Monday, September 1, 2014
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. (Matthew 18:1-5, NKJV)
Why would Jesus say we need to become like small children? Children are messy: They spill their milk, push food on the floor, throw their toys everywhere. Children test our patience constantly. They lie to get themselves out of trouble, steal cookies, hide cell phones.... Oh, the list could go on and on.
And yet--Jesus wants us to be like children. What is there about children we need to emulate?
They are honest in their affections. They don't pretend to like someone because that person is richer, more important, better looking. And--if your hair is a mess, they will tell you if you ask them--but they will still love you.
They have an avid curiosity. They soak up information with amazing eagerness. If we could learn during our entire lives at the rate children do--wow. Computers couldn't store anywhere near as much information.
They believe without reservation that if they jump, you will catch them.
Prayer: Lord, may we become like children who will believe You can catch us when we fall--or even when we jump and shouldn't--if we just trust You. May we be like children eager to learn more of You. And Father, may we give You all of our honest affection. You are deserving of all this and so much more! Amen.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
I’m sorry for the late post today, folks. Hacker problems yesterday cost many hours of frustrating work, and it left no time for getting the Saturday Sermonette finished.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, NKJV)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Civil War novels at their best--what Jocelyn Green excels in. The research this author put into her work is phenomenal. The situation in Atlanta while Sherman systematically destroyed the city is brought to life in black and white, and if you like that time period I think you will love this book. Don't worry--there is a happy ending.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Sue Badeau has done it again. The mystery at Loonstone Lake continues, new friendships begin, relationships evolve. I'm really enjoying this series.
There are flashbacks to 1974, the year the Loon's Nest campground had mysteriously and suddenly shut down. Then we return to 2014 and celebrate the return of the once-popular campground. Luanne, a twelve-year-old in 1974, instigates reopening the camp with her husband Frank.
A curious local reporter wants to do a news article on on the camp--but he wants to include gossip and facts about that old mystery. Louanne isn't too sure she wants that notoriety feeding into the promotion. She's uneasy, especially when she gets an anonymous letter threatening to reveal an old scandal if the camp isn't again shut down within two weeks.
You can purchase this delightful short story from Amazon for just 99 cents. I think you'll agree it's worth the price.
Monday, August 25, 2014
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV)
This one is an allegory about what's going to happen at the end of time. There are several other places that talk about the end, too. Matthew 25:33, John 6:40 and 12:26, among many others, don't give much hope that there is more than one Way to heaven or that everyone will go there.
One Way, One Lord. That's that. On That Day, God decides who gets to go, and who does not. Who gets to go? Those who believe on His Son. The rest will be, to put it crudely, trashed. I'm glad I'm not God. There's no way I would feel qualified to say this one goes in, and that one does not.
What does that mean, believing? Something our pastor said in the sermon yesterday: Who do you say He is? Jesus asked this of his disciples, and one--Simon Peter--named Him. "You are the Christ, the Son of the Most High God."
That's who He is to me. The only begotten Son of the One and Only God of the Universe, born of a Virgin, suffered and died on the cross, but most of all--conquered death to rise again. He's the One Who left His seat on heaven's throne to go through all the messiness of life. The One Who decided we were worth the effort. The One Who loves us in spite of everything we mess up on--and I don't know about you, but I led the merriest chase of all for Him.
He never gave up on me (nor will He give up on You), and therefore we have the chance to join with Him on That Day. To stand on His right side. Wow. I can't think of a greater privilege.
He won't push us into standing with Him, but He wants us there with Him. When He knocks on the door to your heart, will you invite Him in?
Even so, Lord Jesus--come.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Looking for an end-of-summer read, something quick and easy to digest? This one is only twenty-two pages, a mere 99 cents.
The Mullens are about to have an adventure. Jim stops on his way home from work in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, to pick up a few groceries. A girl about his daughter Jillian's age approaches him, carrying a baby wrapped in a towel and asking for a loan of enough money to buy some baby milk. A loan?
Saturday, August 23, 2014
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to break down, And a time to build up; (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3b, NKJV)