Hatfields and McCoys

The Hatfields and McCoys

The highly advertised and, for some, long awaited, History Channel mini-series “The Hatfields & McCoys” wrapped up last night. I know that my wife, Billie, and I, as well as many of our friends and family, we’re glued to the tv, either live or via DVR, for the three two-hour episodes. From what I have seen and heard (Facebook comments, etc) it seems that everyone enjoyed and learned from it. One of my friends even commented Wednesday night that they were glad and sad to see the final episode finally air.

This evening Billie and I were discussing the show and some of what it depicted. Overall we both really liked the series and thought it was a good production. But we also both agreed that the first episode, Monday night, was the best of the three. Billie commented that it was a shame that all six hours weren’t as good as the first two. And I agreed that Monday night set a high bar for the show, one that would’ve been tough to meet the next two nights.

You know, there are a lot of things that we see in this life that are filled with all kinds of hype and publicity. Many times the actual things or events fall well short of our expectations, ones that have been heighten by the “generated” enthusiasm around it. One other thing I know: after this life there awaits a place that we can’t even imagine it is so perfect and pure, Heaven is where I speak of, of course. For those that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, there’s a place to go that will more than surpass all of our thoughts and dreams. It’s no wonder Paul wrote “to die is gain” for it surely is for those that are covered by His blood.

More Harm than Good

There’s very little on television I find worth watching any more. It seems that most programming today is void of, well, any thing close to any substance. I find the continuing trend toward “reality” shows almost unbearable with a very few exceptions. One reality show I some times watch is about some really gifted gunsmiths; they make some really neat weapons. However, I find it more and more difficult to watch them because of their actions: they use foul language with about every other breath and then show themselves in a circle of prayer!

In the Book of Romans Paul said that the Roman believers “blaspheme the name of God among the Gentiles” with their actions. I think that the folks in this program do the same thing; how much honor do they bring to the Lord with their profanity followed by prayer? None. If we act as the world and then proclaim the Name of Christ we are harming the cause of God, just as those addresses by Paul were doing.

I know that you have all read or heard that “the only Bible most folks see is your life” and it is true. When one claims Christ and then lives like the devil they are showing the world exactly what the world so desires to see: a hypocrite. And we wonder at times why lost people say if so-and-so is good enough to make it to Heaven so am I!

Think about it…

In Heaven We’ll Understand

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

“In Heaven We’ll Understand”

Not now, but in the coming years
It may be in the Heavenly Land,
We’ll read the meaning of our tears;
Some day in Heaven, we’ll understand.

We’ll know why clouds instead of sun
Were over many a cherished plan;
Why smiles have ceased when just begun;
Some day, in Heaven, we’ll understand.

Then trust in God, through all thy days;
Fear not, He doth hold thy hand;
But, whilst you live, still sing and praise;
Some day, in Heaven, you’ll understand.

While going through some of her mother’s old things this evening, my wife found the poem above. I don’t know who wrote it but I why my mother-in-law found it dear and kept it for so long, that I surely understand.

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.

Saints Gone On

This past week my grandfather would have turned 80 years old. He, however, is no longer with us but has gone on to be with the Lord and the saints that departed before him, including my grandmother. I don’t know about you, but at certain times, anniversaries, birthdays, and other holidays for example, I think more about just where these loved ones are, what they are doing and how blessedly happy they mist be. Today in my reading I found a piece written by Charles Spurgeon that gives a pretty nice idea of just how much better off they are than we. Let me share that writing with you:

“The saints in Jesus, when their bodies sleep in peace, have perpetual fellowship with him – ay, better fellowship than we can enjoy. We have but the transitory glimpse of his face; they gaze upon it every moment. We see him “in a glass, darkly;” they behold him “face to face.” We sip of the brook by the way; they plunge into the very ocean of unbounded love. We look up sometimes, and see our Father smile; look whenever they may, his face is always full of smiles for them. We get some drops of comfort; but they get the honeycomb itself. They are full of peace, full of joy forever. They “sleep in Jesus.””.

In my mind’s eye that is such a wonderful depiction of where those saints are now. And as wondrous as this image is, to me anyway, I know where they are and what they are experiencing is far better than that (Isa. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9).

2 Cor. 5:6-8

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The Curve

There was a certain science teacher that was infamous for always grading his students on “the curve”, giving the highest test score a 100% and raising the other scores by an equal number of points that the highest score got raised to make it a perfect score. This practice encouraged many students to slack on their studies, with everyone doing pretty well once “the curve” was applied with no real effort.

Halfway through the semester a new student was transferee into one of these classes. She didn’t care for the system and studied hard to actually learn the material and earn a good grade. The results were terrible for the other students with many of them failing the semester. The new student scored near perfectly on every test, thereby negating “the curve”.

Sometimes I think our people believe that God is going to be like this teacher, comparing one’s behavior in this life to another; if so-and-so is better than such-and-such they will make the “cut”. Well, you know what? That is exactly true. Yes, you read that right; that is correct. There is one thing folks forget about this “system” that we’ll be compared on: the One we’ll be compared to is Jesus. And no one can come close to the perfect life He led and then laid down for each of us.

The good news then? We don’t have to live up to His unattainable perfection. We only have to accept the gift He has so lovingly provided for us: life eternal through and by His shed blood.

Leviticus 19:2b

Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

Beth’s Testimony

This we sent to me by my cousin after reading the article from Monday (http://tinyurl.com/l6eapj).  I thought it was a beautiful and powerful testimony and wanted to share it with you.

(My friend) Beth died of stomach cancer also. She was a believer, a grace-filled, loving child of God, taken home too early from my own selfish viewpoint. We gave birth to our boys at the same time, met in Sunday School, taught our boys to swim in my pool Those boys were only 12 when Beth died.  They are both married today, young men, about to begin families someday.

Beth was married to a man from a large Catholic family. Her husband joined and was a member of the Baptist church with Beth.  One of the family traditions, was a huge family reunion each summer. The summer Beth was taken ill, she struggled to get ready for that reunion. She weighed less than 100 lbs, she had lost her hair, and had very little energy. I went to visit her, to help her iron and pack her clothes for the trip. She really didn’t feel like going she told me. BUT, she felt she had something that needed to be said, maybe one of the most important messages she might still have to be shared.  So she went.

They taped her message. I still have it. It was played at her funeral…it was a story about trust. Trusting your life to Christ. Trusting in the scriptures that tell us, that in Christ and Christ alone, we live on. We do not leave our loved ones, we are reunited again in our heavenly home. However, not all of us will be there and that pained her. She wanted them to not grieve for her, but to know that she only wanted to honor God in her death. She left them with a plea. Please seek Him, and trust him. Accept him so they  could be together again one day.

I know after Beth died (July 31st, 1997) that at least two of those family members accept the Lord. One being her father-in-law who died only a year or so after Beth.

What a gift she gave them all.

I miss her. But I know that I will get to see her some day in Heaven, and that I am assured of!

Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

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