Thank You

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.

Charles R. Swindoll

I’ve returned to my memory bank and reviewed all the friendships I’ve had over the last seven decades. They made my world easier and more enjoyable. Not many of them have been thanked by me, not that they needed it, just saying. That’s why they are so special because that quality seems to have been in them all.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Job 6:14 

“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.

Give it some thought, then offer a prayer of thanksgiving.

Gary

Gambler #10

And in his final words
I found an ace that I could keep

Now that ace is a mirage that will only prove to be illusionary in the young gambler’s life. Now if there is a different meaning here, it would be that the young man now has learned not to follow the path of the old gambler. If we can learn from the tragic lives of others, then we are far ahead of the game.

Proverbs 27:17 

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

3 John 1:11 

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

Philippians 3:17 

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Gambler #9

And when he finished speakin’
He turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette
And faded off to sleep
And somewhere in the darkness
The gambler he broke even

The old guy died, but did he really break even? There is no evidence of that possibility by his lifestyle. Certainly, his last words revealed he still had a debt. We owe the Creator and I’d certainly want to make sure that debt was paid before I left the earth. Christ came to relieve us of spiritual debt. Don’t play games with this one.

Colossians 2:14 

By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Romans 6:23 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Gambler #8

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep

Now there is something to hope for. Death brings an end to the game. You won some and you lost more and your hope is to die in your sleep. You were just another product of time and chance and the luck of the draw. Practically every person who buys a megabuck ticket has the same philosophy.

The Bible doesn’t just contain the best you can hope for, it can anchor you to a sure hope.

Romans 15:13 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Psalm 39:7 

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Gambler #7

And the night got deathly quiet and his face lost all expression
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right”

Information on how to live life from a failure??? Would you take advice from a carpenter who lived in a shack? Would you take advice from an ex-Harvard professor who was now living on skid row? Would you take advice from a plumber that used an outhouse in his backyard? Would you learn how to fly from a pilot who had three crashes on his record? Would you let an inmate from Thomaston prison invest your money?

So, what about spiritual advice?

1 John 4:1 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Think about it before you lose it all.

Gary

Gambler #6

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

Now that is good advice. However, it didn’t work for the old gambler and would be next to impossible for the young one. Once in that game, like smoking crack or engaging in any other addiction, there will be no sense of moderation.

Knowing the right thing to do for the situation at hand is the wish of every individual. Can I make right decisions on my own, apart from God?

James 1:5 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Isaiah 30:21 

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

God will tell you what to do at life’s table.

Think about it.

Gary

Gambler #5

He said, “Son, I’ve made a life out of readin’ people’s faces
And knowin’ what their cards were by the way they held their eyes.
So, if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of aces.
For a taste of your whiskey, I’ll give you some advice.”

The old gambler was just doing what came naturally. He hoped to get free booze, a cigarette and even a match in exchange for erroneous advice. The young gambler didn’t see this one coming. How many listen to advice that will only make their lives worse?

Matthew 23:15

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

Be careful as to whom you’re getting advice from.

Think about it.

Gary