by Rev. Robert A. Wendel
Before each New Year, I glance at that year’s daily bible reading plan knowing that disciplining myself by having a regular brush with the scriptures would be an encouragement and deepen me spiritually. But, life gets busy. So quiet time and good reading often get forgotten. Woe is me!
These are the days or weeks when my life just isn’t running smoothly as it’s supposed to. A sudden crisis, an unexpected call for help from a friend or stranger, a challenge in my own life, over-extending myself trying to meet others’ expectations or trying to crowd too many public obligations into my datebook, any of these can push even that morning’s prayer life into tomorrow’s corner.
Still, I’m aware that it’s spiritual things that keep my life running smoothly and help me handle the sharp turns, the uphills and the downhills. When I was growing up at home, I remember how our whole family went to church every Sunday and many afternoons in the kitchen Dad would show me how to find bible cross-references, then ask me to play some classic vinyl LP’s to which he would whistle.
The important reason to study scripture is to help each of us define and strive to live a life that reaches beyond and above what is normally expected of us. We’re reminded how Jesus lived and what he taught as priorities for our time on earth. As any pastor can tell you, the bible offers us concrete guidance for overcoming our weaknesses while ‘running toward” God’s finish line.
While I was a chaplain at the Beckley VA Medical Center, I was privileged to lead a Thursday afternoon bible study for men who called the facility home. One day I asked one older vet what was his secret to success? He thought carefully and answered “We need only have two loves in our lives: for God and for the people who happen to be in front of us at that very moment. That’s Christianity in a nutshell.
The January ABC Men’s breakfast will again be on the second Saturday morning of the month beginning at 8AM and usually done before 9:30 AM. Gentlemen, come, eat well and be physically and spiritually satisfied. Phil Parvin will offer us his thoughts.