Continued Stories


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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fill Your Place



Reverend Chappell was a Kind Man of God
Pastor Chappell was a large man somewhere between austere and country. He was use to ministering to the people of Oklahoma South and since some of our congregation had migrated from the south they wished to have him come to be the pastor of our church. 

There were certain characteristics that defined him; one being he had a very loud voice.  I don’t mean just loud, I mean extremely loud, one that would hurt your ears. When he saw the microphone he said, "I won’t need that," and he was right.  

Such a kind man was he, and I liked him a lot. Due to the fact he preached to rural people who worked late on the farm, church always started after dark he was use to not starting to preach until later in the evening.
 
Our church on the other hand started at six on Sunday evenings with what we called an Evangelistic service. He just couldn’t get comfortable preaching the evening service while it was still light.
 
He once told me that something had to change because we were working against GOD by not waiting until “dark thirty” to preach.  

This became a problem and some contention arose because by getting out of church by 8 there was time for the members to go out and fellowship or have people over for refreshments especially the young people.  

The pastor was gracious but about a year of “working against” GOD was all he could take and he resigned and moved to Arizona to minister to the American Indians.  

As it turned out it was best both for him and the church, even though he was a good man he was in the wrong place.   

 
1 Corinthians 12:14-16   For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” If they were all one member, where would the body be?”  

It is important for both the church and you for you to find your place in the body of Christ because it is there you will be most successful.  

There have been times when my wife and I have had to fill in because someone had failed to take their place in the body. We were glad to do it but we were just a fill in.  

Romans 12:6-8  So in Christ  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully 

No one can replace you for God has given your place, your job, your responsibility in the body of Christ. If you neglect to fulfill your calling the cause of Christ will suffer.  

Realize this; You are very important in the kingdom of GOD.
 
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

 

 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ARE YOU STRIVING?


 
 
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me
 
From “Time unto immemorial” is a statement I haven’t heard used since I was a kid. In those days it was used often and I never knew just exactly what it meant and even today the meaning is somewhat difficult to pin down.   With just one definition as follows; A particular period or part of duration, whether past, present, or future; a point or portion of duration; as, the time was, or has been; the time is, or will be. [1913 Webster]  

Jesus, in answer to the question "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?"  Luke 13:24  "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  

This view of receiving salvation by striving is in contrast to salvation full and free by grace are you saved!   I have it heard it said; salvation is free but is not cheap for it came at great price. At this point we might say from before “Time unto immemorial,” there was a battle that ensued and is still going on to day. That battle is for supremacy of the entire universe and beyond. 

Mankind has been caught up in this struggle and like the angels that followed Satan and the good angels that stayed true to GOD, people today are following the leader they have chosen.  

This struggle is defined in Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  

This whole concept on the surface seems unreal due to the fact we deal with physical things and much of this warfare is spiritual and mental.  Nevertheless it is a battle, and in spite of the end of the Book saying we win, the war is raging with small victories and defeats ongoing. 

     2Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.   We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the Knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the Obedience of Christ - -  

     All this doesn’t happen automatically but requires the struggle. The wresting is against a very real enemy. The striving that Jesus mentioned in Luke 13:24 doesn’t end with the acceptance of Christ as savior but will continue until the end comes.
 

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, Which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to the entire world.  

It would serve you well when things aren't going as they should to remember you are striving for righteousness sake and are in the midst of a lifetime Battle.  The good news is that WE WIN !!
 
 

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”
 
 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BLESSED BECAUSE – Guest Beth Jones


 

 

"And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because..."
 Deuteronomy 28:2, NKJV 

I love the magnitude of God's blessings as described in Deuteronomy 28!

Notice verse 2…all of these blessings will come upon us "because" of something…what is the big "because"?

"And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God...." Because you "obeyed the voice of the Lord your God." God loves obedience! The Lord prefers obedience over sacrifice, duty, works or obligation. The Lord rewards us when we listen to and obey His voice. He causes blessings to overtake us! God's voice is revealed in His Word; when we obey the Word of the Lord, we position ourselves for His blessings.
Look at some of the blessings…
"And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: 'Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.'" (Deuteronomy 28:2-6, NKJV)

  • blessed in the city and country – here and there!
  • blessed kids – and grandkids!
  • blessed job, vocation, occupation – even in a recession!
  • blessed when you're shopping – your basket is blessed even on the day after Thanksgiving!
  • blessed in the grocery store and kitchen – your vital needs are met!
  • blessed everywhere – to be a blessing!

Isaiah 1:19 tells us the same thing, "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land...." Read all of Deuteronomy 28 to discover the rest of the blessings that may come upon you "because"...

Prayer: "Father, thank You for being a good God. You are a giver, a good Father, a 'blesser!’ I want to hear and obey Your voice in every area of my life. I thank You for the blessings that have already come into my life and thank You for all the blessings that will continue to overtake my life. I choose to be willing and obedient and I know I will eat the good of the land. In Jesus' Name. Amen."


Tweet This: The Lord rewards us when we listen to and obey His voice. @BethJones http://eepurl.com/bb-vdH

Blessings,  Beth

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Purim, the prime minister and the president


 

Congress Defies Obama - Takes a Massive Stand for Israel

 

Exclusive: Guest - Michael Brown notes odd things often happen in conjunction with holiday


Twenty-five hundred years ago, Queen Esther violated protocol and appealed to the king to intervene against a threat to annihilate the Jewish people. This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu violated protocol and appealed to the United States Congress to intervene against a threat to annihilate the Jewish people. In both cases, the enemy threatening the people of Israel was Persia (today, Iran).

In the days of Esther, the deliverance of the Jewish people led to the institution of the holiday known as Purim. Today, just one day after Netanyahu’s speech, it is Purim again.

Truth sometimes is stranger than fiction, especially at this time of the year.

In Esther’s day, she had to approach the king without being called for, a violation of protocol that could have cost her her life. Netanyahu came to America to address Congress despite President Obama’s strong objections, potentially risking his nation’s relationship with our country, not to mention potentially endangering his own re-election campaign.

Odd things often happen in conjunction with Purim, including:

  • In 1991, the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein ended after just 100 hours of battle, coinciding with the beginning of Purim. During the war, despite Hussein raining down 39 SCUD missiles on Israel, casualties were so minimal that even non-religious Jews called it miraculous.
  • In 1953, during Purim, Josef Stalin died suddenly, putting an end to his infamous Doctors’ Plot aimed at slaughtering Jewish doctors. Ultra-orthodox Jews of the Lubavitch, Chasidic sect, believe that it was just as their grand rabbi (the Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1992) was reciting an inspired (and mystically relevant) discourse that Stalin was smitten.
  • Although it was not on Purim in 1946 when Julius Streicher, the notorious Nazi propagandist, was being led to the gallows for his war crimes, he cried out in mockery, “Purim-fest, 1946!” meaning, the Festival of Purim, 1946. His point was that just as Haman, the instigator of the plot against the Jews in Esther’s day, was hung on the very gallows he prepared for his Jewish enemies, so Streicher was hung for his crimes against the Jews.
  • Tragically, Purim was also a time when the Nazis would carry out public Jewish executions to ridicule the biblical story of Jewish deliverance.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, Haman, raised to high command by the king of Persia, devised his plot to exterminate the Jews. Today, Ayatollah Khamanei, the supreme leader of Iran, has offered a 9-point plan to “eliminate” the Zionist regime, explaining that, “During its 66 years of life so far, the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by means of infanticide, homicide, violence and iron fist while boasts [sic] about it blatantly.”

The most conspicuous difference between Esther’s day and our day is that the king of Persia responded favorably to her request to spare her people (she herself was Jewish, but that was unknown to the king before she approached him to plead for deliverance), whereas thus far, the president of the United States has turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the prime minister of Israel.

In fact, just one day before the speech to Congress, President Obama, dismissed the accuracy of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s previous warnings, almost as if Iran was more to be trusted than Netanyahu.

Worse still, immediately after the speech, those in the president’s own Democratic Party vilified Prime Minister Netanyahu, claiming that he was guilty of “fear-mongering,” with Rep. Nancy Pelosi saying she was “near tears” throughout the speech, “saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States. …”


Not to be outdone, Rep. John Lewis stated that the speech was “an affront to the president of the United States, to the Democratic leadership of Congress and the Department of State.”

Perhaps the real affront and the real insult was that Netanyahu openly addressed the elephant in the room, namely, “militant Islam,” referring to it four times in his speech, while our president refuses even to acknowledge its existence.

Not only so, the prime minister rightly located the origin of many of the world’s most dangerous Islamic groups today, namely, Iran, beginning with the rise of Ayatollah Khomenei in the late 1970s.

To quote the prime minister directly, “… the ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.”

And he warned: “Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.”

This may be an inconvenient truth, but it is a truth nonetheless.

Netanyahu continued, “In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

“So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”

My personal opinion is that in years to come, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be the hero of this episode and President Obama, while certainly not the Haman, will be the anti-hero.

After all, it’s Purim.

 
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Making it In Chesterville - Chapter 3


Ronnie was a good worker !
 

Because the business had picked up and servicing cars and tending the pumps was too much for me I hired a young man named Ronnie who really needed the work.

He had to get married and the reason for that had just been born. They were living with his parents but he still needed some money for his little family and was willing to work hard for me.

I began to trust him for he seemed to be honest so I let him close up on Saturday giving me time to clean up for my date.  I had fixed an old car I bought for almost nothing and it ran pretty well so I was off to pick up Annie.

She was ready but asked me to come in and meet her parents. I had already met her father at the station but not her mother.
Her mom looked me over with a stern eye and I felt as if she had stripped me naked with her eyes. I didn’t have any secrets or wrong motives that she was aware of.  It took all my nerve to stand there when what I wanted to do was run for my life.

If I had a smidgen of an idea in the farthest recesses of my mind of doing anything relating to ‘the nasty’ (as the boys called it) that picture had been vaporized by one stern look of hers.

After that experience I (my thought processes) was as white as the driven snow.
Annie said, “Alright Mom, knock it off,” then I realized she knew of her mom’s power of disarming her daughter’s young men.

As we left I told her your dad I can handle but keep your mom away from me.

Annie wanted to know why?

I told her that it was because I was totally embarrassed while we held a cordial conversation she spoke of things I didn’t have a clue as to what we were talking about.

She said most people are overwhelmed when Ma talks to them.

When I heard the words, “Goodbye mother we have to go,” those words were the most desired words I ever heard.  Even the name of her mother Guinevere scared me.

After we left and was on our way I said, “I don’t know if I have enough strength to dance with you after meeting your mother tonight.”

Annie laughed and said, “Mom has that effect on young men but you’ll get over it. She gave you her best shot and you remained standing so I’m proud of you.”

When we arrived at the dance I was glad she hadn’t said anything about my car for it was just saved from the junk heap. I had thrown a blanket over the seat so her party dress didn’t get dirty and went around and open her door like I saw in the movies.

When the smart mouth boys saw me with Annie, I could see they wanted to say some course remark, but I gave them a stare that said shut up.

A couple of the better off guys came and asked Annie for a dance but she said she had promised this dance to me. So went the night, we danced and talked and danced some more till it was time to go.

I asked her if she wanted something to eat and she declined the offer and said it would be good if we went straight home. I walked her to the door and again wanted to run for I didn’t know what to do at the door.
When we got there she turned and said she enjoyed the evening and wanted me to come over on Tuesday night.

I said I would and then she did a strange thing. She reached over and put her hand on my cheek and held it there for just a second and then gave it a gentle pinch… then she was in the house.
That sure gave me something to think about between then and Tuesday night.
To Be Continued

 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

CARL THE TRUTH


Carl Williams 'The Truth'
 
Carl Williams was a proud boxer that tried to intimidate opponents with his bravado. He fought the best fighters at the time and his record was 30 victories and 10 losses with 1 no contest.
 
He lost a bout with Mike Tyson by a TKO; he never landed an official blow before the match was stopped. 

It would seem that Carl was only 75% truth for he lost one fourth of his fights.   

I admit that this “Better than the truth” in politics - - we only get about 25% truth. Being Politically Correct is NOT always the Truth. 

There is another issue with the truth which is “Opinion truth.”  Its not absolute truth but truth modified by opinion which has been shaped by personal desires.  

This is what college students receive from some professors of philosophy especially.  

We would like to think that science would be a bastion of truth but experience has taught us that science is a work in progress and subject to change. 

True love and friendship, ah yes but how dependable it that? 

We have come to use what may be called “Get by truth” which works well enough for me; it gets me by in daily life.  

And then we come to the Gospel! Surly here we find the truth!  Well that depends on whether it is that which was delivered at the beginning or a revised version of it. 

Jude 1:3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.  

Today I believe there are men of the same cloth, the same divisiveness teaching only part of the truth mixed with error.   Others leave out parts of the Bible they personally don’t agree with. 

This places the burden upon you and me to search the scriptures for ourselves to see if what we are hearing measures up to THE TRUTH of GOD.  

Luke 8:18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” You can lose what you have by believing someone’s half lie. 

“Keep thy heart with all diligence, the mind from vanity, the understanding from error, the will from perverseness, the conscience clear of guilt, the affections from being inordinate and set on evil objects.” (Gill)

 
Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.


 
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”