A Father’s Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

A Father’s Love

AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY HYMNS, THE CHURCH’S
PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED OVER TO THE PUPLIT AND, BEFORE HE
GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE SERVICE HE BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST
MINISTER WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE CONGREGATION THAT
THE GUEST MINISTER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND
THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CHURCH
AND SHARE WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE.
WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN
TO SPEAK. “A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON WERE SAILING OFF
THE PACIFIC COAST,” HE BEGAN, “WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM
BLOCKED ANY ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE. THE WAVES WERE SO
HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE
COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO
THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.”

THE OLD MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT
WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE
SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY, “GRABBING A
RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING
DECISION OF HIS LIFE: TO WHICH BOY HE WOULD THROW THE OTHER
END OF THE LIFE LINE. HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION.
THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE ALSO KNEW
THAT HIS SON’S FRIEND WAS NOT.

THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE
TORRENT OF WAVES. “AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, ‘I LOVE YOU, SON!’
HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON’S FRIEND. BY THE TIME THE
FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS
SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK
OF NIGHT. HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.”

BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP STRAIGHT
IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT
OF THE OLD MINISTER’S MOUTH. “THE FATHER,” HE CONTINUED, “KNEW
HIS SON WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT
BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON’S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY
WITHOUT JESUS. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE
SON’S FRIEND.

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD DO THE
SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN
SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED. I URGE YOU TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO
RESCUE YOU AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT
TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE.”

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS
CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL. WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN’S SIDE.

“THAT WAS A NICE STORY,” POLITELY STATED ONE OF THE BOYS,
“BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP
HIS ONLY SON’S LIFE IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME
A CHRISTIAN.”

“WELL, YOU’VE GOT A POINT THERE,” THE OLD MAN REPLIED,
GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS
NARROW FACE, HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS AND SAID, “IT
SURE ISN’T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT? BUT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY TO
TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE
BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME.

YOU SEE — I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON’S FRIEND.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have life everlasting.”

Advertisements

God’s Goodness and Mercy…

Ephes. 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

God’s Goodness and Mercy…….

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn’t notice her.

Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed. The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally, he said to Timmy, “Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?”

Timmy nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I know who she is”.

The friend said, “Well, who is she”?

“That’s just Shirley Goodnest”, Timmy replied, “and her daughter Marcy”.

“Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us”?

“Well”, Timmy explained, “every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it”!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:22-26 (And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today, and always.

Redneck Fisherman’s Ode to a Valentine…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world…”

Use with much caution and explanation…

For you who need help on Valentine’s Day

Redneck Fisherman’s Ode to a Valentine

Kudzu is green.

My Dog’s name is Blue.

And I’m so danged lucky

to have a sweet thang like you.

 

Yore hair is like cornsilk,

A-flappin’ in the breeze.

Softer than Blue’s

And without all them fleas.

 

You move like the bass

which excite me in May.

You ain’t got no scales

But I luv you anyway.

 

Yo’re as graceful as okry

jist a-dancin’ in the pan.

Yore as fragrant as Mountain Dew

Right out of the can.

 

You have all yore teeth

For which I am proud.

I hold my head high

When we’s in a crowd.

 

On special occasions,

When you shave yore armpits,

Well I’m in hawg heaven.

I’m plumb out of my wits.

 

And speakin’ of wits,

You got plenty fer shore.

‘Cuz you are my woman.

I can’t ask fer more.

 

Like a good roll of Duct Tape

Yo’re there for yore man

To patch up life’s toubles

And stick ’em in the can.

 

Yo’re as strong as a four-wheeler

Racin’ through the mud.

Yet fragile as that singer

Named Naomi Judd.

 

Yo’re as cute as a Junebug

A-buzzin’ overhead.

You ain’t mean like no far ant

On which I oft tread.

 

Cut from the best pattern

Like a flannel shirt of plaid,

You sparked up my life

Like my Rattletrap Shad. (A fishing lure.)

 

When you hold me real tight

Like a padded gunrack,

My life is complete.

There ain’t nothin’ I lack.

 

Yore complexion’s perfection

Like the best vinly sidin’,

Despite all the years,

Yore age, it keeps hidin’.

 

And when you get old

Like a ’57 Chevy,

I won’t put you on blocks

and let grass grow up heavy.

 

Me ‘n’ you’s like a Moon Pie

with a cold RC drink.

We go together

Like a skunk goes with stink.

 

Some men, they buy chocolate

For Valentine’s Day.

They git it at Wal-Mart.

It’s romantic that way.

 

Some men, they git roses

On that special day

From a cooler at Food World.

“That’s impressive,” I say.

 

Some men buy fine diamonds

From a flea market booth.

“A diamond’s forever,”

They explain, suave and couth.

 

But for this feller, honey,

These will not do.

For you are too special,

You old sweet thang, you.

 

I got you a gift

without taste nor odor.

Better than diamonds,

it’s a new trollin’ motor.

 

On the serious side. Remember everyday and especially today to tell that special one in your life; I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Playing the Blame Game…

Playing the Blame Game….

What is the first thing people young and old do when caught in the act of sin? Pass the blame to someone or something else of course. Blaming society, family, friends, anyone and anything other than me for my sins is not a new thing. Listen to who Adam and Eve sought to blame when they were confronted with their sin.

Gen 3:11-13 “And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded that you should not eat? Then the man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate. And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The most ability is responsibility. Nothing happens until someone steps forward and says, “I am responsible for my actions.”
_____

The celebrated historian Barbara Tuchman called our times, “The Age of Disruption, a period when we’ve lost belief in certain kinds of moral understanding of good and bad.” A reporter for The Indianapolis Star once asked the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner what she thought was most needed in the next century.

“Probably personal responsibility,” she replied, explaining that this means “taking responsibility for your behavior and your expenditures and your actions, and not forever supposing that society must forgive you because it’s not your fault.”

We may try to hide our sins on this earth, but we will be personally accountable regardless of who we attempt to blame.

Romans 14:12 “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

So the next time you sin step up and confess.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on….

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on…

Yes there is a Cold War going on right now. It is an invisible one so we cannot see it.  There is a group of books authored by God that keeps us informed. Listen up!

 Job 2:2 “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So satan answered the Lord and said, ‘ From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.’

The warning and the solution to battling it.

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

The main weapon of war in a spiritual cold war!

James 4:7 “SUBMITT yourselves therefore unto God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.”

 All those proclaiming to be from God are not!! The word Christian has a different definition in our world than in the Bible. Some supposed men and women of God proclaim a Gospel of health, wealth and prosperity and teach many different ways to get to heaven and they sound so good. So how can we tell the difference??

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. “

II Cor. 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

 John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 Protection comes from!”

Ephes. 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

Have a great day and don’t forget the greatest book ever written provides you with the Armor needed to do battle. Apart from God’s power you are helpless to do battle!

James 4:7″ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

To Young to know better…

Unconditional Love. Would you give the one you love the most to remove the sins of people who turned against you?

Acts 10:34, 35 “And Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is acceptable to him.”

 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.”

To Young to know better…

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see yak, buster,” the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.”

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do yak know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position.

Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder.

The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His
aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor — gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.

No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood
awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”

Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest — unwillingly, longingly, as though he was in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny Child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking — “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” — When He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with 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.”

Living for Jesus…

Are we still willing if it will cost us?

John 15:20a “Remember the word that I said to you; ’A servant is not greater than his master…'”

By Ernest Abbott

So, he died for his faith,
That’s fine,
It’s more than most of us do.

But say, can you add to that line,
That he lived for it to?

In his death he bore witness at last as a martyr to truth.
Did his life do the same,
In the past,
From the days of his youth?

It’s easy to die.
Men have died for a wish or a whim for bravado or passion or pride.
Was it harder for him?

But to live every day,
To live out all the truth that he dreamt.
While his friends met his conduct with doubt, And the world with
contempt.

Was it thus he plodded ahead never turning aside?

Then we will talk of the life that he lived,

Never mind that he died.

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you; ‘A servant is not
greater than his master. 
 If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.'”