a rose’s fragrant bouquet, but now they can identify 1,700 different scent compounds.

The sweet fragrance of flowers reminds me of a couple of verses in the Bible:

  • In Revelation 5:8, John speaks of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
  • In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul encourages us to “be imitators of God, as beloved children, and to walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

I’ll leave you with a question to consider:  Are you know for raising a stink or for a life that is “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God?”

Valentine’s Day

images (4)Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so this is your reminder to get a little something for that special someone who brightens your life.  Let me share some statistics with you to give you some insight into the 14th day of February:

  • Some 180 Million Valentine’s Day cards will be shared
  • 85% of the Valentine’s Day cards are purchased by women
  • Somewhere around 196 million roses are used for Valentine’s Day
  • 73% of the flowers that are purchased are bought by men
  • The average consumer will spend about $116.21

What is Valentine’s Day worth to the retail industry?  It is estimated that $403 million will be spent on flowers, and the jewelry stores will ring up sales in the area of $2.2 billion.

With all of the petal-pulling-she-loves-me, she-loves-me-nots, keep this truth in mind:  Regardless of the day of the week, God always loves you!

Jeremiah 31:3 is God’s Valentine to His people: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”  God’s love will not tarnish like metal, wilt like a flower, or grow dim like a gem.  It is constant and eternal, and you are the object of His love.