FROM THE DESK OF CHARLES ANDERSON “Love + Red = White” Those of you who know me, know that I consider snow a “four-letter” word! An unfortunately common expression in Ohio in winter. My son described it well the other day: “Pretty, rotten snow”! For me, that’s it in a nutshell. Of course, if I’m honest, I have to admit it’s more about the cold than the snow. Why can’t it snow in July? Then I could enjoy the beauty of it for a few moments before it melted away. Makes me wonder why God never asked my opinion about it before! Seriously, though, I can think of very few things more beautiful than a new fallen snow. It causes me to thank God for how beautiful the world is, especially when it is covered with a smooth layer of pure white snow. The wind carves it into smooth rills and shapes and layers it so it is a delight to the eye. The whiteness of the snow always makes me think of this passage: “‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18, NLT) As I look out my window, at how pure and white the snow is, I’m overcome with a sense of my sinfulness. I’ve lived long enough to amass a huge amount of sin in my life. And I’m forced to admit to God, “I don’t see how I could ever be as white as snow.” Thankfully, God’s response to anyone’s prayer like this is, “By yourself you can’t. But don’t ever underestimate the power of the blood of my Son.” Wow! Who am I to think that my sin is more powerful than the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!!?? Nothing about me will ever be more powerful than what Jesus has done! If you are a follower of Christ, struggling with sin and shame and guilt, I hope you’ll take those words to heart and find the comfort that I find in God’s Word: “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow.” I like the way Chris Tomlin expressed it in his song At the Cross (Love Ran Red). The chorus says: “At the cross, at the cross…where your love ran red and my sin washed white.” Only in Christ does Love + Red = White. Thank you, Lord, for the snow that reminds me of that.
HEARING: Pat Tornatore wrote about a noisy, family dinner experience where her dad struggled to follow conversations, kept making off-topic comments, and regularly asked for things to be repeated. After a while she told him he needed a hearing aid. He gazed at her like she was crazy and then asked, “What would I do with a hand grenade?” We’ve all heard conversations like that. Many times it’s due to hearing issues, but sometimes it’s just because we’re not paying attention. (Reader’s Digest, March 2016, p.68). Are you paying attention to God’s Word?