Monday, 29 August 2011

Jesus Knocking

A nurse on the pediatric ward, before listening to a little one's chest, would plug the stethoscope in his or her ears and let them listen to their own hearts. 

She never got a response equal to four year old David's. Gently she tucked the stethoscope in his ears and placed the disk over his heart. 

"Listen" she said, "What do you suppose that is?" 

He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap, tap, tapping deep in his little chest. Then his face broke out in a wondrous grin, "Is that Jesus knocking?" he asked.

We should all listen to our hearts and follow Jesus in every way. 
How about YOU...have You let HIM into your heart already?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Does God Know? Does God Care?

By: Art Inion

I've been following GMA news online. The last week there is an article with the headline related to the assassination of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino. A week after, GMA News Network are following the group of Hong Kong residents demanding justice after the hostage incident last year. The late Senator Ninoy Aquino did not receive justice from then till now. What will be the assurance of the Hong Kong hostage victims that they will receive justice? And these are not just random incidents. 

In this world we at one time have been at the receiving end of injustice or unfairness at some time. There are two sides of the matter about injustice. For Christians, Christ was at the wrong end of justice. But that He intended it that way. He had a plan. To sacrifice His life for mankind. Redemption. We claim to be Christians, we claim to follow Christ. And yet followers of Christ cannot take injustice? The world is still in a state of sin, and until a new world and new heaven is instituted, Christians will receive injustice. Followers of Christ will be accused falsely, will be neglected, will be beaten, will be imprisoned and all sorts of unjustful acts. The other side of the coin.
For those who do not know Christ in a personal way, injustice is the product of pride and selfishness. Unless the condition of the heart of man has changed, there will still be injustice and unfairness. Is there any hope for us victims of injustice?
Be assured, widows and orphans have a special promise from God in the Scriptures. God gives swift justice for those who are unfair or unjust to orphans and widows (Duet 10:18).
For the rest of us, before this old world and old heaven passes away, God will bring justice to all those who are unfair and unjust and the punishment they deserve. All those who are in Christ will receive justice. God will come and bring it.
In the end, before the new world and new heaven comes, assuming the late Senator Ninoy Aquino has a personal relationship with Christ, he will be vindicated. The same, assuming that the Hong Kong hostage victims know Christ personally, they will receive justice. Followers of Christ need not to worry about getting justice; it is promised and made sure. If not in our present time, at the end of time and it will happen.
Does God know? Does God care? So goes the angry cries. Yes, He does but He is patient so that everyone should come to Christ first. Everyone will be given a fair chance. If in the end if they still continue not to repent, that will be the time they will be on the other end of justice; punishment and vindication.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

God’s Days

Author Unknown
Submitted by Richard

There are two days in the week upon which and about which I never worry — two carefree days kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday. Yesterday, with its cares and fret and pains and aches, all its faults, its mistakes and blunders, has passed forever beyond my recall. It was mine; it is God’s.
The other day that I do not worry about is Tomorrow. Tomorrow, with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its perils, its large promise and performance, its failures and mistakes, is as far beyond my mastery as its dead sister, Yesterday. Tomorrow is God’s day; it will be mine.
There is left, then, for myself but one day in the week – Today. Any man can fight the battles of today. Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day; any man can resist the temptation of today. It is only when we willfully add the burden of these two awful eternities – Yesterday and Tomorrow – such burdens as only the Mighty God can sustain – that we break down.
It isn’t the experience of Today that drives men mad. It is the remorse of what happened Yesterday and fear of what Tomorrow might bring. These are God’s Days … Leave them to Him.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Faith That Changed the World

In 1973, a church located on Route 46, in Netcong, New Jersey faced an mountain-like problem. Having built a sanctuary on a recently acquired eight-acre property, half of which was occupied by mountain and woods. The local authority could not grant them permanent occupancy until enough parking space was provided. What would have served as parking space was predominantly woods and mountain. The cost of clearing the woods and removing the mountain was unaffordable by the church at this time. One Sunday morning, Pastor Ray Crawford exhorted the congregation on Christ's word on faith that can move mountain (Mat. 17.20). He told the congregation: if you believe this scripture come and pray with me on Wednesday night that God will remove the mountain from the back of the church.

The next morning, the phone rang from a telephone company planning to erect new building and needed to fill and reclaim a large swampy site. They had information that the mountain at the back of the church had correct proportions of sand, clay and rock which was required to reclaim their swampy site. Within a month from the date of the phone call, 40,000 square yards of fill had been evacuated, and the church was paid $5400. God not only honored the faith of his servant by removing the mountain, but also provided him with funds for paving the site for the parking space.

I pray for you: may every mountain in your life be bought over today. As you cast your burden on the Lord, may he level every mountain in your life, ministry and family, in Jesus name. May parking lots be provided in your life for the blessings that the Lord will be releasing into your life, in Jesus name. I stand on Ps. 138.8, and ask the Lord to perfect everything that concerns your life and family this day, in Jesus name.

Mountains are just prayers that have not yet been prayed for...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

How Jesus Can Change a Life

 Back in the 50's there was a well known radio host/comedian/song writer in Hollywood named Stuart Hamblin who was noted for his drinking, womanizing, and partying.
One of his bigger hits at the time was "I won't go hunting with you Jake, but I'll go chasing women."

One day, along came a young preacher holding a tent revival. Hamblin had him on his radio show presumably to poke fun at him.

In order to gather more material for his show, Hamblin showed up at one of the revival meetings.

Early in the service the preacher announced, "There is one man in this audience who is a big fake." There were probably others who thought the same thing, but Hamblin was convinced that he was the one the preacher was talking about (some would call that conviction) but he was having none of that.

Still the words continued to haunt him until a couple of nights later he showed up drunk at the preacher's hotel door around 2AM demanding that the preacher pray for him!

But the preacher refused, saying, "This is between you and God and I'm not going to get in the middle of it."

But he did invite Stuart in and they talked until about 5 AM at which point Stuart dropped to his knees and with tears, cried out to God.

But that is not the end of the story. Stuart quit drinking, quit chasing women, quit everything that was "fun"

Soon he began to lose favor with the Hollywood crowd.

He was ultimately fired by the radio station when he refused to accept a beer company as a sponsor.

Hard times were upon him. He tried writing a couple of "Christian" songs but the only one that had much success was "This Old House", written for his friend Rosemary Clooney.

As he continued to struggle, a long time friend named John took him aside and told him, "All your troubles started when you 'got religion,'

Was it worth it all?"

Stuart answered simply, "Yes."

Then his friend asked, "You liked your booze so much, don't you ever miss it?" And his answer was, "No."

John then said, "I don't understand how you could give it up so easily."

And Stuart's response was, "It's no big secret. All things are possible with God."

To this John said, "That's a catchy phrase. You should write a song about it."

And as they say...the rest is history.

The song Stuart wrote was "It Is No Secret."

"It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.

With arms wide open, He'll welcome you.
It is no secret, what God can do"

By the way - the friend was John Wayne.

And the young preacher who refused to pray for Stuart Hamblin?

That was Billy Graham.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A Few Hours Can Mean Everything

Dedicated to a KIND, GENEROUS, PATIENT, UNDERSTANDING and a LOVING HUSBAND and a FATHER of the man whom we only know as Most Populus Artikulus (MPA)
This is a TRUE story.

It was Sunday morning back in November of 1985. My two sons, Jeremiah, six years old and Jacob just 18 months behind him at four years of age, played in front of the big glass window of our living room. As the sunshine warmed the room our thoughts were, "What a beautiful fall day."

My husband, Bob, and I were busy cleaning the dishes off the table after just enjoying one of Bob's favorite meals, red beans and rice

Suddenly sounds of excitement came from the living room. The boys had just watched a gopher go into one of our irrigation pipes, right outside the window. Jacob began yelling, "Pa, we just saw a gopher go into an irrigation pipe," alerting him of what they had just witnessed.

Bob yelled back, "Come on boys, let's get him" and out the door they ran calling our family dog to help.

I knew just what was going to happen and I it was not something I enjoyed watching, so I went back to work in the kitchen. Bob would walk the pipe up on end as the boys held one end to the ground. After getting the very long pipe parallel he would proceed to shake the gopher out the end of the pipe. The dog would then grab and kill the gopher.

Gophers are a nuisance to any farming operation and they seemed to frequent our little 40 acre organic garden operation so I knew it must be done. I think the "boys," all three of them, viewed it somewhat as a game.

The next thing I knew, the door opened, the boys came running in yelling, "Call 911! Pa got electrocuted. He's dead, he's dead. Call 911."

Now Bob was one who liked to joke and have fun. He always said that he was put on this earth to entertain. I figured this was a bad joke. I went to the door. There I saw Bob laying face down in the sandy driveway right under a power line. My heart started to beat fast. I did not want to believe this could be happening to me. However, by the way the boys were screaming, I was scared. I yelled, "Bob, you get up right now, you are scaring the boys!"

He did not move.

I then ran to his side. His body was still. I was so scared. I ran back inside and headed for the phone. My fingers could not dial the phone fast enough. When the voice on the other end answered I cried out, "I think my husband has electrocuted himself and I don't know if he is dead or alive."

As I hung up the phone, I knew it would take some time for the emergency vehicle to get to us. I needed someone to help me now. Stan Wagner, our neighbor was the first person who came to mind. I knew the Wagner's telephone number by heart, as they were very good friends and neighbors. Mary, Stan's wife, answered sharing with me that Stan was at work. I slammed down the phone. I knew I needed a man to help me now. I quickly dialed the home of another good friend, the Gottwalt home. When John Gottwalt came on the phone I screamed, "John help me, Bob just electrocuted himself." I knew he would be there in a minute.

With all the thoughts racing through my mind I could not even stop to comfort the boys. There just was no time. I knew someone could not lie that still for a very long time.

I ran back to Bob's side with the boys following me, screaming and crying at the same time. As I tried to turn him over the boys yelled, "Don't touch him, you will die too." Oh, my goodness, my little boys just knew their father was dead.

I seemed to know it too, when Bob's stiff body made a thud as John and I together turned Bob onto his back. My body trembled as I brushed the sand from his face and closed his eyelids. For a moment there was sense of peace as I realized his soul was leaving his body. I paused for a minute and then panic set in. He was leaving me. All I could do was pound on his chest, screaming and crying, shouting at him to not leave me.

My life changed in just three short hours. At 12:00 noon on a beautiful fall day I was happily married to a wonderful man and father. At 3:00pm that same day I was a 29-year-old widow, not even knowing what the road ahead would be like.

Love and appreciate the people who mean the most to you for they can be taken from you in a minute. It can happen to you... as it did happen to me.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Nobody Ever Invited John to Come

He was a blacksmith and a most wretchedly wicked man. He knew everything that was blatant and blasphemous in infidelity. He hated everything that was good, and loved everything that was bad. He studied to make himself an irritation to all who believed God, never sparing his wife who did the best she could in the patience and Kingdom of Jesus. This man was given up as altogether beyond moral recovery, and so indeed he seemed. Prayer was made as though he had no existence; churches were opened and shut, but never with reference to him; The Gospel was preached and mercy offered, but no one connected him with God's Message to the world.

A few miles back in the country from the blacksmith's town there lives an old couple, Father and Mother Brown. They were close to ninety years of age. Theirs were lives of conscious acceptance with God and of patient, waiting without sorrow and without fear for the promised home-going.

Very early one morning the old man awoke, terribly agitated, and began to call his wife, "Get up, wife! Get up!"

Why, old man, she said, "What is the matter?" He answered, "I can't tell you now what's the matter for I must start a fire in the kitchen. I want you to get breakfast ready as soon as you can for I've got to go to town this morning! "You go to town this morning!" she exclaimed, "Why , you are out of your head, you can't go to town, you haven't any way of going, and I know you can't walk." "Don't tell me what I can't do," the old man persisted. "I tell you, I've got to go to town. I had a dream last night, and-well, I'll go and make the fire, then tell you about it.

His wife followed him; the breakfast was prepared; and when the meal was over, the old man started to town. It was a long and weary way for an old man to walk, but some strange strength was supplied him and without stopping to rest he kept on. The village was reached. Through the main street he trudged, and into the narrow cross street and to the shop of "Devil John," the blacksmith.

"Farmer Brown!" he exclaimed in great amazement. "What are you doing here, and so early in the morning?"

The old man answered, "That's just what I've come to tell you. Let's go inside where I can sit down for I am tired.

Together they went into the shop; and when seated the old man said, "John, I had a dream last night; and I've come to tell you about it. I dreamed that the hour that I have thought about so much and tried to keep ready for so long was come. It was my time to die. And it was just like I thought it was going to be for it was as the Lord had promised it should be. I wasn't the least bit afraid. How could I be? My room was full of angels, and they all spoke to me; and I Loved them and know that they Loved me. Then some of them stooped and slipped their arms under me and away we went. Beyond the hills and beyond the clouds, we mounted through the starry skies. Oh, how they sang! I never heard anything like it in my life. On we swept, an on, 'till one of them said: "Look yonder now; there's heaven!"

Oh John, I can't tell you how I felt when I was in sight of heaven; nor can I tell what I saw when I looked. I don't believe anyone could tell it. It was so peaceful, so beautiful, so glorious! as we drew nearer, I saw the gates swinging open; and with even faster wing we than we come we swept through them into the city. Such a welcome! Welcome fragrance of the flowers, in the music for every harp, in the song of every tongue, in the grasp of every hand; gladness was everywhere because I had come. Why, they made over me like I was somebody, when I was only a poor sinner saved by Jesus' Blood. I found all my children there--not one of them lost--my boy that you used to be with and play with so much when you went to school together was there, and your old mother, who was in my classes when I went to school. And after a time-I don't know how long it was--I saw the same angels that brought me, bring another; and it was my dear sweet wife. I loved her more than ever when they brought her to me there. She was fairer than the day we married. We sit under the tree of life together and walked by the river that flows from the Throne of God. So happy! And I saw angels bringing in others--others that I love and you love.
And so the years of ETERNITY rolled.

"Then, John, all at once it came to me that I hadn't seen you anywhere. I set out to look for you. I went into every street, asked everybody, but could not get any trace of you. I was distressed more than you can know and went to The Lord, my Precious Saviour, and asked Him where you were. And, O John, that you could have seen how sorry He was when, He told me that you hadn't come! "Not Come!" I said. "Why didn't John come?" And He wept as I suppose He often did when He was down here and told me, "Nobody ever asked John to come." Oh I fell at His feet. I bathed them with my tears. I laid my cheeks upon them and cried, Blessed Lord, just let me out of here half an hour, and I'll go ask him to come. I'll give him an invitation. And right then and there I woke up. It was beginning to get light in the east, and I was so glad I was alive, so I could come and ask you to go to heaven and now here I am and I have told you my dream, and want you to go to heaven when your life is ended here on earth."

With other words the old man urged the Royal invitation, but the blacksmith stood as one petrified. He could not speak nor move. Father Brown got up and saying "Good-bye, John; remember you've got an invitation; remember you are asked to come," took his staff and started for home.

The blacksmith seemed to come to himself; and as one recovering from a magician's charm, he sit out to pursue the labors of the day. But everything went wrong--the bellows would not work right, the hammers would not strike right, the nails would not go in right, the horses would not stand right. "O God, be merciful to me a sinner!" he began to sob at last; leaving the shop, he went home. He told his wife of Father Brown's visit. "Blessed be God!" she said, "We will send the horse and buggy and have him come back." "Yes," he added, "for I mean to accept the invitation; and I want him to pray to God to keep me true and steadfast to the end." 

  • More Text