This year, Resolve to achieve more, learn more, and be
your "Best Ever"! You may end up doing more, or less.
You may make more money, or less. You may work harder, or
not at all. It doesn't matter! What matters is that you
live well, that you explore the limits of total success in
YOUR own way, in YOUR own life. That is my wish for you -
and for me - in 2002. Happy New Year!
Hebrews 6:19-20 - "...which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and
A New Year is like an ocean. There will be untested winds and waves. We'll meet
ships we never knew and we'll have all kinds of opportunities as we sail into an
uncharted sea. In our quest to discover the good life this year, we must be
careful that we do not drift into an aimless life. The worst thing that could
happen to us this coming year is that we just let this year happen to us rather
than charting a course and getting into God's appointed harbor. More than
likely, you won't decide to drift. It'll just happen. You'll be coasting along
at a good clip, and then before you know it you're drifting away. . . that is,
unless you have an anchor.
W H Y C H R I S T M A S ?
There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate
to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays,
like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their
children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging
One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a
Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She
asked him to come, but he refused.
"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come
to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left,
and he stayed home.
A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a
blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding
snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then
he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another
thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the
snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been
beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of
wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when
they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and
stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their
wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly.
A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.
The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn
would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and
safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he
walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and
waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the
geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the
barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get
their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved
further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it
up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn. They still
didn't catch on. Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and
tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and
scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did
could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.
"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the
only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment
and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a
goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea.
He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms
as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released
it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn--and one
by one the other geese followed it to safety.
He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes
earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could
save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier.
"Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"
Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the
geese--blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He
could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas,
he realized. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became
quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what
Christmas was all about, why Christ had come. Years of doubt and
disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the
snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You, God, for coming in human
form to get me out of the storm.
Acts 16:31 - "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
A Christian is not somebody who merely believes that Christ died for his sins.
The devil believes that. A Christian is somebody who has repented of his sins
and invited Christ into his heart to be his Savior and Lord. You can
intellectually believe that an airplane can fly, but in order to fly you must
try out its wings. In the same way, when you give your heart to Jesus Christ, He
takes control of your life and begins to make you into the person He wants you
to be. Your life doesn't have to be absolutely perfect for you to go to heaven.
At the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior, you are eternally saved,
eternally secure, and God begins to work on you.
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find
out how far one can go."
-- T. S. Eliot
"Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds
from the achievement of one's values."
-- Ayn Rand
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
to improve the world."
-- Anne Frank
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream
things that never were and ask why not."
-- George Bernard Shaw
"This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also
live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we
deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains
faithful; He cannot deny Himself."
2 Tim 2:11-13
I like trustworthy statements, don't you? There's something about
them that's . . . well . . . uh . . . trustworthy. After all, if you can't
trust a trustworthy statement, what can you trust? This is a good
one. In fact it has several good parts. The first: "if we died with
Him, we shall also live with Him." Most of the time that "dying"
thing is a spiritual dying. We have to die to ourselves -- put
ourselves out of the ruler's seat and put God there. Sometimes
that is a hard death to die. We never like to be "last." We have
been taught to put "number one" first and foremost. The fact
still remains, we must die to ourselves if we are to live in Jesus
and as Paul tells Timothy, "with Him." Now that holds eternal
promise for living with Him indicates eternal life. Sometimes
the dying is literal. We call that martyrdom -- being put to death
because of our faith in Jesus Christ. If I have to, I'll take that kind
of dying also -- and I'll do it with all the grace God gives me.
The second part of this "trustworthy statement" is this: "If we
endure, we shall also reign with Him." Endure what? Life?
That's tough sometimes. Life can be real hard -- especially
when the enemy of our souls is prowling around seeking to
destroy us. Remember poor Job? He was minding his own
business when life turned rough. It can happen to us to. So
we must endure life. What else? War?
We are in a spiritual war -- one not fought with guns and
artillery. It is one fought in a spiritual realm with demons
and evil principalities and angels and archangels. satan
commands one army. God commands the other. We are
the prize -- the disputed territory -- the object of the battle.
From what I've seen of pictures and film of World War II,
it was the disputed territory that suffered the most -- until
the final battles when the enemy was defeated on his own
land. Being in the middle of a fighting war is something to
Part three is: "If we deny Him, He also will deny us." Here
is something you don't want to fool around with. Denying
Jesus is like stepping on your own land mine. One step in
the wrong direction and "poof" the games over -- you loose!
Loosing this way means eternal separation from God -- eternal
dying -- HELL! Don't mess around with this denial stuff!
The final part is reassuring. "If we are faithless, He remains
faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." Even if we deny Him;
even if we have no faith in Him; even if there is no trust in
Him on our part, He is faithful. He cannot be anything else.
If He were anything but faithful, He would not be God and
not being God He would be a liar and being a liar, we would
be wasting our time trusting in Him. No, He cannot be
anything but faithful. His faithfulness does not have
anything to do with what we think of Him or believe
about Him. It's not that He is disconnected from US.
It is that we can be disconnected from HIM. He still
remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I think I will do my best to remain faithful, always trusting
in Him to guide me. Won't you join me?
~~ THE POWER OF WORRYING ~~
Here's a good inspirational message. Keep it in your hearts.
Death was walking toward a city one morning and a man asked,
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to take 100 people," Death replied.
"That's horrible!" the man said.
"That's the way it is," Death said. "That's what I do."
The man hurried to warn everyone he could about Death's plan.
As evening fell, he met Death again. "You told me you were
going to take 100 people," the man said. "Why did 1,000
"I kept my word," Death responded. "I only took 100 people.
Worry took the others."
This interesting tale portrays so well what the National
Mental Health Committee reported a few years ago - half of
all the people in America's hospital beds are constant
worriers. Mental distress can lead to migraine headaches,
arthritis, heart trouble, cystitis, colitis, backaches, ulcers,
depression, digestive disorders and yes, even death.
Add to that list the mental fatigue of nights without sleep
and days without peace, then we get a glimpse of the havoc
worry plays in destroying the quality and quantity of life.
Worry is, and always will be, a fatal disease of the heart,
for its beginning signals the end of faith.
Release the regrets of yesterday, refuse the fears of
tomorrow and receive instead, the peace of today.
FREE YOUR MIND, YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
A man may go to heaven......
without health, without wealth;
without fame, without a great name;
without learning, without earnings;
without culture, without beauty;
without friends and without ten thousand other things-----
But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ.