Archive for July 2014

With This Ring

July 25, 2014

by Steven J Callis

It was long thought that there is a vein in the human body running from the ring finger of the left hand to the heart. The advancement of science eventually proved that to be a false notion, but the sentiment is beautiful as to the reason for wearing the wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Another explanation of the tradition is that long ago in a religious wedding ceremony, the priest would bless the marriage by touching the ring to the thumb and saying, “In the name of the Father.” He would then touch the ring to the forefinger and say, “and of the Son,” followed by touching the ring to the middle finger and saying, “and of the Holy Ghost.” Finally, the ring would be placed on the fourth finger as the priest declared, “Amen.”

Yet another explanation is that the fourth finger is the most protected of all the fingers, and the majority of people tend to use their right hand more than the left hand. Hence, the fourth finger on the left hand would be the most protected of all. This idea is not nearly as romantic or symbolic as the others, but many people believe it to be the most plausible theory.

If choosing to accept the latter of these derivations, we could actually find a bit of symbolism in it, too. Marriage is a bond and foundation of a home and family. The home being one’s refuge from the wiles and crises and stresses of the everyday world, marriage should, indeed, be protected. While there are many external causes for failing marriages and divorce, the problems nearly always begin within the marriage itself.

After you have overdone it at the local food buffet, the last thing on your mind is stopping at DQ for a Blizzard or sundae; food is not appetizing when your tummy is completely satisfied. Similarly, when a relationship is solid, satisfying, and need-meeting, the external distractions and temptations lose their appeal and power. For this reason, husbands and wives must guard their treasure called marriage.

As the relationship matures, changes are inevitable. We change as individuals, we change as events and circumstances impact our lives, we change as our physical health diminishes, and as we face the challenges of parenthood, career, faith, aging, and the empty nest. Refusing to acknowledge and deal with those changes can derail a relationship. The marriage must allow room for the relationship to grow as it matures.

So take a moment and consider that band on your left hand ring finger. Let it remind you of the necessity to deliberately protect what you have vowed to keep forever. Your marriage can be the very foundation of your home as a refuge.

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Who am I?

July 12, 2014

stevenjcallis

Who am I?  I am not a country song.  I am not a member of the Walton’s cast.  I am not a character from Frozen, and I like my hairstyle just the way it is.  I am not a drink or a Pixar car.  I am not a Golden Girl, a Disney character, an exotic animal, or a member of the Star Trek gang.  I am not a position on the football field, or a flower, or a U.S. City.  I have never appeared with the cast of Friends, I am not a U.S. President, a superhero, or a vegetable.  I don’t need to take a quiz to find out how southern I am, where I should live, or how awesome my wife is.

I am, however, a creation of God’s design, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).  I was created to praise my Maker (Psalm 148:5), and molded with…

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Who am I?

July 8, 2014

Who am I?  I am not a country song.  I am not a member of the Walton’s cast.  I am not a character from Frozen, and I like my hairstyle just the way it is.  I am not a drink or a Pixar car.  I am not a Golden Girl, a Disney character, an exotic animal, or a member of the Star Trek gang.  I am not a position on the football field, or a flower, or a U.S. City.  I have never appeared with the cast of Friends, I am not a U.S. President, a superhero, or a vegetable.  I don’t need to take a quiz to find out how southern I am, where I should live, or how awesome my wife is.

I am, however, a creation of God’s design, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).  I was created to praise my Maker (Psalm 148:5), and molded with purpose under His ordaining hand (Isaiah 64:8).  I am a child of God (John 1:12).  I am born again (John 3:3), sanctified wholly (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).  I am justified (Romans 5:1), redeemed (Galatians 3:13), and Spirit-filled (1 Corinthians 3:16).  I am strong (Philippians 4:11), satisfied (Philippians 4:19), and content (Philippians 4:10).

That barely scratches the surface of who I am in Jesus Christ.  The apostle, Paul, summarized it well in His letter to the Corinthians:  But by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10).

 

A First Time for EVERYTHING?

July 1, 2014

Steven J. Callis

It was her first time. Emotions ranged from squeals of delight to shrieks of fear. The supervisors were filled with anticipation and excitement. I expect that several years from now her memory of it will be vague and intermingled with similar events. It was, however, fun to experience it with her.

Yes, it was our granddaughter’s first time to visit the beach. Not yet two years of age, the initial sight of the vast ocean and a seemingly endless sandbox did not leave her awestruck, but she realized this was something new. At that age, much of what she encounters is “new” to her, and a person cannot live in a constant state of amazement!

She enjoyed the feel of the sand, putting small scoops of it in the bucket. At low tide she found her own little pond on the beach where she could splash and play. Her mom took her for early morning strolls on the beach. Shells from the ocean were momentarily fascinating.

Then there were the waves. The sight and sound of the rushing water can seem ferocious to a small young girl. Even in daddy’s arms the fear did not quickly subside, but she did manage to sit with mommy close enough to allow the water to ease its way onto the toes. Overall, it was a great “first time” at the beach; she did well.

Do you realize that everything you have ever done or experienced in this life began with your first time? First step, first word, first solid food, first kiss, first clap of thunder, first paycheck, first car ride, first haircut – – even your first breath. Things that you do every day, almost instinctively, you once did for the very first time.

Can you imagine your life without a particular thing you truly enjoy because you were afraid to try it the first time? Almost every day our granddaughter experiences something new. Often it is accompanied by a level of skepticism or fear, but babies are risk takers. The level of trust eventually outweighs the hesitation, and the new thing all too soon becomes routine.

There is a two-fold lesson hidden there: step up to embrace new opportunities, and remember to enjoy those things that have become second nature to you. Wake up and smell the coffee; stop and smell the roses. However you choose to say it, life is too precious and exciting to let it pass as boredom or to take its blessings for granted.