Aiken, what’s in a name?

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Earlier today I was listening to Turning Point on NewLife FM with Dr. David Jeremiah (airs at 10 am). He was talking about this fellow by the name of Aiken who stole some loot from Jericho when the Israelites were conquering Canaan. God punished Aiken severely. And because of that, Dr. Jeremiah said nobody usually names their kids Aiken because of the association.

Well, as rare as the name may be, I did know an Aiken. Aiken Gelo, my wife’s grandfather, was from Lowell, Vermont and had a farm on one side of the mountain. My grandfather Norman Dion had a farm on the other side. But the two two families never knew each other until their grand kids met in Pensacola, Florida on a blind date in 1998.

Aiken was a typical Vermont yankee. A man of few words, but a deep love for his state. And a deep love for his Lord. This was evident in a letter I saw that was written during WW II when he was serving in Patton’s army. The letter spoke of his duty to the Lord and his faith.

I only knew him for a few years, and he went on to be with the Lord at age 96. During the funeral, numerous people spoke in testament of his strong faith in the Lord and how he would pray for the youth on a regular basis. And he left a godly legacy evident today in his descendants. I have one picture of him holding my daughter and was reminded that God promises that if we are faithful he will allow us to see that passed on to the third and fourth generation.

A stark contrast from Aiken of the Old Testament.


Imitating the King

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Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the passing of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley. Recently, I had the honor and privilege of living and working in the hometown of the king, Tupelo, Mississippi.

Of course, as all good Tupelo folks do, I visited his humble birthplace and his extravagent yet gaudy mansion in Memphis. I even have his first 45 that was released by RCA after his departure from Sun Records. Funny thing is that RCA didn’t really know how to record Elvis, so his first RCA release was actually a re-release of his last Sun Records recording. And as you know the rest is history.

But perhaps my favorite memory of the king takes place in Delaware where I was working as a wedding DJ as a part-time gig. It was during this stint that I had the honor and privilege of running sound for the king himself! Well, okay so it was an impersonator, and a good one at that.

This impersonator was so enthralled with the king, that every detail had to be just right. He even refused to perform with a wireless mic, “because the king always used a wired mic” according to him.

As Christians, we’ve been called to imitate the King of Kings. Yet unlike Elvis impersonators, many of us know very little of the life of the true King. If we fans of Elvis can find time to research the life of an earthly king of a music style surely we can find even more time to research the life of the Universal King of everything!

I pray that one day each of us will imitate the King of Kings to the point that it will be really hard to distinguish the two. Thank you very much. Now if you’ll excuse me, my peanut butter and banana sandwich is beckoning.


Hold Your Tongue

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Love your enemies, . . . and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”. —Matthew 5:44

It’s human nature to lash out when you’ve been offended. Trust me I know. I absolutely hate this saying, but “been there done that.” Slowly but surely I’ve been learning to mull over a response for a few minutes to a couple days and surprisingly the more I mull the less offended or angry I become.

Even more surprising, is the numerous occasions when the “offenders” actually come back and apologize without receiving a tongue lashing. Letting God handle the situation and work on a heart level is always best. When we are wronged for no particular reason other than spite, remember that we have the best advocate on our side and He will take care of the situation.

I’m not to sure who said this, but I’m pretty sure the concept is in the scriptures — A soft answer turns away wrath. And praying for your persecutor will heap burning coals of conviction on their soul.


Mountain Top Reflection

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After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. Mark 9:2

Growing up as a kid in the Green Mountains of Vermont, I’ve always had an appreciation for mountain tops. At seven years of age, I was introduced to the Lord through the ministry of a family who came to Vermont and started a house church in our neighborhood. It was shortly thereafter that I began to study the earthly ministry of Jesus and was pleased to find that He too had an appreciation for mountain tops.

Frequently in the scriptures, mountain tops were places where the children of God could get away from life and spend some one on one time with Him. Whether it was Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the burning bush, or Jesus and his disciples, mountain top experiences led to a better understanding of Him. 

Recently I took a trip to Warm Springs and Pine Mountain. I had an agenda because I heard there was a place where a former U.S. president would come and contemplate life on a mountain top called Dowdell’s Knob. Now over 60 years later, I wanted to travel to the same spot and spend a little time away from it all with Jesus.

In the end I guess we all have places where we like to escape in order to spend some alone time with Jesus. Maybe for some of you it’s a mountain top, maybe for some it’s a valley. Whatever the case may be, the important thing is that we make time to meet with Jesus one on one. Get to know Him better and spend some quality time in conversation with Him apart from the daily rat race.


Haste Makes — Punishment?

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“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.”  –Proverbs 28:20

If ever a scripture verse was more appropriate for this day and age, this is it. Whether it’s the corruption of greedy investors and business moguls who are constantly in the headlines after their get rich quick schemes crumbled, or politicians who got caught taking bribes and payouts from lobbyists, we all can see the folly of “getting rich quick.”

Other “get rich quick” schemes may seem harmless though, but are punishing none-the-less. My attention is often drawn to compulsive gamblers who are chasing that “big pay off.” I believe their “punishment” is the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars that could have been better invested resulting in maybe a slow, but rewarding payoff.

Many of us will go through this life working hard for every penny we have and never attaining what the world would consider being “rich” or “well off.” But those of us who have accepted Jesus as Saviour are truly rich.

We may struggle in this life to pay that mortgage bill, or that car payment, or send our kids through college, but we have that blessed assurance that one day the faithful will inherit the very riches of heaven. So as discouraging as it may be to live from paycheck to paycheck, may we remain spiritually faithful to Him.

Our reward may be slow in coming, but trust me, it will definately be worth it!


NewLife FM’s hot hot summer!

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What do you do for fun and relaxation when it’s over 100 degrees for more than two straight weeks? How about staying indoors and listening to the cool refreshing music and programming on NewLife FM.

This past weekend my family and I decided to take a drive to Senoia for some brick-oven Pizza and hand-scooped ice cream. We had decided earlier in the day that it was just to darn hot to turn on our own oven. Along the way we kept the air cranked and the station on our newest frequency 91.7. Honestly, it was so refreshing to listen to continuous Christian music without the constant interruption of long commercial breaks.

That evening when we arrived back home, it was still so hot outside that for laughs I stuck a meat thermometer in our lawn to see if we were done cooking.