Counting Down The Days

count-downMany people, and especially the kids, are counting down the days to Christmas and know that it is just a couple of weeks away.  A much smaller number of people are eagerly counting the days to another event that will happen eight weeks after Christmas.

In about 72 days, the umps will shout “Play Ball,” and baseball’s Spring Training will begin.  Each of these talented players caught the eye of a scout because he was an All Star during his high school or college years. When he steps across the white chalk line to play America’s Game, he joins the best of the best and the cream of the crop on a finely manicured field of dreams.

Aren’t you thankful that God didn’t scout you and make you prove your worth before He chose you?  He selected you just like He did the Hebrews:

“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” ~Deuteronomy 7:7-9

Even though there’s nothing special about you, Moses says that God has chosen you and made you the special object of His love. If the two verses above were a book, the four chapter titles would be:

  • The Lord Loves You
  • God Keeps His promises
  • You Can Be Redeemed From Whatever Enslaves You
  • God Is Faithful and His Love Is Steadfast

He doesn’t love you because you are good, smart, pretty, wise or because you have great faith. God loves you because He is love; and, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (I John 4:10).”

 

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).