Living in a Covid-19 World #27


Living with an Open Agenda

If there is a lesson I have learned through these last three months, it’s this: I can’t control the circumstances around me. My plans all changed with the travel bans, social distancing, and self-isolation. And no one asked me about it!

There are two extremes that seem to identify who we are in our approach to life.

First, there are the laissez-faire types with the motto: “Let go and let God.” Life happens to you and there’s not much you can do.”

Secondly, there are those who are planned and controlled, who reflect the mantra, “God helps those who help themselves.”

To read the rest of this post, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #26


Barn Swallows

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. (Proverbs 26:2)

One of the pleasures that self-isolation and the Covid-19 world has not taken away is the ability to go out and watch the birds, busy with all of their springtime activity. A wooded area close to our home is a catalogue of winged wildlife: Cardinals, Warblers, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, and Herons. It gives me an odd sense of comfort to know that the pandemic hasn’t stopped everything.

Two images came to my mind as I read this verse today: visiting my uncle’s farm and an Alfred Hitchcock movie called The Birds. These images remind me of the truth of this verse; a person of integrity does not need to fear undeserved accusations. Let me explain.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #25


You Know Who Your            Friends Are When …

Like a bad tooth or a lame foot, is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. (Prv. 25:19)

The current circumstances have offered ample opportunity for people to show their true colors. Whether is has been a health issue, or financial strain, many people have fallen into hardship during these months of social distancing and the shutdown of our economy. It’s a time when many of us have seen who our true friends are; people who stick with us through the good times and the bad.

True friends show their worth when they come to our aid, or bring a word of encouragement that helps us focus on the One who meets our greatest needs. Solomon is quick to identify these people.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #24


When Trials Come

… for though a righteous man fall seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16)

One of the mysteries of the Christian life is the way God draws near to us in times of trouble. As followers of Christ we are not promised that trials will never come, but rather that when they do come, that God walks with us. Read the lyrics of When Trials Come, a song by Keith & Kristyn Getty, by clicking on the link below. You can also go to a video of this powerful song as you ponder your situation, whether it be times of trial – for they surely will come – or in times of great rejoicing.

To read the rest of this posting, plus find the link to When Trials Come, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #23


Do not get Drunk on Wine …

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. (Prov. 23:31-33)

Solomon doesn’t mince his words in these verses. The bottom line is this: if you get caught in the trap of alcohol or drugs (or any other unhealthy addiction), you will pay for it in the end. It is a matter of control. The reports in the news confirm this in our current situation, as alcohol-induced household violence is on the rise.

But isn’t it interesting that the same word picture is used by Paul in the New Testament?

To read the rest of this posting, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #22


True Riches:

The Value of a Good Name

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Prv. 22:1)

We live in a world where the question “what’s in it for me?” is the measuring rod of all that people do and say. We see it as nations jostle for position as they protect their own interests. It will surely be seen in individuals as a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus is developed, wanting to make sure that they get the shot that will ensure their safety.

This is a world that complains about the integrity of politicians as they make lofty promises, but deliver little. A “dog-eat-dog” mentality rules the business sector and corruption is not only expected, there are times that it is applauded. I wish I could say that followers of Christ live radically different than others around them, but that is often not the case. What’s a person to do in such a world?

To read the full devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #21


The “Shees” of the Question

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3)

OK – you have to be a Brazilian to understand the title of this colorful Portuguese saying; but it gets to the point of this verse. The literal translation of ‘Xis’ da Questão is to say “the X of a question,” or the main point of a matter.

I bring this up because I see an alarming number of people, Christ-followers included, who defend their behavior with an “ends justifying the means” sense of logic. It doesn’t matter how I act or what I say if the eventual outcome aligns itself with a good outcome. Our current Covid-19 crisis has brought this attitude to the forefront in the lives of political leaders, social media stars, and ordinary people.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #20


The Darkest Place on Earth

The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. (Proverbs 20:27)

I spoke the other day to a friend who is passing through a deep depression. His confidence has been rocked by the events of the crisis and he’s wondering if he’ll ever see light at the end of his personal “Covid-19 tunnel.” I asked him if he’d ever gone down into a deep cave and experienced absolute darkness? Then I told him this story.

As a young boy our family visited the Lewis & Clarke caverns in Montana. At one point of the tour our cleaver guide warned us that he was turning off the lights.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #19


 

Where Fools Rush In

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2)

 

“You rush in where angels fear to tread.” That was one of the favourite sayings of my High School drafting teacher, but the problem was that he seemed to like to use it with me.

If you have listened to the Covid-19 newscasts you have heard many statements that were made one day, only to be retracted the next. Promises of additional testing and eventual defeat of the pandemic have flourished, only to flounder in the face of hard evidence and lack of resources.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #18


Where do you go in times of trouble?

This weekend Canadians are celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend; the unofficial start of the summer season. In the past they have been able to go and take refuge at a summer cottage, or to travel and be with friends and family. But this year is going to be different.

It is interesting to watch as people’s normal schedules or routines have been altered by the conditions and travel restrictions that Covid-19 has placed upon us. The standard places where we have been able to seek rest and refuge have been lost or uprooted. It’s not easy to have your whole world turned upside-down.

A few years ago Rhonda and I had the opportunity to travel to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. We visited several medieval castles; the places of refuge of kings and kingdoms remain as a testimony to the different realms that ruled the land, whether it be pre-Christian Phoenicians, Roman Emperors, Moorish princes, or post-12th Century Christian kingdoms.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.