what would YOU do?

His name is Tim. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.

He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Tim decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Tim starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable,  but no one says anything. Tim gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Tim.

Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing.  The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Tim and worships with him so he won’t be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion…

When the minister gains control, he says, ‘What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.’

‘Be careful how you live.
You may be the only Bible some people will ever read!’

-author unknown

GOOD news for those seeking the Lord!

Many times I truly wonder: am I really following God? Am I doing what HE wants me to do? What’s next? Where does He want me to go? What does He want me to do? How does He want me to do it? For some reason, I rarely get “direct” answers to these questions. However, I do know one thing:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

While I’m not getting “direct” answers, I do often get affirmed in the actions I take. The Lord DOES answer you. But we must be listening to hear Him. He will bless you greatly when you follow His ways.

Unfortunately, the inverse is also true. If you are not following in the Lord’s Will, then possibly you are one described here…

 13 …“These people say they are mine.
   They honor me with their lips,
      but their hearts are far from me.
   And their worship of me
      is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
 14 Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders.
   The wisdom of the wise will pass away,
      and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.”

 15 What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their evil deeds in the dark!
   “The Lord can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!”
 16 How foolish can you be? – Isaiah 29

I hope you’re not one of these.  If you are, REPENT, and turn away from wickedness and allow God to guide you back to His Kingdom.

27 Turn from evil and do good;
   then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves the just
   and will not forsake his faithful ones. – Psalm 37

vacation to anywhere?

This week I’ve been in Greenville, SC on business. As we start training programs with people we don’t know, we normally introduce ourselves (briefly), but this sometimes can get boring. So, in order to spice it up, we answer unique questions like: what was your most embarassing moment, who did you have a crush on when you were little, etc….  This week our question was “If you could go ANYWHERE on vacation, where would it be?” Take a moment – and think about where you might go….

Remember, the question is if you could go ANYWHERE. So we all started thinking about where that would be….

Even in our small class, one person mentioned Australia. Another mentioned the outer space program (it currently costs a mere $250K for one person). One individual lovingly said “anywhere my wife wants to.”  I thought this was nice, and I had already been prepared to say Europe, because Kimberly and I have both wanted to go there for years. But then, it occurred to me, somewhere nicer….

(Have you decided where YOU would go yet?)  When it got to me, I answered “Heaven!” I think I shocked many, and some said “just on vacation” which of course led me to be able to witness a little more to the entire class. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t get up and “preach,” but I did get the brief opportunity to share my faith.

Because of that, at our lunchtime yesterday, I was invited to say Grace for the table prior to the meal. I never expected that such a quick witness would influence people so much. But…

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness – 2 Tim 3:16

Even a small snipet about our faith can help others open up and share their faith, and help others remember that we need to keep Christ in the forefront of our minds. For others, it helps them come to know Jesus because

“he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” – Hebrews 7:25

The Rabbi and the Pope

The Chief Rabbi and the Pope are in a meeting in Rome. The Rabbi notices a fancy shmancy phone on a side table in the Pope’s private chambers. “What’s that phone for?” he asks. “It’s my direct line to the Lord!” the Pope replies.

The Rabbi is doubtful, but the Pope insists that he tries it out and, indeed, he is connected to the Lord and chats away with Him for a while.

After he hangs up the Rabbi says. “Thank you very much. This is
great! But listen, I want to pay for the charges I have used up.” The Pope doesn’t want to take the money, but finally gives in, checks the counter and says: Allright! The charge was 50,000 Lira,” which the Rabbi gladly pays.

A couple of weeks later, the Pope is in Jerusalem on an official visit. In the Rabbi’s chambers he sees the identical phone he has with a direct line to the Lord. The Pope asks if he could use it, because there were some urgent matters he needed to consult with Him.

The Rabbi gladly hands him the phone and the Pope chats away. After he hangs up, he says: “Now I also want to pay for my charges on your phone.” The Rabbi looks on the counter and says: “1 Shekel 50!” The Pope looks surprised: “Why so cheap?” The Rabbi smiles: “Local call.”

Prayer works! It doesn’t matter where you live:

 But certainly God has heard me; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. – Psalm 66:19

What does matter is that you pray. If you don’t pray, don’t expect results! But if you do pray, expect results!

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them. – Mark 11:24

what about you?

Are you worthy? That’s the question of the day…

It was necessary that the Word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. – Acts 13:46

Paul and Barnabas had been in Antioch preaching. However, when the Jews gathered together and saw the great multitudes of people, including the Gentiles, they were angered and wouldn’t listen to God’s Word. The Word was first given to the Jews so that they could receive eternal life, but they quickly became jealous, and lost focus on God. Because of this, they did not receive Salvation. However, the Gentiles (non-Jews) that were present, did listen to God’s Word and we find out in the later verse (48) that they were “appointed to eternal life” (got Saved). 

The point? Don’t lose focus on what God has in store for you. There are many things going on in our lives, as well as others’ lives. Don’t become jealous over what God does for others. He blesses each of us in our own ways.

Keep focused on Him and allow Him to finish the work He started. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6

Will you make your own decisions about your “worthiness” and your future? Or will you allow God to guide you?

how early is too early?

1 Corinthians 13:13 – “and the greatest of these is love”

Tonight on the radio while driving I heard the poem listed below…  And with it being Valentine’s day, it seemed appropriate to comment on love.

I have tried (unsucessfully) to find the author, but it still tells a good story (interesting dialect also). It  reminds us that we shouldn’t spend months preparing for a 1-hour wedding if we haven’t spent years preparing for a life-long marriage:

 

“Married at an Early Urge”

Nice night in June, stars shine, big moon
In park with girl, heart pound, head swirl
Me say me love, she coo like dove
Me smart, me fast, me never let chance pass

Get hitched, me say, she say okay
Wedding bells ring, honeymoon, everything
Settle down, married life, happy man, happy wife.

Another night in June, stars shine, big moon
Ain’t happy no more, carry baby, walk floor
Wife mad, she stew, me mad, stew too
Life one big spat, nagging wife and bawlin’ brat
I realize, at last, me move too fast.

 

Love is wonderful! But without God and a lot of prayer and patience it can end badly.

Looking for Mr. or Mrs. “Right” ??  Consider this . . . stop looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, and start trying to be Mr. or Mrs. Right (then you’ll find that Mr. or Mrs. Right will show up in God’s timing without you looking).

on your way to school…

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He thought he was a “big boy” and didn’t want her to walk with him. And she wanted to give him  a feeling of independence, but she also wanted to know that he was safe.

When she expressed her concern to her neighbor, Shirley offered to follow him to school every morning for a while, staying at a distance so he wouldnt notice. Shirley said that since she was up early with her toddler anyways, it will be a good way for them to get some exercise. All week long, Shirley and her daughter followed Timmy as he walked to school with another neighborhood girl.

As the two children walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s friend said, ‘Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?’

Timmy replied, ‘Yes, I know who she is. That’s my mom’s friend Shirley Goodnest and her litle girl Marcy’.

‘Shirley Goodnest? Why is she following us?’

Well, Timmy explained, every night my mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm, it says, “Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all days of my life.” I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

a simple reminder:

“The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Sometimes we get caught up in the world. We get distracted by activities such as work, school, hobbies, etc. But we must ALWAYS remember that our God is always there beside us, waiting to talk to us, waiting to reach out to us, waiting to help us. But also remember, God is not  a crutch! We should not wait until we need help to reach to Him. This verse essentially reminds us to love Him at ALL TIMES!