The Top 4 of 2015

2015 Puzzle Piece Shows New Year's Festivities And Celebrations

When WordPress sent me an email yesterday, I was surprised by the content of the message:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people.  This blog was viewed about 58,000 times in 2015.  If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

There were 272 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 51 MB. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 24th with 400 views. The most popular post that day was The Book of Ralph.

According to WordPress, of the 266 articles that were posted, the top 4 were:

This will be my last post for 2015, and I want to thank each of you who have read this blog.  If you have the time, read the Top 4 again and share your thoughts with me.

I hope you experience the blessing of God’s presence in 2016, and I wish you a Happy New Year!

 

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Sodas, Saints, and Sin

big-gulpIf you’re like many Americans, you may believe that bigger is better.  Super-sized meals may be the  proof that this is faulty reasoning and that moderation might be a better approach to life.

In 1950 or shortly thereafter, McDonalds was selling 7 oz sodas, burgers that weighed in at 3.9 oz, and French fries in a portion of 2.4 oz.  Following the bigger is better mantra, the servings at McDonalds have increased  to 42 oz sodas, 12 oz burgers, and 6.7 oz fries.

The result of all this fast food grazing, is a raising in the average weight of Americans.  Women now weigh about 18.5% more than they did 50 years ago and the weight of the average man has increased 17.6%.

I find it interesting that during this same time period there has been both an increase in physical cravings and a decrease in spiritual appetite.  I’m not saying the food industry is the cause of our spiritual malnutrition, but we are a nation that is spiritually anemic.

The prophet Jeremiah ministered in a time like this.  It was a time when people had forgotten God and a time when the emphasis was physical and not spiritual.  It was to these people that Jeremiah said:

“My people have done two things wrong. They have abandoned me, the fountain of life-giving water. They have also dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can’t hold water.”  ~Jer. 2:13

A society that turns its back on God is one that embraces a philosophy that simply cannot hold water.  It might grow in size due to government programs, and it might increase in weight due to financial gain; however the only true hope is to return to the “fountain of life-giving water.”

Water: An Essential of Life

kenya-water-crisis-projectI think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  Whenever I think of this quote, the subject of statistics comes to mind.

People use statistics for different reasons. Someone has said that, “Figures don’t lie. But all liars figure,” and I think it was Vin Scully who said, “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

Some statistics are profound and purposeful, while others are simple and of little value.  I’ll let you be the judge as to the value of the list below:

  • Studies show that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.
  • More than 10 people a year are killed by a vending machine.
  • The most children born to one woman was 69, she was a peasant who lived a 40 year life, in which she had 16 twins, 7 triplets, and 4 quadruplets.
  • During the first year of its life, a new baby will deprive each of its parents around 350-400 hours of sleep.
  • The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.

I think this second list contains some statistics that are truly worthy of your attention:

  • 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34.
  • Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths in children under the age of 5 is due to a water-related disease.
  • 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.

When I washed my truck today, I wasn’t thinking of the few people who die because of a vending machine.  I did, however, wonder about what I should do to help the 283,710,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have access to clean and safe water.

I also thought of something else.  It was the discussion that Jesus had with a woman who was drawing water from a well.  In His typical fashion, Jesus used a common site and a traditional practice to teach a spiritual truth:  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).”

Based on what Jesus said, 100% of all people need to look to Him for salvation (John 14:6).  Take a close look at Him; study Him intently, and drink the cup of salvation that He offers you.