Payday

When I was in sales I knew that my paycheck depended on my quality and quantity of work. The more diligent I was at doing my job the higher my paydays were. So I had plenty of incentive to go to work to work.

In our Christian lives we have a similar expectation. Our Lord wants us to do what He has set forth for us to do. We are all to pray, to assemble ourselves for fellowship, praise and worship, and we are to put God first in our lives, among other things.

If we are willing to put in long hours and work hard at our jobs for our paycheck, how much more should we work toward our ultimate payday, Heaven?

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Of the Light

In his message tonight, Bro. Winford spoke on the light, both natural and spiritual. He used a good analogy of if we let our lights go dim on occasion we might be okay. But eventually if we keep on that path our light will “short circuit” and then we’ll have no light at all.

Dimming our lights are things of the world that we let slip ahead of Jesus. Our Lord never once did anything less that what He needed to do to become our Savior. Ought we not do everything He asks of us in return? What He requires of us is precious little compared to what was required of Him.

1Thes. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

The “Madison” Rose

This rose is a Peter Main design. I got the pattern from my guild’s library: the IILG. I carved it and then colored it using water color crayons, by dipping a shader brush into water, rubbing the brush on the crayon and then painting onto the leather. I then went back and did a little shading and blending. This is a technique I learned from another guild member. After the coloring was done I finished it with a couple of coats of Kiwi neutral shoe polish.

The rose is a birthday gift for a little girl we goto church with; her name is Madison, thus the rose’s name. Her favorite color is purple; that’s why I chose the purple background, which is craft foam sheets to raise the leather carving a bit for more depth.

Are Your Bags Packed?

I was watching an old movie the other day. The main characters were a young couple who were about to have their first child. They spent hours taking parenting classes, reading books on raising kids, just about everything you can imagine to get ready for the big event.

When the time finally arrived, the wife went into labor, they began to scramble about to get out of the house to go to the hospital. They couldn’t find anything they needed. The husband finally asked, in total distress, “Are your bags even packed?” In all their “preparation” they hadn’t remembered the most basis thing of packing a bag for the trip to the hospital.

Sometimes we are like this in our Christian lives. We wait for the Lord to call us to do something, all the while we are getting ready for what ever He may ask of us. Then, we we finally get that call from Him, we don’t even have a bag packed.

Daily study of His Word, prayer, and fellowshipping with His children are all part of that bag-packing, as is attending worship services as often as possible. We ought not to be like that young couple, busying ourselves with things that won’t be of much help when the time comes. Rather we ought to be about our Father’s business so when the time comes be of service to our Lord as He calls us we can answer confidently as Isaiah did.

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Rain

Matthew 5:45b For (God) maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

As I sit listening to the sound of the rain falling, this verse of Scripture came to my mind. It makes me think about some of the things we spoke about in Wednesday evening’s service on prayer.

Sometimes we see a person be blessed by our God and wonder why He chose to do what He did. Well, I know I’ve had that line of thinking at times anyway. But I was wrong to think that. No matter what my reasoning might have been, trials I’m going though at the time, difficulties in my life, etc, it’s not my place to wonder why. What I should be doing is praying that through whatever God has done the person will see Jesus.

Tragedy in WV

A tragedy has struck WV. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the mining disaster in Raleigh County that has claimed the lives of, last I heard, 25 miners. Literally dozens of lives were changed in an instant when this terrible news was delivered. Folks expecting the routine return of husbands, grandfathers, brothers, and other loved ones learned that their lives had been snuffed out and that nothing would be routine about that day ever again.

Events such as these often bring about many thoughts to those of us that weren’t affected by the event. Most everyone will have a degree of thanks that one of their loved ones wasn’t in that mine. And most all of will feel for the ones who did.

It seems that when life is lost in such a mass, with no warning, that we will often think of our own mortality, too. Somehow these things make it a stark reality how precious and short life is and how quickly we can be taken out of this world into eternity.

Have you told the folks you care about that you do care about them lately? More importantly, have you spoken of the consequences of leaving this life unprepared with them? Take the time and do so the next chance you have; it may be the last one you (and they) have.

John 3:17-18
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Four Things

I don’t know who wrote this quote, or remember where I got it from for that matter. But I’d like to share it and some thoughts on it with you:

Four things you can’t recover:
The stone…after the throw.
The word…after it’s said.
The occasion…after it’s missed.
The time…after it’s gone.

I’m pretty sure whoever wrote it probably had more worldly thoughts in mind when it was penned. But it makes me think of spiritual things.

I see Jesus in all of these things. He is the stone, or Rock. He is the Word. He is the occasion, or Opportunity. And He is the Time. Yes I see Jesus and His call to each one of us to come and follow Him in each line of this quote.

2 Cor. 6:2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Ministering

We had a great Easter service yesterday morning; every part of the service and each one in attendance seemed so very Spirit filled. It was such a blessing to be able to be a part of it.

Our pastor made mention during his message of something that has me thinking: How we should minister one to another. As he put it, there are so many ways to so this and sometimes it is just the smallest thing that can make the biggest difference. Let me give you an example.

Not too long ago I made someone a gift; most of you know I do leather work as a hobby. Well, I was down in my back when it was time to deliver this gift so my wife did the delivery for me.

A few hours, perhaps less, after getting the gift I got a phone call thanking me for it. Then I was asked a few questions about the process of making it, etc. This person showed genuine interest and gratitude to me and I so appreciated it. It lifted my spirit more than I can tell you. Later I realized how much that few minutes on the phone ministered to me, whether the caller realized it or not it was a very big deal to me, and made me feel so much better.

The smallest things are often the ones that folks need most and remember the longest. So the next time you have an opportunity to lift someone up by even the smallest means jump at it. You don’t know how much it might mean to them.

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Gone Fishing

Mark 16:15 tells us “And (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. About a dozen of us at church have been taking a class on personal evangelism and tonight we went out on out first “fishing trip” to do just that: take the Gospel to whomever we were led to speak with.

Although we were all nervous to start, by following the Holy Spirit’s lead I think we came away feeling much bolder for Christ and more confident in our witness.

We met at a local park, separated into groups, armed with unique tracts, and went about our Father’s business. We spoke with many folks, collectively, during our hour. Personally I found it encouraging that many were Christians; a set of two teen-aged girls walking their dog told us about their church, something that warms my heart, when we gave them a Gospel tract.

The most interesting person I spoke with was a college aged girl who was a proclaimed agnostic. I went through the Gospel with her and explained that Jesus was the only Way to Heaven. I thanked her for her time and offered to provide her a Bible, since she didn’t own one, if she was interested. She was very polite and listened attentively. Remember this young lady in your prayers that God will grow that Seed, and the many others that were planted tonight.

All that said, how long has it been since you went out of your way to share your faith with someone? I encourage you to do it this weekend, even if it’s something you’ve never done before. What better service could we do for Jesus on this Easter weekend than to tell someone about him?

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