Monday evening my wife and I took our grandson out to a local lake to enjoy some relaxing family time. We had a great evening together watching the other folks, seeing the boats on the water, and playing on the huge playground near the marina at Beech Fork Lake.
You probably have already realized that I’m a nature lover: birds, flowers, animals, all of it. Well, as I suppose most three year olds are, Connor is, too; I can’t say if he likes the animals or the old, dead trees best though! Monday we saw lots of animals out after the heat of the day had settled and dusk approached. There were two that caught our attention more than the rest: a young deer and a raccoon. Both of these creatures were unusually carefree of our presence. In fact, I told Billie that they were so accustomed to people that they were probably almost tame. In case you’re wondering, we didn’t press our luck and test my theory.
I don’t know what Heaven holds for us; the Bible tells us it is beyond our comprehension and imagination. But I can imagine a place where every thing is in perfect peace and harmony. Imagine that the beautiful creatures we admire but can’t approach here on Earth, like the deer and raccoon, we’re truly tame and not only would let us approach them but desire it. I can imagine a place much like the Garden where all is perfect and free of sin, death, and disease, a place where we will walk with God in perfect fellowship for evermore. I can imagine all this and more. Yet God’s Woes says it will be so much more, so much better than I can imagine. Makes me look all the more forward to seeing it someday. Until that day though I, and you, have a work to do, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to dark and dismal world so that they too may have the hope to look forward to that we can only imagine.
The other day for some reason this thought came into my mind. I do not know if I had previously heard it before or that it is original to me. Anyway, the thought was this “reality is always better than what you imagine and never as good as it is imagined.” Some of you are now saying, what in the world is he thinking, that saying does not make any sense. But, before you pass judgment hear me out. As people we are always imagining things in our lives and sometimes our minds can make them look pretty bleak. It can be so bad that it sometimes can make us physically depressed, angry or even sick. It does not matter if what we are thinking has any truth in it at all. The same thing can be said for the times we imagine things as rosy or perfect. This can also be just as bad because it can lead people to ignore the obvious. Either way people are not looking at things clearly. When we look at what we are imagining with a clear head and a calm mind we find that things are not nearly as bad or wonderful as they seem. A good way to clear our heads and calm our minds is to pray and meditate upon the word of God. Together they have a way of lifting us up and bringing us down to reality.
I heard a story about on old stray dog today that I wanted to share with you. This old dog was hanging around these folks home in the country. He wasn’t friendly at all, but rather nervous and shy. The man said that he figured the dog had been abused and it was obvious it was neglected. The woman was scared of the dog though and wanted it gone. Somehow they decided to shoot it to be rid of it, a choice I completely disagreed with.
Anyway, they baited the poor old fellow with some food and while it was eating took a shot at him, which missed. I guess the dog must’ve been starving because he was only slightly alarmed, stopping to look around a moment, and then going back to the food. A second shot rang out and also missed, which sent the dog running for his life. A third and final shot also missed its mark before the dog disappeared over the hill.
The next day the lady when the lady came home from work that old dog was back. But today he sheepishly greeted her at her car. Timidly the lady touched the dog who then wagged his tail. This was probably the first affection the old dog had received in a long while and it was from the hand that tried to kill him only a few hours before. Happily the dog is still around, being fed and petted on a regular basis now.
The man asked me what I thought about the dog and I said “Well, I think you ought to have tried making friends and feeding him before shooting at him”.
I wondered how many times we have done similar things to people we come into contact with in our lives? Jesus said that the way we treat others is how we treat Him; in our actions we show just how close our fellowship with God really is, not so much as in our words.
How did you treat the last “old dog” that you came across?
I have read different versions of this story before but this evening I found what I think is the actual account of what happened. I hope you enjoy it.
Are You Jesus to Others?
– Author: Wayne Norton Coffeyville, KS
Several years ago, Dr. John Claypool was the senior pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He was very much in demand as a speaker. Dr. Claypool came to a train terminal to catch a waiting train for a speaking engagement. Ahead of Dr. Claypool was a hurried businessman who was navigating through the crowd like a football player. The man was just ahead of Dr. Claypool when he rounded a corner. A disabled little boy had a table with candy, gum, and other snacks. The businessman knocked the little boy and his table to the terminal floor. The table spilled merchandise everywhere. The businessman looked at the crying little merchant and cursed him for being in the way. Dr. Claypool stopped, picked up the chair, sat the little boy in it, handed him a handkerchief, and began to retrieve all the scattered merchandise and money. After the boy was “back in business,” Dr. Claypool handed him a twenty dollar bill. The little boy stopped crying and said, “Mister, are you Jesus Christ?” Dr. Claypool smiled and replied, “No, son, I’m not. I am just trying to do the things that He would do if He were here.” Ministry is doing what Jesus would do and being what Jesus would be if He were in our shoes. Ministry is living out one’s faith.
Pastors Corner 6-10-12
People are always temping fate by doing things without thinking. This thought came from something my darling wife done the other night. She was making herself a cup of instance macaroni and cheese. Well immediately after she took it out of the microwave with steam coming out of the cup. She set in on the counter and for some reason she had to touch one of the macaronis with her finger to see if it was done. Well you guessed it, she burn her finger and looked at me and said, “ouch.” I have to admit, I did fine it a little amusing. She had made one of those dumb decisions that we all do at times without thinking it through and regretted it instantly. For her the result this time was a slightly burned finger, but a lot of times rash decisions cause real pain and suffering. They can result in hurt feelings, wounded pride, and even physical harm. The person making the decision never intended to hurt the other person and no matter how much we believe that the other person should have known better, sometimes it actually is a case of where they just did not think. Christ tells us how to handle this by being forgiving and realizing that we are all prone to bad judgment sometimes. I think that Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31(Golden Rule) should apply especially in this case. May God bless.
Last night was a late one for me: I spent it at the garage getting my truck worked on. This was the third trip in recent weeks to take care of several routine maintenance items. And to replace, three times, a faulty sensor. As I’m sure you all know, these items add up in cost real quick but they are just a normal part of vehicle ownership that we expect to do at certain points; the owner’s manual even lays out most of the items and suggested times to do them.
Near the end of the night my wife’s cousin, who is our mechanic, began to joke about how some folks approach maintenance of the vehicles: some act like they had no idea they would have to take care of such items, and some think if it’s “broken” it’s time to get a new one, among other things.
There are people who approach the things we face in our walk of faith in much the same way, reacting as if a Christian should never face some of the things we do. And too many will turn their backs on God when the trials and tribulations come. But the Bible, our “owner’s manual” if you will, clearly teaches us to expect these very things. Paul wrote that all who would live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will face persecution. Jesus Himself said if they did what they did to Him, the world would surely do the same to us. God’s Word also tells us to rejoice when we suffer because we are in the family of God’s children.
“Stuff” happens to us all at one point or another in this life. But dearly hold to the promise that has been given us: it will all be worth it in the end. And remember if His Words about the “stuff” are true, and daily living shows us it is, so are all the other promises He has made.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 KJV)
I recently read this from 2000 + bible illustrations and thought that it to be appropriate for today.
“There is a story of an Atlantic passenger lying in his bunk in a storm, deathly sick-seasick. A cry of “Man overboard!” was heard. The passenger thought, “God help the poor fellow. There is nothing I can do.” Then he thought at least he could put his lantern in the porthole, which he did. The man was rescued, and recounting the story the next day, he said, “I was going down in the darkness for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. It shone on my hand, and a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed my hand and pulled me in.” Weakness is no excuse for our not putting forth all the little strength we have, and who can tell how God will use it?”
We are also attempting this week to rescue lost souls who are drowning in a sea of sin. It is vital that we put forth every effort to get people to attend the revival to hear the word of God and be saved. Who knows, it may be your witness and invitation that may be the light that helps a precious soul be saved. May God bless the church and the revival.