Let’s Fly

Two caterpillars were crawling across the grass when a butterfly flew over them. They looked up, and one nudged the other and said, “You couldn’t get me up in one of those things for a million dollars.”

What he was saying is, I want to stay here and never be found up there. Many in our world would prefer to stay here than to take wings and fly. It reminds me of the old hymn, “I’ll Fly Away.”

Some glad morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To a home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away

I’ll fly away, oh, Glory
I’ll fly away
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by
I’ll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then
I’ll fly away
To a land where joy shall never end
I’ll fly away

You don’t have to be one of the Wright brothers to know flight is possible.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Come on, Orville and Wilbur, get ready to fly.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Humility

The old story is told about the young preacher who strutted to the pulpit, expecting to wow the congregation. He humbly walked out of that area after the sermon bombed. “What happened?” he asked a senior minister. The wise, seasoned preacher counseled, “Son, if you would have gone up to the pulpit the way you came down, you would have been able to come down the way you went up.”

Humility is a word that characterized our Lord while He was here on the earth and it should characterize us.

Isaiah 57:15

For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

“ I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

2 Corinthians 8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

Pride characterized Satan. Sadly, it also describes many of us. However, humility characterized our Lord.

Give it some thought.

Gary

GPS

We were in Billings, Montana, and looking for a restaurant. The GPS offered one on the screen and our goal was to make it our destination. Upon arriving at a vacant lot, our group experienced some confusion. Where was the eatery that was promised? There was nothing here but leveled gravel.

The question: Do you have a goal and will you be disappointed when you get there? What looked promising for us was empty.

Proverbs 21:5 

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Courage, brother! Do not stumble,

Though thy path be as dark as night;

There’s a star to guide the humble,

Trust in God and do the right.

      Norman Macleod (1812-1872)

 If you are hungry, make sure you’re heading for a place where you can be fed.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Never Give Up

I believe Ray Prichard is one of the great Bible teachers of our time. He knows how to put the cookies on the bottom shelf so the kids can have easy access. I’ve picked his pockets many times in putting a sermon together and he stated he didn’t mind a bit because he picked someone else’s pocket to make it. There is nothing new under the sun. Here is one of his quotes:

Quote:

Because we live in a fallen world and deal constantly with fallen people, it’s easy to grow weary and say, “What’s the use?” Sometimes what we need is a little reality check:

Life is hard. Deal with it.

People are jerks. Love them anyway.

Things don’t go as we planned. Keep on moving forward.

People forget to say, “Thank you.” Help them anyway.

People are hardheaded. Share Christ with them anyway.

Not all your prayers are answered. Keep praying!

God doesn’t do what you think he should do? Trust him anyway!

You may be scared and filled with fear. Keep believing!

Your friends criticize you. Do right anyway!

                                                                                 Ray Prichard

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Give it some serious thought and please don’t give up.

Gary

Not a Turkey

I like Snoopy & Charlie Brown. A few years ago, a cartoon pictured Charlie Brown bringing out Snoopy’s dinner on Thanksgiving Day. It was just his usual dog food in a bowl.

Snoopy took one look at the dog food and said, “This isn’t fair. The rest of the world today is eating turkey with all the trimmings, and all I get is dog food. Because I’m a dog,” he said, “all I get is dog food.”

 He stood there, stared at his dog food for a moment, and said, “I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey.”

Oh yes, there is always someone worse off than you.

Proverbs 29:7

A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.

Proverbs 22:2

The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.

Matthew 26:11

For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

 Be thankful you’re not in the poor man’s shoes.

Give it some thought.

Gary

Half-Wit

Old ranch-owner John farmed a small ranch in Montana.  The Montana Wage and Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his workers and sent an agent out to interview him.

“I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,” demanded the agent.

“Well,” replied old John, “there’s my ranch hand who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board. The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 a week plus free room and board. Then there’s the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night.”

“That’s the guy I want to talk to, the half-wit,” says the agent.

“That would be me,” replied old rancher John.

Sometimes things aren’t just what they seem to be on the surface and there is a need to go deeper. The Apostle Paul is a case in point. The Corinthians thought he wasn’t of much value and was incapable of carrying his own weight. His response to their accusations:

2 Corinthians 11:5-9

I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.  Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?  I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.  And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 

In essence Paul said, “I was the idiot who worked all these years so you could be built up in the things of God.”

Give it some thought and keep on working.

Gary

Not Today

Paula and I were walking from the cemetery after a burial. Hearing a car behind us, we moved over to the grassy area to let it pass. It was the hearse with two undertakers. The car stopped and the window rolled down and we were asked if we wanted a ride. I replied, “No, I am not quite ready for that yet.” It was my first invitation to ride in one, but from experience, I know it won’t be my last. The next one, though, won’t be prefaced by an in invitation. I won’t have any choice.

The Bible tells me that this ride is coming:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Psalm 146:4 

When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.

Hebrews 9:27 

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

Are you ready for an unplanned ride in a hearse?

Give it some thought.

Gary