Latest Thoughts


Good Neighbors

Posted: August 19th, 2014, by christianwest

I have a friend whose neighbors believe that living next to him is second only to living in Heaven. He is the kind of guy who knows his neighbors, and is always ready to assist them, take care of their needs when possible, and provide services and help as if he were a paid employee. It’s no wonder they hail him as the best neighbor anyone could have.

Those folks will be happy to know they will probably live longer as a result of his generosity and care.

A study finds that participants who rate their communities the highest have an almost 70% reduced risk of heart attack. A new study by researchers from the University of Michigan appears to suggest that close community ties reduce heart-attack risk for people over 50. Participants were asked to rate, on a seven-point scale, whether their neighbors were trustworthy, reliable and friendly, and if they felt connected to their community.(TIME)

I have been wondering if that would work  in the Church. If you are sitting regularly by someone every Sunday morning and evening (and most of us sit in the same place every Sunday) and your relationship is based on trust, reliability, and friendliness, resulting in a greater feeling of connectivity to your Church family, would your risk for heart attack be reduced by some percentage? If so, I would imagine you would have a few people you would wish to sit by, and perhaps many would want to sit with you.

Whatever the outcome of that experiment, I know my risk would be reduced if the Preacher could find some shorter sermons.


Genuinely Lloving Kids

Posted: August 19th, 2014, by christianwest

Years ago when my boys were young I was accused by them, and their mother, on some occasions of “crushing” their hands because I was holding them so tight whenever we were in “high” places (like the tower at Six Flags in Arlington, or Tower of the Americas in San Antonio). No one was sure if I was more concerned about them or myself. The point was/is kids are not always careful in dangerous situations. Hang on to them!

I just spent five days on some extremely dangerous trails in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon, steep, narrow, and slippery. I was so saddened to read today the following narrative:

(Reuters) – An 8-year-old girl plunged some 550 feet (168 meters) to her death at Yellowstone National Park on Sunday after stepping off a trail overlooking a 1,200-foot (366-m) canyon and losing her footing, a park official said on Monday. The child and her family were hiking a popular path along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – an ancient 20 mile-long (32-km) geologic formation – toward a fenced platform where visitors can observe the park’s tallest waterfall when the accident happened, Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said.

I have no idea who was watching this child, but someone should have been. Many of those trails are very narrow and slippery. I agonize for her family as I am sure they are second-guessing their role in the accident. I trust they will find comfort in the Savior.

It reminds me of how our children slip through the trials and temptations of life without benefit of the Truth of God’s Word and the support of Godly men and women in their life. I am so grateful to those wonderful people who give themselves to the ministry of AWANA and other organizations that teach the Word of God to children. I thank God continually for men and women who teach children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible Schools. No child should have to face the Enemy, who will quickly push them into the abyss of sinfulness, without the help of family and friends who genuinely llove kids, pointing them to the Savior and His Truth. I pray this young lady possessed saving faith in Christ (or that she had not yet come to accountability) and that her family will join her in Heaven one day.