ONLY 18 INCHES FROM HEAVEN.

CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING ‘ONLY 18 INCHES FROM HEAVEN’ AND NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND YOUR WAY IN? MANY ARE MILLIONS OF MILES FROM HEAVEN AND KNOW THEY WILL NEVER SEE HEAVEN WHILE OTHERS ARE OF THE OPINION THEY ARE ONLY 18 INCHES AWAY. HOW FAR ARE YOU? MOST OF THE WORLD KNOWS WHO GOD IS. THEY KNOW IN THEIR MIND. BUT, HAVE THEY ACCEPTED JESUS’ GIFT OF SALVATION IN THEIR HEARTS? ACCEPTING JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN, YET MANY KNOW WHO GOD IS BUT LACK THE FAITH AND DON’T TRULY BELIEVE. THEY KNOW IN THEIR MINDS BUT NOT THEIR HEARTS. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF DISTANCE OR A MEASUREMENT IN ANY WAY. TAKE A RULER AND MEASURE THE DISTANCE FROM THE CENTER OF YOUR BRAIN TO THE CENTER OF YOUR HEART. THE DISTANCE IS ABOUT 18 INCHES. DO YOU KNOW WHO GOD IS IN YOUR HEAD, BUT NOT IN YOUR HEART? KNOWING WHO GOD IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE BLESSING OF KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY. ACCEPTING GOD AND ASKING HIM TO COME INTO YOUR HEART IS A RELATIONSHIP. KNOWING WHO GOD IS IN YOUR HEAD IS EMPTY KNOWLEDGE. BELIEVERS HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD LIVING WITHIN THEM. DO YOU? IN ALL REALITY, YOU CAN NEVER BE 18 INCHES FROM HEAVEN. YOU EITHER HAVE A ACCEPTED A SPOT IN HEAVEN GIVEN TO YOU BY GOD OR YOU WILL NEVER ENTER HEAVEN. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A CHOICE. HAVE YOU ANSWERED HIM? 18 INCHES FROM HEAVEN MIGHT AS WELL BE 18 MILLION MILES! DON’T BE 18 MILLION MILES OR ONLY 18 INCHES AWAY FROM GOD. HE IS...

ARE YOU HITCHHIKING?

WE HAVE ALL SEEN HITCHHIKERS WITH THEIR THUMBS UP WALKING ON OUR HIGHWAYS WITH HAND SCRAWLED SIGNS STATING: DALLAS, DENVER, SAN DIEGO, MEMPHIS, BOSTON OR SOME OTHER FAR AWAY PLACE. THESE STRANGERS ARE RELYING UPON OTHERS TO GET THEM TO SOME DESTINATION. SOME WILL WALK A GREAT DEAL OF THE WAY, WHILE SOME WILL HAVE A STRANGERS STOP AND OFFER THEM A RIDE ALONG THEIR ROUTE. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PERSON WALKING WITH A SIGN THAT READS ‘HEAVEN’? NO? MOST OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD CARRY THIS INVISIBLE SIGN. THEY WANT TO GET TO HEAVEN AND FULLY EXPECT TO SEE THE GATES OF HEAVEN, BUT THEY DON’T KNOW THE WAY AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS EARTH WHO CAN DIRECT THEM OR TAKE THEM TO HEAVEN. HOW ABOUT YOU? DO KNOW THE WAY TO HEAVEN? DO YOU NEED SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU THE WAY…TO GIVE YOU A MAP? GOD HAS ALREADY GIVEN YOU A ROAD MAP. IT IS CALLED HIS BIBLE. AND YES, GOD HAS GIVEN YOU THAT PERSON WHO WILL PICK YOU UP AND GIVE YOU A RIDE TO HEAVEN. HIS NAME IS JESUS. ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH LIFE AND STILL REFUSING HIS RIDE? IT IS NOT TOO LATE. ASK HIM TO BE YOUR SAVIOR. JESUS WILL….IF YOU ASK! JESUS CAME AND DIED FOR YOUR SINS. YES, ALL YOUR SINS, NOT JUST SOME OF THEM. ALL OF THEM. ISN’T IT TIME YOU TAKE JESUS UP ON HIS OFFER OF A GLORIOUS RIDE? GOD NEVER PROMISED US A PERFECT LIFE. GOD PROMISED US HIS PERFECT SON TO LOVE US, SUPPORT US WHEN WE ARE...

BATTER UP!

WITH THE STANDS PACKED WITH FANS, THE PLAYERS DECKED OUT IN THEIR UNIFORMS WHILE TUGGING AT THEIR CAPS, THE PERFECTLY MARKED AND MOWED FIELD AND BASEBALL’S THEME SONG BLARING FROM FROM THE SPEAKER SYSTEM; ‘BUY ME SOME CANDY AND CRACKER JACKS’, THE MOOD IS SET FOR THE UMPIRE SCREAMING ‘BATTER UP!” WE ARE CALLED TO BE THE ‘BATTER UP!” EVERYDAY. DID YOU HEAR GOD’S CALL TODAY? IT MAY HAVE SEEMED SO SIMPLE, SO TRIVIAL OR IT MAY HAVE SEEMED TO BE FAR BEYOND YOUR ABILITIES. MAYBE THERE WAS A CHILD NEEDING YOU TO TIE A SHOELACE OR YOUR BOSS GIVING YOU A TASK WHICH WOULD TAKE YOU INTO SITUATIONS OUTSIDE YOUR PERCEIVED ABILITIES OR COMFORT ZONE. GOD HAS HIS REASONS FOR CALLING TO YOU: ‘BATTER UP!’. ARE YOU LISTENING? WILL YOU PICK UP THE BAT AND PRACTICE A FEW SWINGS TO BE PREPARED? WALK UP TO THE HOME PLATE, TAKE YOUR POSITION. YOU ARE THE ‘BATTER UP!” WHEN YOU ARE ON GOD’S TEAM, YOU MAY THINK YOU OCCASIONALLY ‘STRIKE OUT’, BUT GOD WILL ALWAYS URGE AND SUPPORT YOU TO STEP UP TO BAT AGAIN. YOU MAY GET A FEW ‘WALKS’ ALONG THE WAY AS WELL AS AN EXCITING ‘HOME RUN’. ALWAYS KNOW, GOD IS YOUR PERSONAL COACH. ALL GOD EXPECTS OF YOU IS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND ‘SWING’ THAT BAT AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. YOUR SINGLE ‘ONE BASE HIT’ MAY ONLY GET YOU TO FIRST BASE, BUT THAT ONE SWING CAN BRING MANY OTHERS ‘HOME’. FOLLOW GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS. GOD IS THE GREATEST COACH. START WITH READING GOD’S BIBLE, HIS INSTRUCTION AND RULE BOOK FOR HIS GAME. IT...

ONE WAY —->

NO MATTER WHERE YOU DRIVE, YOU ARE CERTAIN TO BE EVENTUALLY GREETED BY A ‘ONE WAY’ SIGN. THESE SIGNS GIVE YOU NO OPTIONS AND SEEM TO APPEAR AT EXACTLY THE TIME YOU WANT TO GO OPPOSITE TO THE DIRECTION OF THE SIGN. USED TO CONTROL TRAFFIC, THERE MAY BE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF WHY THE SIGN WAS PLACED BUT THE REASON FOR THE SIGN MAY NOT BE AS EVIDENT AT OTHER TIMES. LIFE HAS IT’S ‘ONE WAY’ SIGNS AS WELL; POINTING US IN ONE DIRECTION WHEN WE REALLY WANT TO GO OPPOSITE TO WHERE WE ARE BEING DIRECTED. IN ADDITION TO OUR OWN ERRING DESIRES, FAMILY MEMBERS, BOSSES, FRIENDS OR TOTAL STRANGERS MAY POINT US IN A DIRECTION OF THEIR CHOOSING. SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A ‘ONE WAY’ SIGN IS REALLY A ‘WRONG WAY’ SIGN? WE HAVE ALL ENCOUNTERED THOSE ABSOLUTE ‘WRONG WAY’ SIGNS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. INTERESTINGLY, WHILE DRIVING, YOU PROBABLY HAVE NEVER ENCOUNTERED A SIGN READING ‘RIGHT WAY’! IN LIFE, ‘RIGHT WAY’ SIGNS ARE RARE AS WELL. SO, HOW DO YOU FIND A ‘RIGHT WAY’ SIGN? ONLY ‘ONE WAY’. GOD GAVE US HIS WRITTEN WORD. EACH BOOK OF THE BIBLE CONTAINS MANY ‘ONE WAY’ SIGNS TELLING US OF HOW GOD WANTS US TO LIVE OUR LIVES. BY FOLLOWING GOD’S SIMPLE AND ABSOLUTE STEPPING STONES, YOU WILL FIND THE ‘RIGHT WAY’…GOD’S WAY…AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO WONDER IF YOU ARE LIVING YOUR LIFE THE ‘WRONG WAY’. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, FOLLOW HIS INSTRUCTIONS AND GOD WILL KEEP YOU SAFELY IN HIS GRASP. LISTEN TO THAT VOICE INSIDE YOU TO AFFIRM OR TO...