The Orphan Train

Yesterday I shared with you a video from Max Lucado’s televison show “Grace with Max Lucado” ( here).  He tells the story of a man named Lee Nailing who was given an envelope with a letter inside by his father.  He was told to contact his father when he arrived at his new home.  While on the train Lee fell asleep and this envelope and letter disappeared and he had no idea what happened to it.

Lee Nailing road the train from town to town.  At one stop in Texas he went to a farm where he stayed the night.  When he got up the next morning he walked around the farm.  He let the chicks out because he was from the city and knew nothing about farm living.  The farmer marched Lee Nailing back to the train and put him on the train.  He continued his trip.  He arrived at yet another destination and was taken by a family.  He was brought in and made their son.  They even took him to other people’s house and introduced him as their new son.

The Nailing family adopted Lee and made him a member of their family.  Our Heavenly Father is waiting for you to come to Him for adoption.  He longs to bring you into His family.  He loves you supremely.  Jesus paid the ultimate price in sacrificing Himself in your place to pay for your eternal life.  Look at what Jesus said in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”  He love you so much He has “chosen” you.  Yes, you!  Will you trust Him today?

So, how are you doing?

Will You Look After Me?

Max Lucado related a story on his program “Grace with Max Lucado” of a young man of twelve years old named Billy Jack.  He was a child with special needs and had been placed on the airplane with credentials around his neck to make sure he reached destination.  Max relates this special child asked him, “Can you look after me sometimes I throw up?”  You can watch the entire 28 minute video here.  This illustration is past the middle; but, I urge you to watch the entire video.  It is powerful.

I began to think through the tears that this is exactly what we all need.  If we know Christ as our Saviour we have the Greatest Father ever to “look after” us.  Look at  Matthew 6:30, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”  Sometimes we feel we don’t have all the latest and greatest  that we are somehow lacking.  Honestly, we have what we “need”; but, not necessarily what we want.

Now friend, if you have been given charge to watch over and care for one of God’s special children count yourself greatly blessed and highly favored.  It is an honor and not a burden!  You have been hand picked to “look after” one (or more) of his special children.  You are a very special person I assure.  You see, I know from experience.  This posting is not to puff up myself or make me look like some super saint because I am so far from that for sure.  How about you my friend.

So, how are you doing?

Disbelief

This past Easter I had the privilege to preach the sunrise service and I was asked to sing for the Good Friday Service at our Church.  What a privilege!  The song I sang was one that I had wanted to sing for a while.  It is titled, “Then Came The Morning”.  As I sang, I felt like the music swelled up in me.  Singers will understand what I am trying to say because I cannot describe it correctly.  What I am saying is that it was not me.  The Holy Spirit took what I was singing and multiplied it.

I love that song because it moves from disbelief and loss to hope.  Two days ago a horrific tragedy took place in Indianapolis, Indiana.  A charter bus turned over approximately one mile from the Church it was driving to.  On this bus was a Youth Pastor and his young wife who was pregnant, a mother of a special needs child with her child, the driver and dozens of others.  The reports are not in; but, it appears now that the brakes failed causing the bus to speed down the exit ramp from the interstate and crash.  The Youth Pastor, his pregnant wife, and a mother of five children (one having special needs) stepped out into eternity.

This Church family deeply need our prayers.  I cannot imagine the deep hurt that they are experiencing right now.  This I know.  Our Heavenly Father describes Himself as the God Of All Comfort.  I am so glad because my Christian Brothers and Sisters need His comfort as only He can give.  Look at II Corinthians 1:3, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;”  Also take a look at the last part of Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. ”

So, how are you doing?

Prayer

Today will be the first installment of our men’s Bible study.  This will be a thirteen week “Journey Into Powerful Praying”.  Because of this the subject of prayer is and will be on my mind for some time now.

Yesterday afternoon I stumbled across a southern gospel music program.  The artist was The Dill Family and they were singing a song titled, “Only The First Time”.  This was a great song.  I truly enjoyed it.  The message of the song is found in the chorus that says in part, “When you kneel before Him it’s only the first time.  He’s forgotten the last time…”  My ears perked right up as I listened intently.  This was a powerful song and what a thought!

If we keep short account with God by praying and confessing our sins right along as we go then the truth of this song is right on target.  When God forgives our sin He forgets it.  The enemy will keep bringing up our past sin to keep us in bondage; but, our Father will not bring them up again after He has forgiven them.  Glory to God!  We can be free from the guilt!

Take a look at Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  One old Preacher said it this way, “God casts our sins into the deepest part of the sea and posts a sign, ‘No Fishing!'”  Amen!  Now it is up to you and I to keep our sin confessed and forsake it.

So, how are you doing?

The Blessing Of The LORD

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the mission to preach.  I had a message that I did not feel was very good and I was not looking forward to leading the congregational music without my wife and piano player.  I resigned myself to man up and go on.  I received a text from a dear friend that he and his friend would be coming and they would sing.  Glory to God!  When they started singing, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene…” I could not hold back the tears.   Their harmony was so sweet and I love that song too.  The men were filled up and it was obvious in the song service.

My message (which will show up here in some form in the near future) was about the storm and Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14:22-33.  As I was preaching I glanced further up the page in the Scriptures and I saw the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand.

The following words just came out of my mouth (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit), “What God breaks He multiplies to feed the multitudes.”  Taken from Matthew 14:19, “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”  It was brought to my attention and I had no recollection saying this and it was not in my notes.

These men are broken, battered and in some cases beaten.  They needed encouragement like this.  How about you friend?  Do you feel broken, beaten or battered?  We all do from time to time.  Just remember that our Father is preparing you to feed the multitudes.

So, how are you doing?

Neighbor

I have to admit that Veggie Tales videos are a mainstay in our house.  It is not that my wife or I cannot live without them.  Our son loves this series of videos.  We don’t mind as they do teach Bible principles (yes, we enjoy them too from time to time).

I was reminded of one of the songs that says, “I can be your friend…”  I was thinking.  The past couple days have been deeply trying in our house due to the high atmospheric pressure.  There have been many moments while struggles rage due to this fact of life that we have felt like the one on the road left for dead.

We have experienced the “religious elite” and their uselessness in helping us.  Most of the “religious” crowd just turn a deaf ear and look the other way down their wart covered nose because they do not want to get involved.  Or worse yet, lie about a circumstance to make it look worse than it really was so you can have the upper hand.

We have experienced the Christian worker that just does not know what to do.  I can understand this.  However, don’t just walk by on the other side like we don’t exist!  We have experienced the sting of this scenario more times than we would like to admit.

Then there is the one that nobody wants to associate with.  You see the Samaritan’s were only half Jews and were hated by both sides of their roots.  Yet, when a Jewish man was down on the road nearly beaten to death he is the one who stopped.  I believe that he stopped because he knew the sting of the scenario that had just taken place twice over.

Take a look at Luke 10:36, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”  There are hurting families all throughout the Church and these families need someone to come along beside them and put an arm around them.  They need people who will pray for them and weep bitterly with them.  I know what it is like to sit with bitter tears burning down my cheeks and begging God for someone to come by that will stop.  Will you be a neighbor?

So, how are you doing?

Heart Sick

We have friends that are expecting children soon.  It is always so exciting.  It is like Christmas (I will let that one sink in deep).  I remember what seems but a moment ago when I received a phone call at work that pangs of labor had began at our humble abode.  The rush of things going through your mind is truly amazing.  Your thoughts of your spouse.  Thoughts about the baby.  It is a whirlwind to say the least.  Then the drive to the hospital.  Whew!

In our “throw away” society I can imagine people wondering about the child soon to be born.  Will the child have his nose or her eyes?  Then comes the long awaited child.  What joy!  Then a few short years later when it is time to talk there is no talk.  When you look into this child’s eyes there is only a blank stare or the child arches the back as to try to get away from you.

Then you go to the doctor.  Sitting in the doctor’s office he or she looks you right in the face and says, “I am sorry to tell you; but, your child has _____.”  You can fill in the blank.  At this moment life crashes in on you and your spouse.  You feel like someone just hit you in the gut with a twelve pound sledge hammer.  You think to yourself, “What just happened to me?” or “us?”

Only Christ can comfort a hurting family like this.  It is only the everlasting arms of Jesus gently going under you and picking you up that can calm this storm.  As I think of days just like this in our lives I am reminded of the truth of Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

This life is not impossible!  As my dear friends at Berean Baptist Church say (in part) at the conclusion of their services, “With Christ I am tougher than the tough things of life!”

So, how are you doing?

A Few Thoughts

To be quite honest with you I am sitting in front of my computer staring at a blank template.  I am simply heartbroken again at the news of another friend who has lost a son at a young age.  It is so sad.  Pain is an unavoidable part of life.  However, it does not make it any easier.

Even Jesus stood at the tomb of a dear friend Lazarus and the Scripture records in John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”  I do not pretend to know all the answers to “why”.  I must simply trust Jesus that He has everything under His Omnipotent and Omniscient control.  Tough as it may be we can rest in the truth that He is All-Powerful and All-Knowing.

We need to find comfort in the Scriptures and in godly friends who will minster the Word of God to us.  Our problem is that we try to find answers in alcohol, food, porn, and the list goes on and on.  Run to Jesus and let Him comfort your raging heart.  He is the One described as The God Of All Hope.  Run to Jesus!

So, how are you doing?

The Bondage Of Regret

I am sure that many of us have had the same experience.  We go to the store and we buy and buy things we do not have money to pay for them.  When we come to our senses and realize what we have done we experience “buyer’s remorse.  Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes regret as “to mourn the loss or death of; to miss very much; to be very sorry for <regrets his mistakes>”

When I was a young teenager I would stay up late on the weekends and watch TV and this always made me hungry.  I would slip very quietly into the kitchen and eat whatever I could find.  Then came the regret.  It was usually followed by acid boiling up in my throat.  Then regret came rolling in like a wave.  “If only…” became my mantra.  We cannot live in the land of “if only”.  We cannot continue to live in the land of regret either.  The enemy of our soul loves to keep us in bondage with regret.  I know because I suffer with this from time to time.

Regret can have fatal consequences if it is not dealt with according to the Word of God.  Let’s take a look at one who did not deal well with regret.  Look at Matthew 27:3-5, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”  In verse 3 the word “repented” means to care afterwards, i.e. regret (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

What we see here is an extreme case, I know.  There are some people that let regret burden them down so badly that they feel that this is their only option also.  It brings me to tears to think that we have the answers Christians; but, we just don’t see the signs.  We need to pray and ask God to fill us with His Discernment to see those who need help.  He will answer that prayer for sure.

Now, you my reader.  Are you burdened down with regret?  If you are let Jesus take your regret by confessing it and forsaking it.  He would love to be your burden bearer.

So, how are you doing?

 

The Thirsty

There is a story on a local news station about a 57 year old man going around his city carrying buckets of water to give to dogs that do not have water (link here).  When I heard this it brought to mind Matthew 10:42, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

Now, before you boycott and jump all over me let me say that I do not for one second think Jesus was referring to animals in this passage.  Although, Jesus does expect us to take good care of our pets and other animals.  Jesus was telling us to care for one another.  I think that it is a good picture of what Jesus Himself did.  Remember the woman at the well?  He gave her water that would quench her thirst for all eternity.  I fully believe that Jesus expects you and I to follow His example and take the “water of the Word” to everyone and share it with them.  This way they too can establish a relationship with Him.  Then their thirst will be eternally quenched.

So, how are you doing?