Posts Tagged ‘Rick Warren’

The headline – “Bob Saget’s Last Twitter Post Will Break Your Heart” – compelled me to read the online story. And as I did, it was clear a vital and eternal truth was being laid before me.

Just 12 hours before the 65-year-old actor (Full House and Fuller House), TV host (America’s Funniest Home Videos) and comedian was found dead Jan. 9 in his Florida hotel room, he went on Twitter and posted this:

“Loved tonight’s show in Jacksonville. Appreciative audience. I had no idea I did a 2-[hour] set. I’m happily addicted again to this s***. Check BobSaget.com for my dates in 2022.”

Clearly, Saget was looking ahead to his comedy tour and had no idea it would never happen for the most final of reasons: he would soon be gone from this earth.

It struck me that the same could be applied to anyone. In my case, I could have easily died before this blog appeared online. Pastor and author Rick Warren put it so well: “When I’m tempted to be prideful, I just remind myself that I cannot even guarantee my next breath.”

Did Bob Saget ever think about his demise and what might come after? We may never know. But this is a good motivation for us to set aside our culture’s trivial obsessions and give serious thought to the BIG question.

I did that a few years ago. After considerable reading, thinking and debating with people of faith, I decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God.

If you believe in the existence of Heaven, then consider what Jesus told anyone willing to listen: “You must be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” So there it is; when this life ends, you’ll need to be perfect to get past the bouncer at the ‘pearly gates’.

Well, that’s a problem, isn’t it? Since no one can ever get close to perfection, how can even one of us get to Heaven?

The answer is Jesus. One of His earliest followers noted “When Jesus lived on earth, he was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted, but he never sinned.”

So Jesus has what it takes. And when He allowed Himself to be arrested on false charges, convicted and put to death, Jesus paid the penalty for every wrong thing done by His followers, and every right thing we’ve failed to do.

After that, God saw — and continues to see — His Son’s followers just as He sees Jesus: perfect in every way. The result is when Jesus followers end this life, the bouncer ushers them into a joyous eternity with God.

Just as important, when people like YOU invite Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, He comes into your heart IMMEDIATELY and begins making you more like the person God created you to be.

We’ll probably never know if Bob Saget did that. But you can make that decision TODAY. Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Pat-BurnsI’m not much of a hockey fan, but I do keep track of the Montreal Canadiens. That means, like fans of the other National Hockey League teams he coached (the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils), I was saddened by the death of Pat Burns in 2010.

I was impressed with the former cop’s tough-guy approach which rallied my Habs, then went on to rally the Leafs before finally winning a Stanley Cup with the Devils. Burns wasn’t an NHL player who was handed a coaching career; he worked his way up the ranks with determination.

He was weakened, gaunt and admitting the end was not far off when the Toronto Star’s Rosie Dimanno wrote a wonderful column about him. In it, she mentioned a recent interview in which Burns, 58, “spoke even about a newly realized appreciation for religious faith, because a person gets to thinking about God and prayer and the hereafter when staring straight into the abyss.”

This stuck with me, because the majority of my life is now behind me. That certainly changes a person’s perspective and I’m glad to have come to an “appreciation for religious faith” without having to stare into the “abyss” first.

That may not seem important to some folks. They’re busy with family or careers or pursuing fame or riches at the gambling table or extreme sports. The list can go on and on.

And yet, even in wealthy North America, with our massive healthcare systems and long lifespans – much longer than the age of Pat Burns – the end can come upon us with the shock of a shovel in the stomach.

I didn’t need such a shock to be reminded of that fact. I just read a ‘tweet’ on Twitter from Rick Warren (he wrote a book you may have heard of, The Purpose Driven Life) that simply stated, “When I’m tempted to be prideful, I just remind myself that I cannot even guarantee my next breath.”

That’s right, folks. It doesn’t matter if you’re battling cancer like Pat Burns did, or you’re a disgustingly young and fit triathlete. The end can come before you finish reading this sentence.

I think Jesus Christ (who most Christians believe is the son of God) knew this. That’s why, in the Bible, he told his followers, “Don’t hoard treasure down here, where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

It seems to me that if our “treasure” is in the right place, then the end won’t be an “abyss”. In fact, it won’t be the end at all. It will just be the end of the beginning.

Do you agree? Yes or no, post your response below and let’s have a conversation.

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20130312-mumford-sons-x306-1363115786I’ve never heard a note by the Grammy Award-winning British band Mumford & Sons, but an interview leader Marcus Mumford did a few years ago with Rolling Stone magazine caught my attention.

Lyrics on the band’s recordings have many references to God, prayer and struggles with faith. But Mumford told Rolling Stone he doesn’t like the word ‘Christian’.

“It comes with so much baggage, so no, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I’ve kind-of separated myself from the culture of Christianity.”

I get where Mumford is coming from. Mention the word Christian to the average person – maybe even you – and the first thing (heck, often the ONLY thing) that comes to mind are words like “judgmental,” “negative” and “ignorant”.

You might also think of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, the hate-filled protests of a certain tiny U.S. congregation (it’s not worth naming) or bizarre statements by a few televangelists.

The media loves highlighting this stuff. And that means the life-giving good news of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) is harder to find than a government surplus.

But, as one of the ancient writers passed on to us, “When you get serious about finding Me [God] and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

What does this mean? It means doing something our culture stridently opposes: asking questions like:

  • Why am I – and the rest of humanity – here?
  • Is there more to life than 70+ years of toil, taxes and failing health?
  • Am I snuffed out of existence after my last breath, or is there something else?

Maybe you’re brave enough to ponder these BIG issues. And if that’s the case, then consider these answers:

1.  “If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God,” wrote Rick Warren in his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. “You were born by His purpose and for His purpose.”

2.  Those who trust in their wealth are headed for great disappointment, but those who do right will sprout like green leaves in the spring.” That’s from an ancient and very influential writer. And it means you can escape the drudgery of life when you leave behind the “he who has the most toys when he dies wins” attitude encouraged by our culture.

3.  There IS something more after this life ends. The question is, what do YOU want it to be? One of Jesus’s earliest followers wrote: “If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved.”

Saved from what? From judgment. When you become a follower of Jesus, God no longer sees all the bad things you’ve done and the good things you’ve failed to do. He sees you like he sees Jesus: perfect, without a single blemish.

Does this makes sense? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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