“WHOEVER STARTED THIS MADNESS SHOULD BE SHOT!”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV Read: John 3:16-21 With kids in tow, the frustrated and tired mom maneuvered her way thru the crowded department store. Third floor for Dad, second floor for Mom, and fourth floor for her nieces and nephews with her own two kids wanting everything they saw. Mom was overwhelmed, just as you may be, with only a few days left before Christmas. Finally, it was time to leave and she struggled to the elevator holding her little one’s hand. The elevator was full! Not giving up, she forced her way into the crowded elevator. As the door closed, she could not take it anymore and blurted out; “Whoever started this Christmas madness should be shot!” From the back of the elevator a calm and wise voice responded, “No need to shoot HIM, our SAVIOUR was crucified 2,000 years ago.” The elevator became a soundless vacuum. You could not even hear a breath being taken. The voice of wisdom from the back of the elevator gripped the mom and everyone else in the elevator with the real reason for the season. During all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, do you stop and thank GOD for sending HIS SON who was born only to die for your sins? We should be graciously celebrating the birth of our SAVIOUR while remembering that in a few short months, we will be gratefully mourning HIS death on the cross for all of our sins so...

“WHY ME, LORD?”

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” JEREMIAH 1:5a NIV Read: Psalm 23: 1-6 Johnny Cash sang “Why me LORD? What have I ever done? To deserve even one of the blessings I’ve known…” Have you ever asked; “Why me, LORD?” This question usually goes one of two ways. We sometimes ask GOD when by our definition things are going not so well. It may feel like one tragedy after another and problems appear to never end. Problem after problem and we scream out “Why me, LORD?” Instead of asking GOD for HIS help we lay the blame for all our wrongs on our creator. We can learn from the song’s last verse; “Now that I know that I’ve needed you so, help me JESUS. My soul’s in your hand, JESUS, my soul’s in YOUR hand.” Why me, LORD? You can hear Gods answer when you simply give yourself to GOD. When you stop looking for someone to blame or are feeling you are at the bottom of the trash can, you can see GOD has a way out of your situation. GOD’S way out is by faith. HE wants goodness for you. The other time you may ask; “Why me, LORD?”,may be when you feel unworthy of all GOD has for you. When you ask HIM “Why me, LORD?”, feel the blessings of knowing you are blessed! A good health report, a new friend or a new job could all be things you feel you do not deserve. Know that you are deserving. Keep in mind; “JESUS,...

“I WISH, I WISH, I WISH!”

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NIV Read: John 15: 7-11 When I was growing up, before Christmas, Sears & Roebuck would send out their catalog which we called the ‘wish book’. Children across the United States would sit for hours scouring every page with a pen in hand to circle all they wanted for Christmas. From baby dolls to tanker trucks to shoes and new clothes the ‘wish book’ was well marked. It was easy to wish for this and that, but there was a reality in the backs of our minds that it was all truly a wish and few of the items would ever be seen. Today, we have the internet. With almost every retailer online, eBay, Amazon and more and all with 2 or 3 day shipping, we can have almost anything almost instantly. Desires have turned into instant gratification. There is little wishing in our instant society. Yet, material desires often turn into disappointments over time. From buyer’s remorse to created debt to the item becoming obsolete, what we wished for suddenly has little value to us. Then, we need a new wish. What are you wishing to have immediately? Wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘wish book’ and all Your needs were fulfilled? Notice, I said needs not wishes! GOD offers all this to you. HIS Bible describes all of HIS ‘wishes’ for you. Your needs are fulfilled through GOD’S wishes for you. Book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, GOD’S wishes...

“THEY DESERVE IT!”

“The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” Psalm 94:21 NIV Read: Psalm 94: 14-23 Married for years and by an outsider’s view it was suddenly over. Those not close started the gossip. ‘He did …’ and ‘I heard he…’ were on the lips of many. It seemed everyone had an opinion based upon speculations and total untruths. For some after assessing blame, they added ‘He deserved it’. Did he really deserve it? As time past, all the rumors against the husband were proven wrong. He was a faithful husband. Before the divorce was final, the wife was living with the man she had been in an affair with. The husband who was wrongly accused struggled and raised his young children alone. In another situation, a teenage son was arrested. Again, the rumors spread from lips to lips. ‘He always was trouble’ and ‘I heard he…’ fueled the flames. Meanwhile, the parents were having a difficult time. The legal bills were a burden and there was no one coming forward to help. In the weeks following, the son was cleared of all charges and his ‘best’ friend was arrested and plead guilty to all the charges. The young son who had been slandered and gossiped about was proven ‘not to deserve’ what had happened. Two thousand years ago, JESUS was slandered and wrongly accused. Many stood by and watched with the words ‘He deserves it’ when he was tried, beaten and crucified. The evils HE took on for each and forgave HIS believers, we don’t need to repeat today. When was the last time...

“BURY THE HATCHET!”

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 NIV Read: Hebrews 8:10-13 For hundreds of years, some Native American tribes would declare a peace treaty with other tribes. In good faith and as a show of their intended actions of peace, they would bury their hatchets, spears, bows and arrows in a peace ceremony. Today, we get our ‘bury the hatchet’ phrase from this century old custom. We use the phrase ‘bury the hatchet’ to mean we are forgetting and forgiving the actions of another and just maybe our own actions. We might be better off in forgiving if we literally dug a hole and buried those old memories and hostile words and actions. Doing it is much better than just saying it. Is there someone in your life that you should ‘bury the hatchet’? It takes two to end an old negative situation and put it behind, but it only takes one to start the opportunity. Take the initiative. It is an opportunity that is probably very long overdue. Besides an acquaintance or family member, there is ONE who is ready to ‘bury the hatchet’ for you. JESUS was sent to earth by HIS FATHER and yours with one purpose…to forgive you of your sins. Forgiveness of sin…there can be no greater hatchet to bury. Unlike two of us that have been at odds and it takes two to forgive, JESUS can do it all. Perfect in every way, HE can still take on the sins of this world and remain even more perfect. Talk to HIM today. Ask JESUS to...