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    1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and during Lent these Daily Devotions will be replaced by a special and original set of devotions written by Dr. Kari Vo. Entitled Silent Witnesses, they will look at the Gospels with the intent of exploring ordinary, behind the scenes features which speak volumes about God's love and mercy toward us. I am sure you, like me, will enjoy these meditations. By God's grace, regular devotions will resume again on April 2nd. Till then, God bless. Pastor Klaus

    The Bible is clear: Solomon was a very smart fellow.

    To illustrate Solomon's wisdom, the Bible tells of how he found the true mother of a child who was being claimed by two women. No doubt about it, what Solomon showed that day was a powerful understanding of human psychology. (See the story in 1 Kings 3:16-28.)

    From what I remember, there are times in the year when most pastors pray to have Solomon's wisdom in how to divide, not a baby, but their time. Need a few examples? Fine.
    1. What should a minister celebrate: Mother's Day and Father's Day which are not church holidays or the Sunday on which those special days fall?
    2. Should he remember the Fourth of July, New Year's, Super Bowl Sunday, or leave them unmentioned?
    3. What should he do with September 11 or Memorial Day or Labor Day or, well, you get the idea.
    Now don't think this matter is trivial. It isn't. Take it from one who knows; it is a dangerous thing not to mention Mothers on Mother's Day.

    Well, during the next few weeks we have a similar problem. For example, let me ask you to finish this statement: "Tomorrow we are celebrating _____." (Fill in the blank.) Did you say we are remembering Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, or did you say we are celebrating Valentine's Day?

    The two are almost as different as festivals can be. They have different emphases, different purposes, different directions and goals. Now I can tell you the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has said Ash Wednesday is more important than Valentine's Day. They recommend Valentine's Day be celebrated a day earlier on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Yes, that's what's happening in Chicago. At your church, I don't know. You will just have to go there to find out what your pastor is going to do.

    Now, if you noted, the previous paragraph began, "almost as different as two festivals can be ..."

    Almost as different. You see, there is another upcoming date which has an even bigger conflict. This year Resurrection Sunday falls on April 1st -- also known as April Fool's Day. Now I can tell you what the unbeliever's of the world are going to do. They will say that the story of Jesus' rising is the biggest April Fool's joke ever played on humanity. They will say anyone who believes in the resurrection is a first-class fool.

    As for me, if I were in a pulpit that day I would see and say it differently.

    For example, I would probably refer to one of my father's favorite expressions: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

    From there, I would talk about how the biggest joke which has ever been played upon humankind took place in the Garden of Eden. That was when Satan convinced Adam and Eve to believe him and distrust the Lord who had made them and daily gave them all they needed.

    And the second biggest joke ever played? That sad and sorry joke is being played out right now as Satan, once again, tells us to disregard the Lord who has shown His love for us in the life, death, and resurrection of our Redeemer. The question is will we allow Satan to fool us again? If so, as the adage says, "Fool me twice, shame on me."

    PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that You have not only given Your Son to be my Savior, but You have also opened my heart so He might be welcomed. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen.
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