Wreath

He Stopped Loving Her Today” is a song recorded by American country music artist George Jones. It has been named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time. It was released in April 1980.

He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they’ll carry him away
He stopped loving her today 

When I was a kid, hanging a wreath on a door meant someone in that home had died. Usually, a wake was being observed in that very home. It was a very somber and serious time. People from the community would gather and pay their respects.

It meant the end of that life, no more heartache and regret, no more sorrow and disappointment.

It was not a place you wanted to be, but according to Scripture, it was a better place than being at a party.

Ecclesiastes 7:2-3

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:

For that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

These events and signs cause us to reflect on how short-lived we are and what we should be doing here.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Born of the Spirit

We don’t know of his parents.

We don’t know the circumstances of his birth.

We don’t know how much schooling he had.

We don’t know his political opinions.

We don’t know his worldview.

We don’t know why his brother loved him so.

We don’t know his wife’s name.

We don’t know his previous failures in life.

But we do know:

  1. How he was converted: there was a soul winner in his family.
  2. How he was called.
  3. How he failed.
  4. How he always recovered from failure and progressed.
  5. How he was such an asset to the early church.
  6. How his two books have been a blessing for almost 2,000 years.

John 3:8

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 

His name is Peter and you should read his books sometime. God will bless you for it.

Think about it.

Gary

Match

A while back, I mentioned the fires we would make on the ice when we were skating. In our youth, there was always a fire going to keep warm by during breaks and also to provide lighting for evening ventures. The fuel for our fires consisted of old car tires. Sometimes we would use gasoline and/or kerosene to ensure ignition.

 This particular night we had the tires stacked high and doused with gasoline. I can still see him going up to our pile, sticking his head above the tires, and striking the match. There was an explosion and this kid almost did a complete somersault in the air. We couldn’t believe what had happened and wondered why he was so careless. We took him home so his mother could hurry him to the hospital. We returned to our skating rink where a nice bonfire was going. The next day he showed up at school with his head wrapped like an Egyptian mummy.

The moral of this story: Even with experience, we can make serious miscalculations. Absalom is a case in point. He schemed to take the kingdom away from his anointed father. God’s Word leaves us with a mental picture of him hanging from a tree by his long, thick hair. I guess he should have thought it through.

2 Samuel 18:9

And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

I will leave out the rest of the gory details. We should never be left hanging like that or messing with things we don’t fully understand because it can blow up in our faces.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Superfortress

The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets. Paul named the plane after his mother because she believed in him and encouraged him in his goal of becoming a pilot. The bomb that he dropped and a second nuclear bomb dropped by another Superfortress brought an end to WW2.

My point here is the fact that this man realized in the course of his career that he wouldn’t have made it without the original support of his mother. How many men and women look back and realize their position today is the result of a supportive mother?

Paul gave this observation of Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:5

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 

It would have made a good Mother’s Day devotional, but I’m late this year.

Whom do you look back on as foundational to your success?

Give it some thought.

Gary

Apollo 13

It was April 13, 1970, that the now famous words were spoken from Apollo 13, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Apollo 13 had just experienced an explosion and astronaut Jim Lovell called mission control in Houston to report the problem.

A routine stir of an oxygen tank ignited damaged wire insulation inside it, causing an explosion that vented the contents of both of the SM’s oxygen tanks to space. Without oxygen needed for breathing and for generating electric power, the SM’s propulsion and life support systems could not operate. They were 200,000 miles from home and in some real trouble.

Mission Control was able to communicate with them and the problem was resolved. This could have meant death, but it only meant an uncomfortable ride home.

I don’t know how far it is from here to heaven. The thing I do know is: because of the precarious situation we are in, communication is necessary for survival.

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Matthew 21:22

And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

They completed the journey and so can you.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Position Wanted

I would like a job as tutor, teacher and advisor to your family.  I will never take a vacation.   I will never be out of humor.  I don’t drink or smoke.   I won’t borrow your clothes or raid your refrigerator.   I will be up in the morning as early as anyone in the household and will stay up as late as anyone wishes.   I will help solve any problems your children might have.   I will give you the satisfaction of knowing that no question your children ask will go unanswered.  For that matter, I will answer any of your own questions on subjects that range from “How we got here?” to “Where are we headed?”  I will help settle bets and differences of opinion.   I will give you information that will help you with your job, your family and all of your other interests.   In short, I will give you the knowledge that will insure the continued success of your family. I am your Bible.   Do I get the job?

                                                                  Unknown author

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Romans 15:4 

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Bible is looking for work and you could be just the person. It only takes a willingness to accept the fact that you have the need.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Both Sides

A story of Cordell Hull, the great Secretary of State under Franklin Roosevelt: He was riding in a train one day, with a companion, through the New England states. Observing a flock of sheep feeding on a hillside his companion idly remarked, “Those sheep have recently been sheared.” Cordell Hull stared at them a moment and said, “Well, sheared on this side anyway!” Thomas was that kind of a man. He would go no further than what he understood.

Before the church had the full canon of Scripture, they were in the dark about many things. However, when the N.T was completed, everything necessary was made clear. They could see both sides now.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Both sides are revealed to the one who takes the time to examine what the Word of God has to say. God has even given us the Holy Spirit to help out in that endeavor.

Give it some thought.

Gary