Real Angels…

I Cor 13:4-8a “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

Real Angels

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.”

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. “My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.”

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood; trying to decide which size milk I should buy.

A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.

I saw first the green suit, and then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blond hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held, and tears began misting in my eyes.

“These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. “When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know?

Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone. “Oh, my Lord, you have not forgotten me. He was still with me and more so in my time of grief.

Mat 28:19,20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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Does your Life have Purpose…

Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

To what purpose are you called?
To what purpose are you working towards?

Does your Life have Purpose…

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
“Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold,
silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving
and everyone would see the beauty.”

Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I
will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of
the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
hull.”

Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the
hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and
how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time
and people will always remember me.”

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true,
a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree
he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to
sell the wood to a carpenter” … and he began cutting it down. The tree
was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a
treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong
tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard “The second tree was
happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When
the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because
he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of
the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree so I’ll
take this one”, and he cut it down.”

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into
a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with
hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut
and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship
and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large
pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees
forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and women came to the barn. She gave birth
and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from
the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the
baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the
importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure
of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they
were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it
was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man,
and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the
tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally,
someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets
as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.

When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and
raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.
When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to
stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible,
because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place
your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got
what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always
know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our
ways, but His ways are always best.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

Matthew 4:18-22 “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee,
saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his
brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he
saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of
men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with
Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

A Quiz. Can you name them…

Here’s something to think about.

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.

Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

*************

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?

The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most
credentials, the most money, or the most awards.
They are the ones that care. 🙂

There is One who paid for your unworthiness because of your sins with His life and created the words, I Love You this much!!!! Can you name Him!

Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice,
He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit’.”

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down one’s
life for his friends.”

Silence can be Deadly…

Romans 10: 13,14a”For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord  shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? …”

Silence can be Deadly!

There are people near us who are going down spiritually. Some are dead spiritually
because they don’t know the Savior and some are hurting and are having trouble reaching
out to their Savior. Are you able and willing to help them this morning? Of course it may
require that you look for those needing help and it will require your time and love.

Once you realize the ultimate reason why you are where you are, your everyday
activities will never be everyday again. Consider the example of the young woman from
the Word of God in 2 Kings 5:2-3. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl who has been
taken captive by the Syrians and forced to become a servant girl in the home of a Syrian
military commander. She’s clearly a victim of unfair circumstances beyond her control.
She’s in a situation that had to be lonely, she’s ripped from her home, forced to live in
another country, and we can be pretty sure she’s in a place she doesn’t want to be. But
none of that makes her forget why she is where she is. In the course of her everyday
chores, she has the opportunity to save a life – and she does.

Her master, General Naaman, has developed leprosy. He’ll die from it unless he
can find a cure which, humanly, does not exist. But the Bible tells us, “She said to her
mistress,’ If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure
him of his leprosy.'” She realizes she is in a unique position to save this man’s life
because she knows the dying person and she knows the only one who can save him.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, that is exactly the position God has put us in with the
people we go to school with, the people we work with, the people we live close to, the
people we recreate with, the people in our family.

When we go where we go each day to do what we do, we go on an eternal
rescue mission! Jesus put us there for a reason. So, how are we doing? Every day,
we are there to show by our life the difference Jesus makes and to capture every
God-given opportunity to tell them how they can belong to Him. And suddenly our
everyday takes on eternal significance.

That Syrian commander didn’t die because someone who worked for him
cared enough to tell him how he could live. Imagine if that girl had been too shy
or too scared to speak up about the answer she knew. Her silence would have been
his death sentence. And so it is for the people near us who don’t know Jesus. Our
silence could mean their death sentence, because we know the Jesus who is their
only hope. They don’t know Him, but they do know us. And, humanly speaking, we
are their best chance – maybe their only chance – of ever belonging to Jesus, of ever
being in heaven.

——————————————————————–

Romans 10:13-15 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Each of us has the responsibility (Mat 28:19, 20) and the power (Phil 4:13) to share the gospel.

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

Psalm 100:1, 2 “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

The Dentist’s Hymn:…………………..Crown Him with Many Crowns
The Weatherman’s Hymn:………………..There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
The Contractor’s Hymn:………………..The Church’s One Foundation
The Tailor’s Hymn:……………………Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer’s Hymn:……………………There’s a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician’s Hymn:………………..Standing on the Promises
The Optometrist’s Hymn:……………….Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent’s Hymn:…………………I Surrender All
The Electrician’s Hymn:……………….Send The Light
The Shopper’s Hymn:…………………..Sweet By and By
The Realtor’s Hymn:…………………..I’ve Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Doctor’s Hymn:……………………The Great Physician

For those who speed on the highway – a few hymns:

45 mph………………..God Will Take Care of You
55 mph………………..Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
65 mph………………..Nearer My God To Thee
75 mph………………..Nearer Still Nearer
85 mph………………..This World Is Not My Home
95 mph………………..Lord, I’m Coming Home
Over 100 mph…………..Precious Memories
………………………………………………………
Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life
And pass it on to other folk .

Psalm 101 “I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.”

A Silent Sermon…

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 you see the day approaching.”

A Silent Sermon

A member of a certain church, who previously had been
attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks,
the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The
pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him,
led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave
silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning
logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully
picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the
hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone
ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow
and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead. Not a word
had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at
his watch and realized it was time to leave, he slowly stood up,
picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of
the fire.

Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth
of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to
leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, “Thank you
so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall
be back in church next Sunday.”

Mat 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one
of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the
mountain to seek the one that is straying?”