Thursday, September 24, 2020

How About A Cheerful Post?

How About A Cheerful Post?

    We’re suffocating in many areas of our lives.  So here’s a post that will be warm and fuzzy and maybe even bring a chuckle to your stressed life.  Be sure to refresh yourself by clicking on any links.  Each will be a “feel good” anxiety reliever.

    For any too-serious religious uptight person who was baptized in vinegar and thinks it is wrong to enjoy life ~ the Apostle Peter finishes this post.

The Monk

    Years ago a dedicated, religious man decided to become a monk.  So he contacted some monasteries and finally was welcomed into a very strange one.  The chief monk showed him around and then told him the strict guidelines if he wanted to join and remain with them.

    “You must take a vow to only speak once every 10 years and on that day you may only say 2 words.  No exceptions or you’ll be kicked out."  He joined.

    At the 10-year mark the Chief Monk called him in.  “What do you have to say?" he asked.

    “Bed Hard.”

    At the 20-year mark the Chief Monk called him in.  “What do you have to say?"

    “Food Bad.”

    At the 30-year mark the Chief Monk called him in.  “What do you have to say?"

    “I Quit.”  

    The Chief Monk said, “I’m not surprised because all you’ve done is complain for the last 30 years.” 

“To succeed in life, you need three things: 
a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” 
~ Elbert Hubbard

Newly Married

“I got to thinking what if a guy really hadn’t gotten to know the gal he was marrying... ya know.  
 It goes like this:

We got married last Friday.
My girl was there right beside me.
Our friends were all gone.
We were alone, side by side.

We were so happily wed when she got ready for bed then
Her teeth and her hair she placed in a chair,  side by side.

One glass eye, so tiny.  One hearing aid so small.
Then she took one leg off and placed it on the chair by the wall.

I stood there brokenhearted.
Most of my girl had departed.
I slept on the chair
There was more of her there.
Side by side." **        

“Do not take life too seriously.  
You will never get out of it alive.” 
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting 
before you get tired.” 
~ Jules Renard

“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.  A successful woman is one who can find such a man.” 
~ Lana Turner

“I can resist everything except temptation.” 
~ Oscar Wilde

“I am a marvelous housekeeper.  
Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”  
~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

    The Lord’s people are called to go through stormy waters, hurtful losses, and painful persecutions, but the Apostle Peter says ... after that:

“You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.”  (1 Peter 1:8, MSG)

    Here’s an unforgettable, cheerful song by Mark Lowry:

What’s Not to Love

Just released ... new arrangement and new singers of ... 
Daddy Sang Bass

** If you want to hear George Younce sing that  
Newly Married comedy song mentioned above:

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Friday, September 4, 2020

In The Rear-view Mirror

In The Rear-view Mirror

     Looking back many years I remember noticing my Mom’s toenails needed to be trimmed.  She was in her early 80s and I knew, with her poor breathing, it would be really difficult for her to reach down and do it. Mom said, “Son that would be so thoughtful of you.”  She put her feet up on a hassock and I started.  After about 3 toes were clipped my hand slipped off the nail and I nipped her toe.  It instantly bled.  Instantaneously I began crying.  My intent was to help and instead I had hurt the Mom I would have died to protect.Eventually it all worked out just fine.  The blood quickly stopped.  She kept saying, “It’s OK Son. I’m fine.”  But 25 years later I still can relive that moment.  It is a moment in our history that is unforgettable.

     What makes us cry?  What makes you cry?  Along life’s pathway when do you cry?  What makes you weep?  A sober reflection on those tearful moments indicates what and who is dear to us.  It really does reveal what or who is fastened tightly in our innermost heart.  The valentine spot.

     It was a heart-wrenching development and I needed to let him know before he heard from someone else.  One of the strongest and most faithful families had left the church and wouldn’t return.  I loved them and was so dismayed.  I knew he was close to them but didn’t know how much.

     In my years of ministry he had always been the wisest, calmest and least-emotional counselor in spite of what the trial might be.  He and his sweet wife welcomed me and gestured to a couch.  “How can I help you?” he asked.

     “I’m so sorry to tell you but the ____ family has left the church and won’t…”  Then it happened.  I’d known him for about 50 years but I’d never seen him cry.  Never.  He burst into an agonizing thunderstorm of tears and couldn’t stop.  He was hurting far deeper than I’d ever witnessed, and whispered “I taught them the gospel and baptized them.”

     The best times of their spiritual friendship were now history.

     He hadn’t visited for about 10 years.  He had aged into his 9th decade and the long, long drive had really taxed his energy.  The waitress served the coffee to the three of us and I could see the lines on his face and neck and the jaundiced color.

     I had heard his wife of 60+ years was not doing well and was having serious memory impairments.  Gently I asked, “How’s your sweet…” but I didn’t get it out before his eyes gushed with tears, his voice broke as he struggled and said, “After all these years it’s not so easy when she doesn’t even know who I am.  The best times of their lives were now past tense.

     While we’re pondering emotional distress to the max let’s consider our Lord and Savior.  Perhaps there were other instances where Jesus was in soul-wrenching-tearful agony but there are for sure three occasions that we need to carefully consider.

     When we realize He knew He had to be separated from His Father as He bore our sins on the cross one thing is more than crystal clear.  When tears trickled down His cheeks it was not about physical pain.  His most agonizing moments were focused on the danger of not finishing the work of eternal salvation and expressive trust in God Almighty that He had been sent to accomplish.

Jesus and Jerusalem
     “When Jesus caught sight of the city, he burst into tears with uncontrollable weeping over Jerusalem, saying, “If only you could recognize that this day peace is within your reach! But you cannot see it.  For the day is soon coming when your enemies will surround you, pressing you in on every side, and laying siege to you.  They will crush you to pieces, and your children too! And when they leave, your city will be totally destroyed.  Since you would not recognize God’s day of visitation, your day of devastation is coming!” (Luke 19:41-44, TPT)

     Here Jesus knew His time was very short and His efforts to save the Jewish people in Jerusalem were quickly running out.  In fact He was even losing one of the 12 about whom Jesus said, “It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24, NASB)

     Have you ever wept uncontrollably over someone or a group who were neglecting their faith?  To do so requires a heart that loves far deeper than every-day life events.  I had a dear friend who, when he knew he was dying, stood on busy street corners and preached to anyone who would listen.

     Have you at least prayed for someone... maybe a prodigal son or daughter... for their soul’s salvation.  Today that’s not politically correct.  But the Lamb’s Book of Life doesn’t have politically-correct phrases.

     The old adage, “A stitch in time saves nine” if applied spiritually is a prayer in time accomplishes much.

Jesus and Lazarus

     “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

      “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

     Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

     Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

     Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

     “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

     After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

     When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

     When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

     “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

     Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  (John 11:19-36, NIV)

     What Jesus experienced here is such an indescribable emotion that some translators say he was angry.  The context clearly reveals those around Him recognized His emotion not as anger but as love’s deepest agony. “See how he loved him.” they said.  It is clear that Jesus was not angry.  The Greek phraseology reveals the most intense hurt, agony and soul-groaning moment in Jesus’ entire life until the final night of His life in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  The sisters totally believed that Jesus could have healed Lazarus... and believed Lazarus would rise in the great resurrection to come.  But somehow they couldn’t quite connect that the Son of God they loved was The  Resurrection and the Life.  What a powerful moment they would soon witness.

Jesus the night before His crucifixion

     “Who (Jesus), in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death,” (Hebrews 5:7, NKJV)

     Since this statement is not found in the Gospels some overlook it concerning Jesus’ absolute concern about saving the lost.  He knew that He was the only hope for mankind.  But He had a gruesome crucifixion in just a few hours.  And crucifixion was a horrid way to be put to death.  The emotion of what lied ahead would have been grotesque.

     But I am totally convinced it was not about being physically tortured and murdered that led to this prayer time in the Garden.  It was the separation from Father God about which the verse above refers.  Scripture shows that Jesus and the Father had never been incommunicable.  Never!  This demonstrates that each human being needs to be right with God.  Commune with Him here on terra firma or be separated for all eternity.  Don’t carelessly put it off until your final moments.  Too often death catches us unawares and seldom do we have time or alertness to take care of eternal concerns in our final moments.

Edgar's Casserole

     Edgar was at the bar with his friends. He’d had a few and was just warming up to his typical hammered night.  His friends saw her coming in the door before he did.  Joel nudged him and said, "Edgar, it's your wife and she’s carrying something."  He spun around just as she looked at him. She was lifting a large casserole up onto the bar.  He said, “What’s this, honey?”

     She replied, “I wanted you to have what we’ve had while you’re here with your friends.”  Then she was gone.  Edgar’s friends said, “Wow... what a wife.  She’s brought you a casserole and big enough all of us can have some.  Open it!”

     Edgar pulled the lid off and found nothing.  The casserole bowl was empty.

     When you spend your life chasing the Devil you’ll find the same thing: all his treats are empty.  He doesn’t give you anything worth having.  Isn’t it time to give your life to the Lord where all His gifts are genuine, good for you and will last for all eternity?

The Time of our Lives
by Tyrone Wells

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