HOW CLOSE IS CLOSE?

THE GAME OF HORSESHOES DATES BACK TO THE GRECIAN ARMY. IF YOU HAVE EVER TOSSED HORSESHOES, THE OBJECT IS TO THROW A ‘RINGER’. BUT, YOU CAN SCORE BY THROWING YOUR HORSESHOES CLOSER TO THE POST THAN YOUR OPPONENT. HORSESHOES IS ONE OF THE FEW GAMES WHERE GETTING CLOSE WILL REWARD YOU. MANY LIVE THEIR LIVES WITH AN ATTITUDE OF PLAYING A GAME, BELIEVING ‘CLOSE ENOUGH’ IS ‘GOOD ENOUGH’ OR ‘JUST OK’ IS ACCEPTABLE. LIVING A GODLY LIFE IS NOT A ‘CLOSE ENOUGH’, ‘GOOD ENOUGH’ OR ‘JUST OK’ GAME. IN OUR SOCIETY, WE ARE FALLING VICTIM TO THOSE WHO PROPOSE TO WATER DOWN GOD’S WORD. WE NEED TO BE REMINDED OF GOD’S 10 COMMANDMENTS….GOD’S LAWS, NOT MAN’S LAWS. EACH WAS SCRIPTED BY GOD THRU MOSES. THERE HAVE BEEN NO ‘IFS’, ‘MAYBES’, ‘NOT AS IMPORTANT AS IT USED TO BE’ OR A ‘DISREGARD’ ADDED TO GOD’S ORIGINAL 10 COMMANDMENTS. NONE OF HIS COMMANDMENTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM SCRIPTURE. MANY INDIVIDUALS IN OUR SOCIETY HAVE DECIDED GOD’S RULES ARE TOO DIFFICULT. MANY BELIEVE WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE LIFE AS WE CHOOSE. MAN’S LAWS ARE REPLACING GOD’S LAWS IN OUR COURTS. GOD ALLOWS ALL OF THIS TODAY. GOD’S JUDGEMENT WILL COME. IN THE BEGINNING, GOD GAVE US FREE WILL. ADAM AND EVE DECIDED TO TRUST THEIR OWN FREE WILL OVER GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS. THEY FELL FROM GOD’S GRACE BY ONE ACTION. THEY CAME ‘CLOSE’…CLOSE ENOUGH TO PASS THE SIN TO ALL MANKIND. HOW ‘CLOSE’ ARE YOU TO GOD? DO YOU LIVE BY HIS CHOICES OR BY YOUR CHOICES? IS YOUR WALK WITH GOD A ‘RINGER’? ARE YOU LIVING YOUR LIFE TO GET...

ARE YOU BILLY GRAHAM?

BILLY GRAHAM HAS BEEN CALLED THE GREATEST PREACHER OF OUR ERA. HIS MESSAGES HAVE LED TENS OF THOUSANDS, PERHAPS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR PERSONAL SAVIOR. THIS MARVELOUS PREACHER HAS TOUCHED HEARTS IN SMALL CHURCHES, OVERFLOWING SPORTS STADIUMS, TENT REVIVALS AND ALONE INDIVIDUALS WATCHING HIM ON THEIR LIVING ROOM TV. HE HAS BEEN CALLED THE PROTESTANTS’ POPE, DECLARED TOO STRONG IN HIS MESSAGE BY SOME AND TOO LIBERAL BY OTHERS. WELCOMED BY PEOPLE OF ALL DENOMINATIONS AND WORLD LEADERS, HE IS KNOWN FOR HIS FAITH. I BELIEVE GOD WILL GREET HIM IN HEAVEN SAYING; “WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.” GOD BLESSED ME WITH AN ABILITY TO WRITE AND TO PREACH, BUT I KNOW I AM NOT A BILLY GRAHAM. (HUMBLY, I WOULD BE BLESSED TO HAVE THE MAGNETISM OF HIS SERMONS AND TOUCH HEARTS THE WAY BILLY GRAHAM HAS DONE.) I MAY NOT BE BILLY GRAHAM BUT I DO KNOW GOD IS USING ME AND HAS GIVEN ME A MISSION TO FULFILL. GOD HAS GIVEN US EACH A MISSION TO PREACH, OR A HAND TO HOLD, OR A WEAKENED SOUL TO ENCOURAGE, OR A FRIEND IN MOURNING TO PRAY WITH OR A HUNGRY MOUTH TO FEED…IN EACH WAY TEACHING OTHERS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PREACH LIKE BILLY GRAHAM, BUT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A SPECIAL TALENT. NO MATTER WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE OR THINK YOU ARE NOT, GOD HAS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU. ASK GOD HOW HE CAN USE YOU. TODAY, GO TO YOUR KNEES IN A QUIET PLACE AND ASK GOD WHAT HE WANTS...

U TURN- OK.

AT SOME BUSY STREET INTERSECTIONS WE FIND SIGNS THAT TELL US ‘U TURN OK’ OR ‘NO U TURN’. THESE SIGNS ARE PLACED FOR OUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHERS. A ‘U-TURN’ MADE IN A DANGEROUS INTERSECTION COULD RESULT IN A FATALITY. LIFE IS VERY SIMILAR. WHILE IN A CAR A ‘U-TURN’ ALLOWS US TO REVERSE OUR DIRECTION OF TRAVEL. THE SAME IS TRUE IN LIFE. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN A ‘U-TURN’ COULD BE FATAL. IF WE ARE LIVING AS GOD DESIRES, A ‘U-TURN’ TO A SINFUL SITUATION COULD BE FATAL. GOD GAVE US HIS TEN COMMANDMENTS OF HOW TO LIVE OUR LIVES. WHEN WE LIVE HIS COMMANDMENTS, THERE IS NEVER A NEED TO MAKE A ‘U-TURN’. BUT, IF WE ARE NOT LIVING OUR LIVES AS GOD DESIRES, AN IMMEDIATE ‘U-TURN’ IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. GOD WANTS US TO ‘U TURN’ FROM SIN AND RETURN TO HIS LEAD. ARE YOU IN NEED OF A ‘U-TURN’ IN YOUR LIFE? START YOUR ‘U-TURN’ ON YOUR KNEES IN PRAYER. IT WILL BE EASIER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE CHOICES WHEN GOD IS HOLDING YOUR HAND. GOD WILL NOT JUST TELL YOU IT IS OK TO MAKE A ‘U-TURN’ IN YOUR LIFE…GOD WILL INSIST YOU ‘U-TURN’ FROM A SINFUL SITUATION AND HE WILL FORGIVE YOU . “IF MY PEOPLE, WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, AND I WILL FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.” 2 CHRONICLES 7:14...

GONE HOME!

A DOZEN PLUS YEARS AGO MY MOTHER WENT ‘HOME’. SHE HAD A ROUGH FEW MONTHS IN THE HOSPITAL WITH HER FINAL WEEKS IN A SPECIAL CARE WING FOR TERMINAL PATIENTS. LOTS OF HAND HOLDING AND PRAYERS WITH HER MADE HER LAST DAYS MORE COMFORTING. BUT NOTHING IS MORE COMFORTING THAN THE HAND OF JESUS WELCOMING YOU HOME. THE DAY MOTHER WENT HOME STARTED AS THE FEW DAYS BEFORE. SHE LAID IN A DRUG INDUCED COMA TO RELIEVE HER PHYSICAL PAIN AS I CONTINUED TO HOLD HER HAND AND PRAY. EVEN IN HER CONDITION, I KNEW SHE COULD HEAR ME IN SOME WAY. MOTHER WAS PREPARED TO ‘GO HOME’. AFTER SHE PASSED, I WENT OUT INTO THE HALL TO BE ALONE AND GAIN MY COMPOSURE AS I PRAYED. ONE OF HER CAREGIVERS SAW ME AND STOPPED. SHE ASKED HOW MY MOTHER WAS DOING. I TOLD HER; “MOTHER HAS GONE HOME.” SHE WAS SHOCKED AND RESPONDED, “SHE IS TOO ILL TO GO HOME.” I EXPLAINED; MOTHER HAD NOT GONE TO HER EARTHY HOME, SHE HAD GONE TO HER HEAVENLY HOME. THE NURSE SIGHED WITH RELIEF AND HUGGED ME. FROM HER REACTIONS, I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED IF THIS CARING NURSE IS PREPARED HERSELF TO ‘GO HOME’ SOMEDAY. PERHAPS, THAT MOMENT PLANTED A SEED. MY MOTHER TOLD ME WEEKS BEFORE SHE WAS PREPARED TO ‘GO HOME’. BUT, IT WAS TO BE IN GOD’S TIME. NOT HERS OR MINE. ARE YOU PREPARED TO GO HOME? WE NEVER KNOW THE TIME OR PLACE GOD WILL CALL US HOME. ARE THERE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE YOU NEED TO MAKE TODAY? MAKE THOSE CHANGES. TALK TO GOD....