The Shock at the End of Life…

The Shock at the End of Life… 

Many have been fascinated with the story of the Titanic. The sinking of that seemingly “unsinkable” ship after a collision with an iceberg is filled with human drama that has inspired endless movies, books, and documentaries. Finding the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic fueled greater interest – and greater information – than ever before. Some of the drama of those discoveries has been within our reach as the Titanic artifacts exhibit has been on display in some of America’s leading museums. You can see many personal items recovered from the Titanic’s debris field along with displays that recreate the feeling of being a passenger on that doomed ship. When you go in the exhibit, you are given a boarding pass with the name of a real person who had been aboard that awful night. At the end of the exhibit, there’s this big wall with the names of everyone aboard – first class, second class, third class, crew. Every person is either on the list that says “saved” or “lost.” And of course you look hard for your name.  You may discover that you were one of the few crewmen or passengers who were “saved.”

Or the terrible alternative is that when you look for your name you will see and feel a portion of the experience of being one of the lost. Sadly many today leave their Eternal destiny and their saved or lost position up to their religious affiliation or their family heritage. You do not need to. God tells us in His own words in the Bible that we do not need other men to teach us. If we will but come to Him with the faith of little children He will provide us with the knowledge of what we must do to be saved.

Do you know this morning where you will spend Eternity and what confidence do you have in that knowledge? I mean truly KNOW? Be honest with yourself and actually ask the question. Or like the Titanic passengers are you going along for the ride assuming that someone, something or some organization has you covered? If you have a doubt this is not a topic to be shy about. It’s your Eternal Destiny. Doubt is removed by asking God for His guidance on this vital issue and having faith in His providing it.

You do not have to question where you will spend Eternity! If you believe the Word of God it tells us in I John 5:11-13 that we can KNOW without a shadow of doubt where we will spend Eternity. Finding out where you will spend Eternity has Eternal consequences! You may want to continue to search God’s word for the answer. It is the only place on this earth that you can totally trust for its reliability. May I suggest;

The Romans road to salvation; See Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:13
Based on what sacrifice or merit will I be saved or lost? Ephesians 2:8, 9 – Titus 3:5 – John 14:6

So, do you know where you will spend Eternity and what is that knowledge based on? If you are not sure I would enjoy talking with you about your Eternal Future! And I will not give you my opinion or philosophy but I will show you what God has to say. Then it’s up to you. As Joshua said, ‘Choose you this day whom you will serve…….’.

1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Rev. 20:15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Kids Letters to God…

Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.”

~~~ Kids’ Letters to God ~~~

Dear God,
In Sunday School they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on
vacation? – Jane

Dear God,
I think about You sometimes even when I’m not praying. – Elliot

Dear God,
Did You really mean “do unto others as they do unto you?”
Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother. – Darla

Dear God,
I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made
on Tuesday. – Margret

Dear God,
I read the Bible. What does “begat” mean? Nobody will tell me. – Love, Allison

Dear God,
Are you really invisible or is that a trick? – Lucy

Dear God,
Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in
the house? – Anita

Dear God,
Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? –
Norma

Dear God,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You
just keep the ones You have now? – Jane

Dear God,
Who draws the lines around countries? – Nan

Dear God,
The bad people laughed at Noah – “You made an ark on dry land you fool”.
But he was smart, he stuck with You. That’s what I would do. – Eddie

Dear God,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?
– Neil

Dear God,
What does it mean You are a Jealous God? I thought You had everything.
– Jane

Dear God,
You for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. – Joyce

Dear God,
Why is Sunday School on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day
of rest. – Tom L.

Dear God,
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look
it up. – Bruce

Dear God,
If we come back as something – please don’t let me be Jennifer Horton
because I hate her. – Denise

Dear God,
My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha Ha. – Danny

Dear God,
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their
own rooms. It works with my brother. – Larry

Dear God,
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair
all over. – Sam

Dear God,
You don’t have to worry about me. I always look both ways. – Dean

Dear God,
I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole
world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. – Nan

Dear God,
Of all the people who work for You, I like Noah and David the
best. – Rob

Dear God,
My brother told me about being born but it doesn’t sound right.
They’re just kidding, aren’t they? – Marsha

Dear God,
If You watch me in Church Sunday. I’ll show You my new shoes.
– Mickey D.

Dear God,
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible.
– Love, Chris

Dear God,
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in school they said You did it.
So, I bet he stolid Your idea. Sincerely, Donna

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Who is your Leader or Idle…

Who is your Leader or Idle…

So, who are you following this morning? Beware of following the Wrong Leader!

Peer pressure does not stop when you reach adult age. I recently was talking with a believer who said he was under intense pressure to conform to the standards set by the world. He said he felt as much pressure to conform as he did when he was 16 and out with the guys.

The big question is, just who am I supposed to follow daily?  Acknowledge it or not each of us makes a choice daily on what individual or what standard I will conform to for this day. If we do not say so our actions still betray us.

We have needs in our life and the word of God has the answer;

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

Heb 12:1a “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith…”

Serving Jesus is the priority and reason for living that will last for eternity and you may very well may be trying to walk in your own strength. You say, well that is all well and good but I cannot live the life I see Jesus asking me to. Yes you can because;

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.”

Beware of those who push you to do it the way everyone else is doing it! And yes it’s OK to be ‘intolerant’, if you are being intolerant based on God’s standards and if your attitude and response is tempered with love.  Just be lovingly intolerant which means you will be steadfast, immovable, ever abounding in the work of God.

A huge example is the topic of do all religions lead to God?

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by Me.”

Don’t be swayed by men. Being a follower of Jesus is not easy.

Beware of:
We’ve always done it that way!!
Everyone else is doing it!!

Don‘t be so intolerant!
Mat 15:6-9 “…you nullify the Word of God for the sake of your
tradition. You hypocrites| Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain, their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Col 2:8-9 “BEWARE lest anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the traditions of men, after the ways of the world, and not after Christ.”

BEWARE the god of this world….

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Treating others as you would be Treated…

Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

Treating others as you would be Treated…

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. Well, as such things go, one thing led to another. The sales manager went longer than anticipated and the meeting ran overtime. Their flights were scheduled to leave out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and they had to race to the airport. With tickets in hand, they barged through the terminal to catch their flight back home. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere.  Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. All but one.

He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did.

The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping, and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”

She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.” As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued,

“Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul:”

Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.

You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Let’s start living like we are worth the price He paid.

John 13:35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
have love one to another.”

A Parent Looks Back…

A PARENT LOOKS BACK

Where did the decades go? How could they have sneaked by so
fast? How could my little girl with ringlet hair and cherubic smile
already be twenty six years old? How could that little boy on the big
wheel now be thirty and married and raising his own children.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that they learned to write their names?

Now they are writing term papers, using e-mail and working to support
another generation. Wasn’t it just yesterday they asked Jesus to be
their Savior? Now both live in other parts of the country.

Gone are the preschool years, the elementary years and now the
teenage years. With the loss comes the recollection of so many great
times, and so many opportunities to reveal God’s goodness, His
guidelines, His love and His salvation.

As I think back on the opportunities I had during their
formative years, I’ve concluded that the most vital aspect of parenting
is your relationship with them. Only then can we maintain the fellowship
with our children where we instruct them properly. When parents and
their children share a relationship of mutual respect, new moments of
teaching build themselves into a lifetime of love and strong values that
they will not depart from.

Mom and dad make it easier for their children to listen to their
teaching by nourishing the relationship. It helps to make looking back a
great experience. GOD GIVES US CHILDREN for a time to train them in His
way, to love them and to teach them how to follow and obey.

Children may not inherit their parent’s talents, but they will
absorb their values; Portions from our daily bread – Jan 10 1997

Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the
more, as ye see the day approaching.”

A Parent Looks Back…

What impact does my life have on my family and generations to come?

Some statistics;

When mom only takes the children to church, 15% of those
children grow up to be active in a church.

When dad only takes the children to church, 55% of those
children grow up to be active in a church.

When neither parent takes their children to church, 9% of those
children grow up to be active in a church.

Our lives have a huge impact on our children by our words and
our deeds. The choices that you make with your family today will
determine the quality of life in your family tree for generations to
come. That’s why one person can make a difference and if you help your
family to know Jesus, it will be the single greatest and most fulfilling
task of your life.

Exodus 34:7 “…VISITING the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children and the children’s children to the
third and the fourth generation.”
Psalm 78:4
 “WE WILL NOT HIDE them from their children;
we will TELL THE NEXT GENERATION the
praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
His power, and the wonders He has done.

According to the Christian values that govern my life, my
most important reason for living is to get…the Gospel
safely in the hands of my children. Of course, I want to
place it in as many other hands as possible; Nevertheless,
my number one responsibility is to evangelize my own children.
I hope the mission of other fathers agree with that ultimate priority.
– James Dobson

Proverbs 22:6 TRAIN UP a child in the way he should go, and when
he is old he will not depart from it.

Baseball and getting Home Safe…

Eph 2:8a “For by Grace are you saved through faith…”

Baseball and getting Home Safe…

Bob and the Lord stood by to watch a baseball game.

The Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team.  The Lord’s team was at bat,
the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th inning
with two outs.

They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name
was Love.  Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love
never fails.

The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith
works with Love.

The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom.  Satan wound up and threw the
first pitch.  Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it
pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because
Godly wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were loaded The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was
now going to bring in His star player.  Up to the plate stepped Grace.

Bob said “He sure doesn’t look like much!”  Satan’s whole team relaxed
when they saw Grace.  Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and
fired his first pitch.  To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball
harder than anyone had ever seen.

But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by.
He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on
the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the
fence for a home run!  The Lord’s team won.

The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom
could get on base but could not win the game.  Bob answered that he did
not know why.

The Lord explained, “If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game you
would think you had done it by yourself.  Love, faith and wisdom will
get you on base, but only My Grace can get you home.
My Grace is the one thing Satan cannot steal.”

Eph 2:8, 9 “For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is a gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

AAADD…Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder…

I Cor 15:58a “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable…””

Some humor for your day.

AAADD. Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder This is how it goes…

I decide to do the laundry, start down the hall and notice the newspaper on the table. OK, I’m going to do the laundry . . . BUT FIRST I’m going to read the newspaper. After that, I notice the mail on the table.

OK, I’ll just put the newspaper in the recycle stack . . .

BUT FIRST I’ll look through the pile of mail and see if there are any bills to be paid. Yes. Now where is the checkbook? Oops… there’s the empty glass from yesterday on the coffee table. I’m going to look for that checkbook…

BUT FIRST I need to put the glass in the sink. I head for the kitchen, look out the window, notice my poor flowers need a drink of water, I put the glass in the sink and there’s the remote for the TV on the kitchen counter. What’s it doing here? I’ll just put it away…

BUT FIRST I need to water those plants. I head for the door and . . . Aaaagh! Stepped on the cat. Cat needs to be fed. Okay, I’ll put the remote away and water the plants. . .

BUT FIRST I need to feed the cat.

END OF DAY: Laundry is not done, newspapers are still on the floor, glass is still in the sink, bills are not paid, checkbook is still lost, and the cat ate the remote control. And, when I try to figure out how come nothing got done today,

I’m baffled because…

I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY! I realize this condition is serious. . .
I’d get help. . .

BUT FIRST . . .I think I’ll check my e-mail.

No, there are no drugs for this one but I am sure someone will invent one………

I Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Now to add a serious note and a quiz of the day.

Did you notice what critical daily activity was missing in this humor story?

The answer is; the day was not started with a personal time with God.

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”

So, how did you start your day today??? Or have you already forgotten….?

Today I Taught My Child to…

Recognize it or not we will;

“Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go…”

Be careful! Our lives are bigger teachers than our words.

“TODAY I TAUGHT MY CHILD”

When I got mad and hit my child, “for his own good, I reasoned
I reconciled and then, I realized my plight. Today, I taught my child to fight.

When interrupted by the phone, I said “Tell them I’m not home.” And then
I thought, and had to sigh, Today, I taught my child to lie.

I told the tax man what I made, forgetting cash that I was paid And then
I blushed at this sad feat, Today, I taught my child to cheat.

I smugly copied a cassette, to keep me free of one more debt. But now
the bells of shame must peal, Today, I taught my child to steal.

Today, I cursed another race. O God, protect what I debase. For now, I
fear it is too late. Today, I taught my child to hate.

By my example, children learn, that I must lead in life’s sojourn. In
such a way that they are led, by what is done, and what is said.

Today, I gave my child his due. By praising him instead of rue. And now
I have begun my guide; Today, I taught my child his pride.

I now have reconciled and paid, to IRS on all I made.
And now I know that this dear youth; today, has learned from me, truth.

The alms I give are not for show, and yet this child must surely know.
That charity is worth the price; Today, he saw my sacrifice.

I clasp within a warm embrace, my neighbor of another race…The great
commandment from above; today, I taught my child to love.

I speed along at 80 mph because everyone else was doing it and after
all, wouldn’t I be a safety hazard if I didn’t. Today I taught my child to justify sin…

Someday, my child must face alone, this world of fierce some undertone,
But I have blazed a sure pathway; Today I taught my child… to pray.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is
old he will not depart from it.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Fires of Life that Build and Restore…

Each summer we read of fires out west and around the world. We frequently think of them as being disasters. Did you know there are fires in our lives that are intended to develop us spiritually? And yes, we frequently view those as disasters also. There are some misguided souls that teach that if you have fires in your life it is not a good thing or it is because of weak faith. The biblical reality is that some fires in our lives are noted in scripture as trials and tribulations and are required for our spiritual development of our faith.

When we view the reports of the wild fires or drive by where one has been we see that over time they actually renew life. If you’re going through a fire in your life right now, that will be something very important for you to mentally grab a hold of. If you don’t, all you’ll see is the damage and you’ll lose any sense of hope. And then instead of renewal or development the fires bring on discouragement.

It may be that those fires (trials and tribulations) have burned through your family recently, or your church, maybe your business or your relationships. Maybe they have affected your health. And there is no doubt that the fire has taken away a lot. There’s no denying the pain from the fire, but that’s never the whole story. You need to know the “rest of the story”. Maybe what we view as damage is actually development. What a paradigm shift!

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

God describes the fires of life as trials. If you are a believer the only fire in your life not from God are those that are a result of sin. God sees us as valuable like gold. The fires are not forever; they are “for a little while”. And notice what the purpose of the fires or trials is. The purpose is not to destroy but to “refine” the gold or to get the impurities out so that it increases its value. And if we are honest with ourselves we have many impurities that we need to be purged from our lives.

The challenge we have is to view those fires as trials and tribulations sent from God. To count them as joy as James 1:2, 3 says. That’s a tough one but if you believe that God is doing a work in your life that knowledge will give you the courage to say thank you to endure. God sees us as worthy of purifying, improving, and getting ready for greater things. But that requires denial of self and spiritual development on our part. The fire that appears to take away so much, actually brings new life if we stay close to God during the fire.

What kind of new life does God bring out of the flames? For one thing, He helps us focus the rest of our life on the things that really matter. Everything in our lives goes in one of two columns. One column for things that really matter and another for the things that don’t. A lot of times we get those columns confused. When we ask God for the wisdom to know the difference we then can set God focused priorities. When we look to God we then can emerge from the fire more committed to His glory instead of self comfort and glory.

The fire often forces you to sort out where your identity is really anchored. Is it in a person, your job, or your title, or your performance, or your appearance, or in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Or putting it another way the fires help us to see where our real priorities in life are. Are they in self or in serving our Savior? The flames often drive you to a new closeness to Jesus.

Yes, the fire destroys. But it only destroys the parts or things of our lives that have no eternal value. And thank God, that is not the end of the story. The fire also renews!

Portions from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries and “Renewing Fire.”

II Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Pursuing a Spiritual MBA…

Pursuing a Spiritual MBA

Real truth with a spiritual MBA is available to us. It comes
through the teaching of the Holy Spirit and of course the Holy Spirit uses

His text material, the Word of God. You can obtain it if you….

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman  that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ”

Be careful when pursuing your Spiritual MBA. There are some sources in worldly high places not worth listening to…they see God’s truths as not relevant for today. And are foolishness for directing our lives. They are called the unsaved or not ‘born again’.

I Cor 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Malachi 3:6a “I the Lord do not change…”

Why is it that many times the things I think are appropriate are really not what God sees as appropriate? Even when I feel I am lined up with God and His will for my life. That being the case then I need to trust God even if my inner self does not agree.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seems right unto men, BUT the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

It will take commitment and obtaining your reference material from the
one source of truth we have in this world.

II Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness:”

2 Peter 1:20,21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Now that we understand how important it is to pursue God’s truth and values and we know where to find them then here is one final exam. Who is the owner of truth?

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the
life, no one comes to the Father, BUT BY ME!”

Now that we know where truth resides we can focus on reading it and letting it change us so we can truly be educated in the things that matter for eternity!

Have a great day seeking and serving Jesus!

HAPPY STUDYING…