Jesus’ Blood for our Freedom…

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

Jesus’ Blood for our Freedom

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.

Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. “I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, ‘What you got there son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em. I’m gonna tease ’em
and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing-they ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?”

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars, persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em.”

“How much do you want for them?”

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!”

“HOW MUCH?”

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”

Jesus paid the price. He picked up the cage…
HE OPENED THE DOOR.

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

 Heb 9:22 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

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

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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.”

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.'”

Finding Absolute Truth…Yes there is…

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 Malachi 3:6a “For I am the Lord, I do not change;

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

 Finding Absolute Truth….

For all you scientists out there and for all the students who have a hard time convincing these people regarding the truth > of the Bible…here’s something that shows God’s awesome creation > and shows that He is still in control.

Did you know that the Space Program is busy proving that > what has been called “myth” in the Bible is true? Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore Maryland > and a consultant in the space program, relates the Following > development:

I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us > today happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland. They were checking the position of the sun, > moon, and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and > 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we won’t send a > satellite, up and have it bump into something later on its orbits. We > have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and > where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down.

They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the Centuries > and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put-up a red signal, > which meant that there was something wrong either with the information > fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards.

They called in the service department to check it out and they asked, > “What’s wrong?”  Well, they found there is a day missing in space in > elapsed time. They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was > no answer.

Finally, a Christian man on the team said, “You know, one time I was in > inSunday school and they talked about the sun standing still.” > While they didn’t believe him, they didn’t have an answer either, so > they said, “Show us”.

He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found > a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with ‘common sense.’ > There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, “Fear them not, I have > delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand > before thee.”

Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and > if darkness fell they would overpower them. So Joshua asked the Lord > to make the sun stand still! That’s right, “The sun stood still and > the moon stayed—and hastened not to go down about a whole day!”

The astronauts and scientists said, “There is the missing day!” > They checked the computers going back into the time it was written > and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that > was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes-not > a whole day.

They read the Bible and there it was “about (approximately) a day” > These little words in the Bible are important, but they were still > in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you’ll still > be in trouble 1,000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found > because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.

As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. > The scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out > the Book and read these words in 2 Kings. Hezekiah, on his deathbed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going > to die.

Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof.  Isaiah said “Do you want the sun > to go ahead 10 degrees?” Hezekiah said “It is nothing for the sun to > go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backwards 10 degrees. > Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten > degrees BACKWARD!

Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes > in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing day > in the universe!

Isn’t it amazing? Our God provides all the truth and direction needed for our lives. All we must do is believe and seek!

References:

Joshua 10:8 and 12, 13; 2 Kings 20:9-11

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

If God said it, I believe it and that settles it……!

Lessons from Life…

James 2:15,16 “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute
of food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be
warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things
which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”

Lessons from Life:

During the waning years of the depression in a
small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by
Mr. Miller’s roadside stand for farm-fresh produce
as the season made it available. Food and money were still
extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some
early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of
bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a
basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the
display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed
peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t
help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller
and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them
peas……sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it.”

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and
I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?”

“Not ‘zackley…. but, almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and
next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over
to help me. With a smile she said: “There are two other boys
like him in our community, all three are in very poor
circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas,
apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their
red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like
red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for
a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with
this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot
the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several
years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just
recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had
died.

They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my
friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival
at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the
deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an
army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and
white shirts…very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed,
by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed
her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young
man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale
hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and
mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes
glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. “Those three
young men, that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just
told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them. Now, at
last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size…they
came to pay their debt.

We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she
confided, “but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man
in Idaho.”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny,
red marbles.

“We will not be remembered by our words, but by our life and
kind deeds.”

How will you be remembered?

Mat 20:26b-28 “…but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”