I’ve got it wrong.  Al Jolson, in what’s called the first ‘talkie’ movie, ‘The Jazz Singer’, actually says ‘You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!’.  But Job takes that a step further.  Yes, what we hear, but also what we see of God’s creation.  In Job 26, he responds to one of his friends, Bildad, who argues that humans are as rotten as can be.  ‘Maggots’ and ‘worms’, says Bildad (Job 25).  However, Job lifts high the character of creator God, who alone can make sinful man righteous.  No longer left as Bildad’s scum.

Considering all of creation’s marvels, can you not sense the mastery of God?  My pea-brain only scratches the surface, and that’s on a clear day.  How does He do what He does?  How would I know?  Or you?  We’re not God.

But we are made in His image.  Created…for His glory and purposes.  Nevertheless, our life-experiences are hardly worth talking about in the grand scheme of things.  We’re only a whisper, a fog which quickly dissipates.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  A small cog in a big wheel.  You get the point!

Imagine what heaven will be like when the blinders are taken off and we can see way beyond earth’s edges.  For those who think that we’ll only be playing harps while floating on clouds, I’ve got news for you.  You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Listen to Job, not Jolson–‘And these are but the outer fringes of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him!  Who can understand the thunder of his power?’ (Job 26:14).  See what I mean?  If the here-and-now reveals only the ‘outer fringes of his works’, what will heaven unearth?

Why, of course, Eden restored.  Paradise revealed, forever and eternal.  Takes that long… and then some… to comprehend all that Jesus will make plain to us.  Show and Tell… without end!


Thank you, Jesus, for vistas without limit.  Amen.


NO EXCESS BAGGAGE Revelation 14: 6-13

It’s true that we can’t take excess baggage to heaven.  I’ve heard that we can only escort other believers to glory.  Those we’ve influenced for Christ.  Hardly excess baggage!

Supposedly John D. Rockefeller’s accountant, when asked what the world’s richest man had left behind when old John D. died, responded by saying, ‘every last dime’.  Left it all behind.  Everything.  As we will.  Remember, no excess baggage.

After all, we won’t need anything.  Forget about that U-Haul truck behind your hearse.  Family, friends and the local Goodwill Store will divvy up our accumulated stuff.  What about my cherished library of biblical commentaries and complete Dickens’ works?  Chucked out with nary a tear?  My New York Yankees baseball card collection sold for a hefty sum?  Maybe?  Who knows?

But I’ve discovered that we can take much with us to heaven.  Really?  Like what.  None of those collectibles or monied assets, however.  Sorry to disappoint!  But something far better.  Revelation 14: 13–‘…Then I heard a voice from heaven say…they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’  No excess baggage, but all that we do for Jesus, both big and small, significant or not, all deeds for Him, are taken with us to heaven.

Did you hear that?  We can take myriad acts of kindness through the pearly gates.  Like those mission dollars given so that the oppressed people of North Korea can hear about Jesus on their well-hidden radios.  And that cranberry bread hand-delivered to neighbors at Christmas.  Or a word of encouragement to your pastor.  And especially telling all your family and friends about a fabulous Saturday devotional that they too can access for free!  You can think of lots more, can’t you?

Nothing is wasted when done for Jesus.  They’re given legs to follow us all the way to heaven.  ‘…for their deeds will follow them.’  Now that’s something, indeed!

I can’t wait to do more for Him.  You too?  For brownie points?  No way.  Extra stars in your crown?  Hardly.  To be better than someone else?  Ixnay.  Then why?

For Jesus.  Of course.  To do something lasting for Him is all that really matters.


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for life worth living.  Amen.

JUST NOT FAIR Galatians 6: 1-5

I ask you–why don’t my devotional books sell like Max Lucado’s?  Or Billy Graham’s?  Or almost anyone else?  Just not fair.  Mine don’t sell like hot cakes.  More like chilled jello!  But I work so hard.  No appreciation?  Come on, cut me some slack!

Maybe that’s exactly what I need.  Some breathing space.  A lull and hiatus from playing the old comparison game.  Not as rich as so-and-so?  Had a run-of-the-mill upbringing unlike that ‘whodiwho’ raised in the most Christian family you’ve ever known?  I wind up on the losing team.

There’s way too much competition today.  Someone wins, someone loses.  I’m up, you’re down (notice the order!).

Reading Galatians 6, I’m feeling as if the Apostle Paul has my back to the wall, pinned up against it.  Why?  Well, take a gander at verses 4 and 5.  Get the picture?  His message?  In a nutshell–I need only to be faithful.  Do what God wants me to do.  What He’s gifted me with.  For myself, it’s writing.  Plugging away.  Nose to the computer grindstone.  Writing, editing, and then even more editing.  Keep on keeping on!

But why aren’t there more readers of my Saturday devotionals, let alone my two books?  Would Max be satisfied?  Or Billy if he was still with us?  Paul says to forget it.  As in ‘grow up, Fischer’.  Do what you do for Jesus.  My audience of One.  And ‘leave the driving to’ Him.  In His hands.  Out of mine.  If Jesus is pleased, what else matters?

Get off your keister.  Get going for Him.  He’ll take care of the rest.  Mind you, I’m talking directly to myself, allowing you to overhear in case any of this applies to you-know-who!

Galatians 6: 4-5–‘Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each should carry his own load.’  The Bible says it best.  Always does.  I’ll leave it at that.  Hopefully.


Thank you, Jesus, for gifts given to us.  In your name and for your sake.  Amen.



‘STICKS AND STONES…’ James 3: 1-12

Is there a more ridiculous nursery rhyme than this one–‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’?  Who are they kidding?  Why is it that I still remember name-calling from over 60 years ago?  Like the word ‘hunker’.  Yes, that was one nickname hurled at me by friends across the street.  All because I was chunky and flabby.  Still am.

Bones heal.  Name-calling lasts a lifetime.  James, the half-brother of Jesus, the biological son of Joseph and Mary, raises red flags about the toxicity of what leaks out of our mouths.

James 3: 6–‘The tongue…is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.’  No beating around the bush.  ‘Mr. In-Your-Face’ pulls no punches.  Can’t miss the point.  Bulls-eye.

I cringe thinking of what I’ve said with a tongue that gave little indication that I’m one in Christ.  What I thought was funny yet wasn’t.  What I imagined was clever turned out to be twisted and hurtful.  Words and names I can never take back.  You can’t either.

James issues dire warnings about the tongue.  I wonder why?  Maybe, just maybe, he remembers growing up with Jesus and what came from his lips to Jesus’ ears.  When his mouth was too big for his britches.

Jesus Himself says this–‘…only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor’ (Mark 6: 4).  From His family comes everything but respect and gratitude.  This includes brother James, who no doubt remembers and regrets.

Or when Jesus and His disciples are mobbed, shoved and pushed around, that this is recorded–“When his (Jesus) family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind'” (Mark 3: 21).  Jesus must be nuttier than a fruitcake.  Out of His cotton-pickin’ gourd.  Unstable on the best of days.  My, what a great family of yayhoos!

Maybe James remembers his wagging tongue.  Think so?  Not bad to wander back, asking forgiveness.  Always bringing our sins to the Lord.  He’s able to handle them.  Forgive…and forget.  Maybe that’s why James wrote with such fervor and vehemence.  As if giving himself a tongue-lashing.  Knowing that his brother probably wouldn’t.

By the way, note the prayer below.  It’s mine.  Yours as well?


Lord, give me restraint, guarding what I say.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

A-OK! 1 Corinthians 3

I received a gift of a lapel button from my district manager when I was a financial planner.  It said–‘A-OK!’  Thanks for the encouragement, Ron!  Managers often aren’t so appreciative, wanting more and more out of you.  Greedy types.  Not mine.  I was blessed to have both manager and friend.

‘A-OK!’ meant something different than what I thought.  Its initials stood for ‘Action-Oriented Kind!’  Not just talk.  No snow jobs or tooting your own horn.  No braggadocio or blathering.  Some of the most boring people I’ve known only talk about themselves.  Talk…talk…talk.  Don’t you dare try to get a word in edgewise.  Weariness and dreariness shoves me out their back door!

Be ‘A-OK!’  Action-oriented kind…with what God wants in your life.  If you’re busy for Jesus, you won’t have to broadcast it.  No one else needs to know.  Only Jesus.  Your audience of One!

Are you ‘A-OK’?  In 1 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul talks about God’s people making a difference in this life.  Doing what He wants.  Activating the gifts, passions and abilities we’ve been given.  Pursuing them, focusing on Jesus while helping others.  Doing your bit… for Him… for a change.  ‘By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder…if what he has built survives, he will receive his reward’ (1 Cor. 3: 10,14).

Our abilities, whatever they may be, are God’s gifts.  Do you know what yours are?  If you do, wear your own ‘A-OK!’ button.  Action-Oriented Kind!

If you don’t have a clue, don’t lounge around as if in a fog.  Pray.  Ask for guidance.  Don’t stop until the answer comes.  When will it?  I’ve no idea.  What will it be?  Don’t ask me.  Ask Him.

Let me assure you that the answer will be on the way.   Wait.  Hang in there.  And when it comes, get going.  Get off your duff and do what God wants.

Okay?  Be ‘A-OK!’…for Jesus!


Thank you, Lord, for good we can do for you and others.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen.