Oh, How We Can Sparkle

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

Sometimes the difference between a so-so photograph and a really good one is two tiny points of light. You take a nice picture of someone but the angle is wrong and his or her eyes are a solid dark color. If you add a tiny white spot on each pupil the picture comes alive. The light appears to come from within and light that comes from within is vivacious and beautiful.

Because of the Holy Spirit given to us as a gift from God we can have Jesus living in us and Jesus declared in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And in 1 John 4:13 we read, “We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” Talk about having a light inside to shine out our eyes! How grand. We can really be vivacious for this light is life eternal. Oh, how we can sparkle! With Jesus inside we can light up every room we enter for Jesus is the omniscient one and when He lives inside we get smarter and smarter. Knowledge is power and power is light.

Don’t you love it when you see someone whose lights are turned on? It is so exciting to talk to someone who has something to say other than, “How’s the weather?” Talking about ideas and goals is so much more rewarding than talking about people and Jesus truly gives us something worth talking about.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 20, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

What Is Your Gift?

Posted on Apr 12, 2018

If one is to live a successful life one must have positive self-regard. This must not be confused with thinking one is superior to others. It is recognizing the gifts God has given. It is recognizing one’s gifts as well as the gifts God has given to others. Each of us has a special intelligence and when we utilize it we can have a sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well done. Pride is only detrimental when one basks in it to the point of denigrating others. Sometimes I hear people refuse to take credit for a job well done thinking it would be wrong. However, God is glorified when His children do well. We should acknowledge a job well done with a “Thank you very much.” Not only is it good for self it also recognizes another’s kindness to compliment us.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our light could not shine if we did not excel. Who would be attracted to Christianity if God’s children were all a bunch of bumbling dolts? People are drawn to excellence. People want to emulate those who stand tall and achieve great things. It is nigh impossible to achieve anything great if we fail to recognize the gifts and talents God has given us.

Let us take a good look at ourselves. Let us take inventory of the good things we can do. Let us take pride in our work and when others know of our love for Jesus He will then be glorified.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 19, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

The Remedy

Posted on Apr 11, 2018

In 2001 the cholesterol drug Lipitor grossed 5.22 billion dollars in the United States. Prilosec, a heartburn medication, grossed 4.6 billion dollars. Zocor, another cholesterol drug, grossed 3.68 billion. We could add to this list Celebrex, Epogen, Procrit, Paxil and Zoloft for a truly staggering amount of money. I am sure years are added to our lives by these wonder drugs but the reality is they do not stop the biological clock from doing the inevitable. Given enough time even the most health conscious people in our midst die. We can exercise, eat right, get enough rest and sunshine but ultimately we will die. It is the fate of all.

But wait just a moment. Even though our bodies grow old and ultimately give up like an old car with a few hundred thousand miles there is a remedy and it does not come in the form of capsule or tablet from a drug company. It is something that has been with us for thousands of years. It is the wondrous story of a man who declared He is the resurrection and the life and then proved it by resurrecting back to life a man named Lazarus. The shock waves from that cry, “Lazarus, come forth” have been reverberating around the world ever since.

Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24. “. . . everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.” John 3:15. The prescription price is already paid.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 17, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

Empathy

Posted on Apr 10, 2018

I listened to someone sing today. It was so bad it was beautiful. The singer was very old and sitting by a window watching it rain. Maybe once upon a time her voice was lovely and lilting but no longer. Now it was raspy and weak. In her voice I could hear joy and pain, both excitement and disappointment. Life is like that. One day our cup overflows and the next takes it away. It is such that makes us human. It is such that fashions within us the divine.

It was like that for Jesus. One moment the crowd was enthralled with him and the next they were clamoring for His demise. I am tempted to say during the down times we need the presence of God to carry us but I am thinking perhaps the good times are equally or perhaps more so the dangerous times. Most likely it depends on the person for each of us is so distinct there is no other like you or me.

Yet despite our uniqueness there are common bonds that tie us to each other and we feel other’s pain and joy. I believe that is why I enjoy “The Price is Right.” Even though I don’t know the contestants there is joy in seeing them win. I think the word for that is empathy. Jesus certainly had it. Isaiah said, “Surely He has born our grief and shared our sorrows.” Let’s add to Isaiah’s message and say, “Surely He laughs when we laugh and smiles when we smile.”

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 11, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

A Good Bingo Player

Posted on Apr 9, 2018

I noticed her obituary in the local paper. She was 91 and described as a good bingo player. “A Good Bingo Player.” That was it. How can you be a bad bingo player? The numbers are drawn randomly. She was 91 and all we could say about her was she watched her bingo card carefully as to not miss a number. Was she a mother? Was she a grandmother? Was she a great-grandmother? Was she a good wife? Did she like to cook? Had she ever volunteered for community service projects? Did she ever write anything or read a good book? Did she raise a family? Was she a Methodist or a Catholic? So many questions that could be asked. But her last line in life was, “She was a good bingo player.” It is obvious the last people to care for her and to notify the newspaper never really knew her.

But then again does anyone ever really know us? Do we ever know ourselves? Fortunately the one who counts the most really does know us.
Jesus said, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30-31) And Paul reminds us in Romans 2:16, “This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ.” I rejoice in knowing the one who knows our secrets also loves us.

What would we want the newspaper to say about us when reporting our demise? How about he was a good dad or mom?

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 10, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

If Any of You Lack Wisdom

Posted on Apr 8, 2018

Three of my students came to class today with new hairdos. I probably would not have mentioned it but two of them were guys. I said, “Well, it appears that I also need a new hairdo.”

The following is a list of the immediate response from around the room.

“What you need is hair.”
“What you need is Rogaine.”
“Egghead Professors are not supposed to have hair, let alone a hairdo.”

It was the first time to my knowledge I had ever been referred to as an egghead. I must confess I was flattered because the term refers to academics who are bald and wise. Up until now I have been referred to as being a “Wise Guy” instead of being wise. I like the latter.

The truth is I have often been very unwise. Most of us have been unwise a few times in our lives. Some of us more than others. However, there is hope for everyone. There is a source of true wisdom available to all who ask. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Should we get three wishes from rubbing a bottle the first and only wish needed would be for wisdom. Once obtained everything else falls into place. Of course the wisest thing anyone could ever do is allow Jesus to save him or her. For Jesus wisely said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?”

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 7, 2002.
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453.

Stories – Word Pictures

Posted on Apr 7, 2018

Even though the sun was shining today it was fairly cold outside so I spent the afternoon learning how to take an image out of one picture and place it in another. It gives real meaning to the old phrase, “Not in the picture.” For fun I took a picture of my granddaughter’s favorite doll out of the toy ads in the Sunday paper, changed its size and put it in a picture with my granddaughter. They look like playmates.

While I was messing around I thought about what it means to be in a picture with someone. It does not necessarily mean you are friends. There could be many situations where just the opposite relationship would exist. However most of the time when pictured we are with friends. Pictures capture moments in time freezing them for us to enjoy later. I like to take pictures of my friends. The event is museumed in my brain and the picture acts as a key to open up memories.

Jesus loved pictures. He did not have a camera but He told lots of stories. Stories are word pictures. People would remember His stories and those stories would remind them of the lessons He taught. Most of us are visual learners. Jesus made us that way and He taught that way.

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:28-29

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 3, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

On Being Forgiven

Posted on Apr 5, 2018

I saved 40 cents this afternoon because I am old. While returning an overdue library book I was informed because of my advanced age I did not have to pay the fine. It is expected that old people would forget to return their books and the city has graciously made allowance for such an indiscretion. Maybe I can use the 40 cents toward my medication.

I have been forgiven for a lot of things in life starting way back to childhood but this is the first time the rational for the grace was mental incapacitation. I need to write down this event and date it because I obviously will not recall it tomorrow. What I found amusing about the event was the woman who forgave me looked ten years older than me. She was probably ten years younger and smoked.

Before I forget what this is all about I need to get to my point that it is so nice to be forgiven. If you have not asked recently I would encourage you to give it a try. It comes with peace of mind, assurance of eternal life and a sense of wholeness. That’s a pretty good list of benefits and I am so glad I can remember what they are, at least for now.

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

I wonder if the city will forgive parking tickets because I forgot to put money in the meter.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 1, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

The Center of Everything

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

His name is Lucifer from the Latin meaning light (lux) bearing (fer). The name has been used to refer to the planet Venus in the sky prior to sunrise. Isaiah referred to him as Lucifer, son of the morning. (14:12)

When Venus is the morning star it precedes the sun’s advent for the day and usually is so bright if one tracks it carefully it is visible all day long and sets just prior to the setting of the evening sun. Usually we do not notice it is visible all day because of its proximity to the sun, a place at which we avoid looking.

When its circuit about the sun takes it to the opposite side it becomes the evening star and is only visible for a short time after the sun sets before it sinks below the horizon. Thus the light bearer is not only the morning star but is also for an equal amount of time the evening star.

And so it is that Lucifer’s time is setting. He has had his reign over men far too long now. It is time for his evil light to be extinguished. It really is only a matter of time. The Book of Revelation gives us a grand look into the future. In the battle between good and evil, Jesus and Lucifer, Jesus wins.

You see Jesus is not like a planet. He is like the sun. He is the center of everything.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 31, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453

To Dream of Flying

Posted on Apr 3, 2018

This evening after the sun had gone down the sky was still just a bit light I sat by a lake watching my dog chase the last few frogs of 2002. It was brisk and clear as I looked into the western sky and I saw a light coming toward me. Since we are under the flight path from Chicago to Boston I knew my privacy was to be momentarily invaded by a few hundred people. About three minutes behind them I saw another light and then another and at one point I could see four planes all in a line heading in for the evening. It was rush hour in the sky.

I remember as a child being taken out to the Harrisburg, Pa. airport to see the very first commercial planes that did not have propellers. Wow – how did they stay up? Actually 50 years and a high school and a college physics class later I still marvel when I see a jumbo jet lift off from the earth. Flying has been the dream of men for thousands of years.

Paul speaks of his dream of flying in I Thessalonians 4. He wrote, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I am going to marvel at that forever.

Roger Bothwell wrote this on October 29, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453