Don’t Fly Blind

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

 

A pilot was taking a trip in his small airplane one day. Suddenly, the weather around him changed. The clouds engulfed him. He couldn’t see where he was, or where the ground was. The storm that was brewing created some interference, and not all of the gauges in front of him were working. Soon he realized he was flying blind.

At least his radio still worked. He called out on that radio for anyone who was listening. An air traffic controller heard the call and responded. He could see the pilot’s aircraft on his radar screen.

The air traffic controller was able to direct the pilot to the airport. He could tell the pilot which way to turn and when to turn. He was able to tell the pilot whether he needed to gain altitude in the aircraft or begin to descend. Using the radio, the air traffic controller was able to guide the pilot through that storm and to a safe landing.

During all of this, the pilot had a choice to make. Was he going to try to land that aircraft by himself? Or was he going to trust the person on the other end of his radio? He couldn’t see that person. He didn’t know that person. But if he was going to safely land that airplane, he had to put his trust in someone he couldn’t see or didn’t know.

At some point we all go through life that way. We are flying along doing our own thing, and then something goes wrong. And when that happens, we desperately reach out for someone to help us. We search for someone we can trust. And it may not be someone we can see, or we even know.

Until we allow Jesus to come into our lives, we don’t know Him. We certainly can’t see Him face to face. Yet Jesus is the only One who can direct us safely through this life by directing us to the Father. He is the One who knows which way we are to turn.

But we must learn to trust Him. Not only when things are not going the right way, but trust Him always and in all things. We can’t see Him, but if we look, everything around us shows us His hands at work in everything. We may not know Him at first, but He knows us, and He wants us to know Him more than we realize.

We must make that choice to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We must learn to trust Him to show us the way we are to go. Until we do, we are flying blind in this life.

The storms will continue to come. Even after we accept Jesus in our hearts, we sometimes still think we know the right way. But when we continue to put our trust in God’s promises, God’s Word, and God’s love, He will guide us safely through those storms. We may not be able to see everything around us, and those “clouds” may be gathering around us, but with God, we aren’t flying blind.

 

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

March 11, 2018

Got Your “Shot” of Jesus?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   John 14:6
Inoculation refers to the intentional introduction of a small portion of a form of an infectious disease into a person with the purpose of causing the body to produce antibodies to fight the disease. The concept is to cause the body to develop an immunity to the actual virus.

The process is thought to have started in China during the 10th century to fight small pox. The need to fight that disease continued as it spread across the world as man spread across the continents. The first recorded use of the practice in America was in 1721, when a prominent Boston minister finally convinced a physician to inoculate his two sons.

The practice continues today as we are all urged to get flu shots. A yellow fever vaccine is needed if you travel to Africa. There are meningitis vaccines and a vaccine for pneumonia. Polio has been eliminated through the polio vaccine, which some of us received in a sugar cube.

What we are missing is an inoculation from the evil of the world. But it’s not really missing, we just don’t let it work.
Jesus is that inoculation. Jesus is our vaccine against the evil. We let Jesus come into our lives and we begin to build some resistance, “antibodies” against the enemy; against Satan. But then something happens.
Why does the small pox vaccine work? Why does the polio vaccine work? It’s because our bodies were designed by the Maker. He made it possible for our bodies to build those necessary antibodies without us doing anything. It’s all programed into our DNA.

But many people get that “inoculation” of Jesus, of the truth, and it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. The world around us appeals to our flesh, to our senses, to our eyes and ears, and we don’t allow for God’s Word to grow in us, to reveal the truth to us, to keep us on the right path. We become “weak” in fighting evil, we give in to the temptations of life, and we become spiritually dead.

Sometimes, something else happens. We get inoculated with Jesus and we catch the disease of religion. We develop a closed heart and mind as to what it means to develop a personal relationship with God, and we don’t ever find God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Each of our lives depend on us repenting of our sins, turning away from the past, and turning to what God wants us to do. But we can’t do any of those by ourselves. We need Jesus. He must be Lord and Savior to us. We must trust in Him and turn our lives over to Him.

Without those vaccines, we are in danger of becoming ill and dying. Without Jesus, we are dead. Forever. For eternity. Have you received your “shot” of Jesus in your life?

2018 Charles A. Kalkomey
March 4, 2018

A Very Present Help

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

We spend much of our time planning for the future. We are always thinking about what we need to do now to be ready for tomorrow.

Now, there is nothing wrong with planning. Some people are just obsessed with it. They go through each day as if they had to make plans for themselves and their family for the next 50 years! Such questions haunt them. “How much money do I need to live on when I get old? What do I have to put away for college for the children? What do I have to do to make sure the boss notices how hard I work?” When do I need to think about looking for another job so I can move up the ladder quicker? What do I need to do to impress that girl over in the accounting department?”

Notice in all of those questions the emphasis is on “what I have to do” or “what do I need to have.” It’s as if everything depended on each of us to control the outcome we desire.

Then something happens, and we soon realize we are not in charge. We get hit with the reality of just how little we actually control. The outcomes of life are not simply all in our hands.

Just ask 17 families in south Florida. That college fund is not important any more. What type of car they drive is no longer a priority. Where they will spend spring break no longer matters.

An act of evil that is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding suddenly changed the course of life for those families. They had a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a friend, that was suddenly taken away from them. No one can plan for a day when a loved one goes off to high school, never to walk through the front door of their home again. And what makes it even more unbearable? It seems as if it could have been prevented by the authorities a month earlier.

Life is not about what “I” can do or make happen. Life is about being a part of what God wants to do in each person’s life. When life is turned upside down, we need a place of refuge.

A refuge is a place of safety; a place we can trust. Strength allows for one to stand firm. God is that only true place of safety. He alone gives us the strength to hold on; to keep going. And God has been tried many times, but He has proven to be always present in times of trouble and tribulation.

The lives of many people changed in an instant last week. A person can question and wonder where God was in all of this horror. A person can ask God why He didn’t stop this from happening. That question we cannot answer. But be assured God was there in the middle of it all. He didn’t flee from those students and teachers. He was that present help in time of trouble. And He continues to be that present help for those who are left to mourn and grieve; for those who continue to ask why; for those who are struggling to move forward.

Remember, as we plan for tomorrow, we are not promised a tomorrow. But we are promised that if we will seek Him, if we will have a relationship with Him, He will not abandon us.. He is the refuge and the strength that gets us through each day. He is always present. Will you let Him be your very present help in times of trouble?

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 18, 2018

God For All Times!

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.   James 4:8

There seem to be many in this nation who know how to call on the name of God at certain times; at times when there is no place left to turn. When trouble comes and it seems that all hope is lost. When the unthinkable is all that we can think about. When someone can walk into a school and take the lives of 17 others.

Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Remember the University of Texas tower shooting? That claimed 17 lives 41 years ago. There have been 30 such events since 1900.

And with each of these tragedies, people cry out to God. People who haven’t prayed in months start to pray for God’s help; His comfort; His healing; His peace.

It has been the same way throughout time. In Exodus, God’s people were in bondage and they cried out to God to deliver them. When they were trapped at the Red Sea, they cried out to God. In Judges, Israel cried out to God because God had delivered them into the hands of the Midianites because of the evil they had done.

Why is it that we cry out for God’s presence in our lives when things go wrong? Why have we taken God out of our presence when things are good?

Why have we taken God out of the schools? There is no more prayer, no more scriptures read in public schools. Why have we taken the Ten Commandments out of public display? Why is it that there are those in this country that tell us it is not right to talk about God in public because we may offend someone?

The reason for the most recent school tragedy? God is gone from our lives in times of peace. We only fellowship with God on Sundays and in times of trouble. We have forgotten we are to be in relationship with Him.

We have forgotten God’s plan for the family. The family is not just important, it’s critical to our existence. It’s what holds society together. The family is meant to reinforce the difference between right and wrong.

Do we need a louder cry for revival? At what point do we realize that we are nothing without God in our lives? When we chose to take God out of schools, work, the public, our everyday routines, we chose to tell God we don’t need Him. We are capable of doing things ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. But the way which seems right to man is actually the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Can something good come from all of this? If we, as a nation, wake-up. If we, as a nation, realize that God has to be a part of all of life; that we can’t put Him on a shelf until we need Him. If we trust Him in all things.

Yes, God hears our prayers. He hears our cries in times of trouble and pain. But He also wants to hear us each and every day, even if it’s just to tell Him how much we love Him, and hear how much He loves us. God is the God in times of trouble. But He is also the God in times of peace. He is the God for all times!

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 25, 2018

The Healer

The Healer

 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Exodus 15:26

For the first time in 65 years I experienced the surroundings of an operating room. (Ok. I admit I must have been in one 65 years ago, but I don’t remember anything more about that time than I do this time.) Having not been in this situation before, it was interesting to listen to one of the specialists talk about a couple of items that patients take for granted today.

You know that little light thing they put on your finger to measure the oxygen content in your blood? Well, years ago, the only way to do that was through the lab, and by the time the doctor got the results, it may be too late. But a bioengineer was looking at projects at a science fair. He saw another student’s project which showed how blood with oxygen was different in color than blood without oxygen. He began to experiment with that and using ultraviolet light he was able to develop that little device on the end of your finger. Now a doctor can instantaneously know the oxygen level in your blood with a oximeter.

Hospitals are always cold, especially the operating rooms. One of the problems years ago was that when a lot of blood was involved, the doctors had trouble keeping the patient’s body temperature high enough. Someone had the bright idea to wrap some plastic around the patient and blow hot air into the wrapping with a blow dryer. They found that if they could keep a certain percentage of the patient’s body warm, the procedures went with less complications. Therefore, I had this aluminum-like blanket with a hot air blower hooked up to me all the while I was in the hospital.

So, what does this have to do with the Healer? First, God is the true and only Healer. Second, He has the choice of how He heals; who God uses. These two examples are simple improvements that made a big impact on patient healing. But it was God who gave the ideas. He uses us to accomplish His plan.

Yes, God can instantaneously heal a person. But He can also use doctors and nurses and assistants and medicine to heal. Don’t limit God to doing it your way. Trust the Healer to do it His way!

 © Charles A. Kalkomey

September 24, 2017

The Long Way Around

17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

Exodus 3:17

 God had plans for Moses. He was to bring His people out of captivity in Egypt. When Pharaoh finally let God’s people go, they marched out of Egypt with their captors’ silver and gold.

Strangely, God led them not along the direct route to Canaan, but the long way around. Had they gone the shortest route, they would have reached their destination in about a week. But the journey would have taken them through hostile Philistine country. These Hebrews, having spent the last 8 generations in slavery, were in no position to fight. So God took them the long way around.

Has God ever taken you the long way around? Have you ever wondered why God did it the hard way instead of making it easy for you? Sometimes, we just are not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually prepared to face what God knows awaits us. We need to grow and mature. God makes sure we go the long way around to get prepared.

Not only did God lead them the long way around, He led them to the Red Sea. Pharaoh had changed his mind and was in pursuit. He had the Hebrews trapped at the Red Sea; or so he thought.

What seemed like the end for God’s people had two purposes.  First, God wanted the Egyptians to know that He is Lord. Second, God wanted His people to experience a deeper and lasting revelation of who God is.

Sometimes we find ourselves going the long way around because He has the salvation of others in His plan. For example, God’s healing may not always come when we want it to. But as we stay faithful in our journey we learn that God puts others in our path so He can use us to bring His love and show His glory to someone else.

When we will stay true to the journey, God will bring us through the experience. And when He does, we will have a deeper and lasting revelation of who He is. When the Hebrews were trapped, God parted the Red Sea. When we don’t see the way out, God will open the door we are looking for. And when He does, He reveals to us something we didn’t know, or maybe we forgot, about God.

When you think God is taking you the long way around, don’t worry. He has a purpose, and you don’t want to miss out on what that is!

© Charles A. Kalkomey

September 17, 2017

Three

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by vthe washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

You have heard that events and things will happen in a set of 3. There won’t just be 1 or 2 things happen that are significant. Things happen in 3!

About four weeks ago we had a blowout on our car. The tire was ruined, of course. The rim was also damaged. And you can’t put just one tire on a car. At least one tire and the rim were covered by warranty.

About two weeks ago, a rock hit the windshield so hard it shattered a section of the inside glass. The windshield had an outer glass and an inner glass, separated by a clear film. It was that clear film that prevented the rock from perhaps coming all the way through and into the car. A friend made the comment at that time, “Remember things always happen in 3s.”

Well, she didn’t realize how prophetic she was. On Thursday, the car was rear-ended, and totaled. I need to remind her of Proverbs 18:21a, for “Death and life are in the power of the tongue:”.

But there is something else that comes in three. Something that we should be very thankful for. We wouldn’t have or be anything without the Trinity.

God the Father is the first. The Creator of all. The Giver of life. The Healer, the Provider, the God of Peace, and so much more. He is the One who desires that we walk in a relationship with Him. He wants to talk to us, and wants us to talk to Him. Without Him, there is nothing.

Jesus Christ, His Son, is the second. God in the flesh. Jesus showed us the love of God, how we are to live, how to treat others, and so much more. He provided the path by which we have access to God the Father. And more than anything, Jesus paid the price for our sin that we could never pay. His shed blood covers all our iniquities, and provides the Way for us to enjoy eternal live in His presence.

And of course, the Holy Spirit is the third. The Holy Spirit teaches us and reveals the truth to us about God. He helps us to discern God’s Word. He guides us. He convicts us of our sin. He comforts us. The Holy Spirit prays for us.

Be thankful for God watching over you. Be thankful that the One God manifested in Three wants us in relationship with Him.

After the accident, vehicles continued going by on both sides of the car. Finally a SUV stopped to check on my wife and grandchildren. They stayed until a constable arrived. Bea asked them for a name to be able to at least send them a thank you note, but they refused to even do that. They simply said they considered themselves disciples of Jesus, and they were only doing what God would want them to do. And, there were three of them.

© Charles A. Kalkomey

August 6, 2017

Fourth Day

The Fourth Day

 

39  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?… 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth,…

John 11:39-40; 43-44a

 

Whenever we read the Bible, we should ask questions. Why did Jesus say this? What did Jesus mean when He used those words? Why did Jesus wait four days to raise Lazarus from the dead? Why not three days? Or just one day?

Jesus always had a reason for what He did, how He did it, and when. In this case, waiting until the fourth day meant there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead. The Jews believed a person’s spirit or soul lingered around for three days after the person’s death. The spirit was trying to re-enter the body, hoping it would come back to life. There was to be no doubt with Lazarus. No one could claim Lazarus had any sense of life still within him. Lazarus was dead, and there was only one thing that could change that – the Hand of God through the words of Jesus.

Mary, Martha, and others would see Lazarus come back to life in only one way – through God for the glory to God. There would be no doubt. And many came to believe in Jesus.

Does it ever seem like God waits for the “fourth” day to answer your prayers? You want God to solve your problem on the first day you pray to Him. We don’t like to wait even two or three days. But God sometimes waits until all hope seems lost. We try to solve the problem ourselves, but we can’t. When our situation becomes so desperate that we know there is no hope, then God can move in and show us that nothing is impossible with God. We just have to stop trying to do things on our own, and trust in God. We must allow Him to work in our lives the way He wants to. Not how we want Him to.

As we approach this July 4th, we think back on what this country has gone through for the last 241 years. We have survived wars, depressions, disease, and even ourselves.

But it seems like nothing is going in the right direction anymore. The government doesn’t’ seem to work. Terrorists seek to destroy us. Christians are under constant attack. We have taken God out of our schools, our work, our homes, and even some of our churches. The situation seems hopeless and impossible. Maybe it’s time to quit trying to solve this country’s problems ourselves, and turn it back over to God. Maybe it’s time to start trusting in God, and believing that nothing is impossible for Him. We don’t have to wait for the “fourth day” every time.

© Charles A. Kalkomey

July 2, 2017

 

Kenya 2016

                                                   Kenya 2016!

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Across the rolling hills of shiny green and gold,

There are so many stories that can be told,

About how the hearts of all were touched,

And how each one of us was loved so much.

 

 

The things we saw, they are hard to explain,

And why part of our hearts there still remain.

Their lives are so simple but yet full of joy,

Even in the smiles of each girl and each boy

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In this rich brown dirt they somehow survive.

The crops and the animals the land does provide.

The little things we find on our packed shelves,

They don’t even know to think about for themselves

 

Most people walk to wherever they need to go;

To market, to school, to home and church also

A matatu, a bike, or car is available for a few,

But most just walk here to there, like the animals do

But the sun begins to set in that great western sky.

It’s now time to leave; it’s time to say goodbye.

Yet in the still of our minds we still hear the sound

Of the soft praises to God from the hills all around.

 

Their hunger for God draws out all we have within,

And it’s their love and their joy that refreshes us again.

For sharing of God’s love and His truth with them all,

Blesses us more than we bless them, in no way small.

 

We are so amazed at this simple life that they live,

But blessed by the love from their hearts they give.

If those back home could feel the hunger for God here,

Maybe they’d think more of Him than of things so dear.

 

Each time we come a little piece of us we leave behind.

Old friendships grow deeper, a new friend we do find.

But what never changes with each time that we are here,

Is God’s love is the same in Kenya, as it is everywhere.

 

© 2016 Charles A. Kalkomey

August 30, 2016

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Separation On The Cross

46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Matthew 27:46

 

The above Scripture gives us some of the last words Jesus spoke from the Cross. Has that last dying question from God’s own Son ever bothered you?

In Matthew 26:38-39, on the night that Jesus was betrayed, Jesus went to a garden to be alone with the Father. He asked if there was any other way to do this, let it be so. But if not, that the Father’s Will was to be done.

Jesus had said many times that He was going to be betrayed and He would die on the Cross. He also said that He would rise from the dead and live again. He said this indirectly as when He referred to destroying the “temple” and rebuilding it in three days. He also said it very plainly and directly so there was no misunderstanding as to what He meant.

So Jesus knew from the beginning that He was going to suffer and be nailed to the Cross. He knew that He was going to die, and He knew that He would rise again to live forever. Jesus knew there was going to be an Easter Sunday. He knew there would be a Resurrection Sunday. So what was it that He expressed concern about in the garden? What was it that He didn’t want to experience if there could be another way?

Perhaps the answer to that question lies in Matthew 27:46. Before Jesus died, He took on Himself all our sin. The One who was sinless had to lose His divinity to be filled with our sin. And when that happened, God could no longer look down on Him. God will not tolerate sin. So at that moment on the Cross, something happened that had never happened since before the beginning of time – Jesus was separated from God.

That is what Jesus did not want to experience if there was another way. He accepted the beatings and torture. He accepted being nailed on the cross. But He knew what separation from God meant. He tells us that in Luke 16 in the parable of the rich man and the poor man. Jesus didn’t want to experience that separation from God.

With all that Jesus knew about what was coming on that Easter Sunday, His brief separation from God was but a flash of time in the scheme of eternity. But even that brief moment was not something Jesus wanted.

Not accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour, never developing that intimate relationship with God, will mean an eternity of separation from God. If Jesus was telling us that even a brief separation of God is not something we should want, then why do we ignore the eternity of separation that awaits those who don’t worship and serve God?

Once we make sure our relationship with God is in order, we must remember Jesus’ words to share the Gospel with all those we encounter. God desires that no one experience that eternity of separation, but that all would live with Him in eternity. Jesus’ last words from the Cross should convince us to fulfill His commandment to teach all the world to observe all that Jesus taught; to show all the love of God. Because of Easter morning, Jesus lives; and we have the promise that we, too, can live forever with God the Father in eternity.

 © 2016 Charles A. Kalkomey

March 26, 2016