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April 3, 2018, 12:49 PM

April 4, 2018


“Our days may come to seventy years or eighty, if our strength endures; for they quickly pass, and we fly away.  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90: 10,12

     We have heard it said over and over that we all have the same number of hours in each day.  So often the best part of our day is spent wrestling with the struggles and troubles that come our way.  We get frustrated and ill then take that frustration out on the ones we love the most.  What are the really important things in your life?  How much of your life is filled taking care of those things?  We often neglect the important things for the temporary things of this world.  I read a great devotion from Dr. Robert Jeffress the other day that I would like to share this week.  We’ve heard the story many times, but do we apply the meaning?

Stephen Covey tells about a time-management seminar in which the instructor had a gallon jar and a platter of large rocks.  He put the rocks in one by one until he had filled up the jar.  He said, `Do you think the jar is full’?  Then he picked up a bucket of gravel.  He poured the gravel into the jar, and it filled up all the places left by the rocks.  He said, `Is the jar full’?  Then he picked up a bucket of sand and poured it into the jar.  The sand filled in the spots left by the rocks and the gravel.  He said, `Is the jar full’?  He pulled out a quart of water.  He poured the water into the jar, and it filled up the empty spaces. Then the instructor said, `The lesson I am teaching you is this:  had I not put the big rocks in first, I never would have been able to fit them in later’.

     The question for us is this:  Do we recognize the big rocks in our life and are we making time for them?  Most people get to the end of their life and realize that they never made time for the big rocks.  We allow our schedule to be filled with the gravel, sand and water of life yet are never able to fit the big rocks in place.  What are the big rocks in your life?  Dr. Jeffress asks the following question: “If you could accomplish three things before you die, what would those things be?  Your answer to that question will give you a very good idea of what the big rocks are in your life”.  The passage above tells us to number our days.  It seems to tell us that making the most of each day is accomplished by prioritizing our schedule to make room for the big rocks.  Then, our heart will be filled with wisdom knowing we have taken care of our big rocks.  May God’s blessings be yours in abundance as you tend to the big rocks this week.

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia

 




March 27, 2018, 2:04 PM

March 28, 2018


“In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; He is risen!”  Luke 24:5

     We call the day Good Friday.  Good Friday is the worst good day in all of history.  When we think of that day our minds naturally focus on the cross.  As Christians, there are numerous observations we make as we look to the cross.  We see the cross as a choice that Jesus made.  There were many times Jesus slipped away from the crowd and He could have done the same at this point.  However, the plan of God was for Jesus to die upon the cross.  He made the choice to follow His Father and give His life as an atoning sacrifice for ours.  Jesus’ death on the cross was an intentional choice as our only means of salvation.

     We also see the price that Jesus paid.  Jesus was totally and completely sinless.  He was the only One who could satisfy the demands of a holy and righteous God.  The physical pain and torture that Jesus faced is almost too much for us to fathom.  The beatings, the crown of thorns, the humiliation of being spat upon and His beard pulled out, carrying His cross (really ours) when He could hardly walk, the nails in His hands and feet and the spear in His side.  Scripture says He could have called thousands of angels, but He didn’t.  He paid the price that we owe due to our sinful lives.  Even more than the physical pain, think of the emotional pain of rejection by His own people.

     Then, we must notice the love He displayed.  Consider the burden Jesus felt as the sins of the world; past, present, and future were cast upon Him.  The One who had never known sin became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God.  In Romans 5:8, the Scriptures plainly share with us the ultimate plan of God.  The Bible says, “but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.   Consider for a moment everything Jesus did for us so that we could be saved from God’s impending wrath upon this world.  How does it make you feel when you hear people say, “there are many ways to God”?  The fact is, Jesus is the only way for salvation!

     After all of this, we are privileged to celebrate the greatest day in all of history.  We call it Resurrection Day or Easter!  Jesus truly is who He says He is.  He is victorious over sin, death, the grave and satan.  We serve a risen Savior who loves us and desires a relationship with each one of us.  He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Our prayer is that you know Him, that you have surrendered your life to Him, and that you serve Him faithfully every day.  If you do not know Him, reach out to Him today because His arms are open wide to receive you regardless of your condition.  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!                                                                        

                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia




March 20, 2018, 9:46 AM

March 14, 2018


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieved break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21

Have you ever wondered how much of life we miss?  We are busy and overwhelmed while the things that really matter seem to go by unnoticed.  One reason I enjoy watching The Andy Griffith Show even to this day (although I know just about every episode and what takes place) is because it reminds me of simpler times.  I have several favorite episodes but one at the top of the list is entitled “Man in a Hurry”.  It is the episode about Malcolm Tucker whose car breaks down outside of town and he finds that Mayberry is shutdown on Sundays.  He becomes very agitated and upset because he cannot get his car fixed to attend an “important” meeting.  As the story progresses, Malcolm begins to understand that the people of Mayberry have managed to appreciate the things that so many others take for granted.

                How much does this describe our lives today?  We become so busy with the “necessities” of life that we pass by the important details that God desires to show us.  The sad part is that, unlike Malcolm Tucker, we fail to realize what is happening.  We continue in the fast-paced grind of what is called life to understand later that much of true life has passed us by.  When was the last time you sat amid nature with your Bible open expecting God to speak to you?  Oh, I remember, the world tells us that if God speaks to us we should be headed for mental counseling!  When is the last time you made an appointment with someone just to talk?  We have almost lost the art of face-to-face communication.  We send a text, e-mail, or share with someone on Facebook but we do not have the time for real conversation.  We fail to see all of this until something unforeseen shows up in our lives.  Then, if we are wise, we begin to realize that we are living without enjoying the blessings God has provided for us.

                It’s so easy to get distracted.  Look back at the passage above.  Where is your treasure?  What things are taking the “important” place in your life?  What significant things are you missing because you are so busy?  How much time are you spending with others who need you and would enjoy some of your time?  As you commit to spending time with God in His Word and in prayer, He will direct you to the things you need to accomplish.  When He speaks, your critical list of things to get done will probably be much different.  Things can change and change very quickly.  We must learn to live life without regrets.  The only way to do that is to treasure the things of God.  He always points us in the right direction and leads us to accomplish and enjoy the truly “important” things in life.  May we learn, as did Malcolm Tucker, that sometimes we need to look around us and enjoy the blessings God has already given.

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia




March 20, 2018, 9:41 AM

March 21, 2018


“When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished”.  With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  John 19:30

            It is finished!  Those three words really say it all.  Have you ever been involved in a project and finally got to the place of being finished?  God’s plan was being carried out from the time of Adam and Eve through the time of Jesus and beyond.  When Jesus uttered the words “it is finished”, He was saying that God’s redemptive work in the lives of mankind was accomplished.  God’s plan had been carried out exactly as He desired.  Jesus had fully and completely accomplished the work of atonement for the sin of man.  Now, by the sacrifice of Jesus, man could once again have the opportunity for a relationship with God.

            We have come to the point in our culture of taking Easter far too lightly.  Do we realize the magnitude of what Jesus did on the cross?  Do we realize the love God demonstrated for us in seeing His Son die upon the cross?  The world system does everything possible to take our eyes and thoughts away from the reality of Easter.  It’s easy to be drawn away by the Easter bunny and egg hunts when our focus should be on the power of the cross.  As Jesus arose the third day He conquered Satan, sin, death and the grave.  The good news is:  When Jesus is our Savior, we are conquerors too!  Paul says, “we are more than conquers through Him who loved us”.

            This is an absolutely wonderful time of the year.  Enjoy the season but be reminded often of God’s love for us and the price that was paid so that we could have eternal life.  “It is finished” means that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of a holy and righteous God.  It is only in Jesus that we have relationship with the Father and that means we are totally and forever secure in His arms!  Have a wonderful and blessed week as we give thanks to God for His indescribable gift!

                                                                                                                                           We love you,

                                                                                                                                           Brad and Virginia




March 6, 2018, 10:07 AM

March 7, 2018


“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  2 Corinthians 4:16

     Do you desire times of refreshing?  We all need to be refreshed from time to time.  The warm days of the past few weeks remind us of the refreshing days of spring after the cold and dreary days of winter.  Most of us enjoy the transition from winter to spring because it brings us a sense of refreshing and renewal. We hear of people who enjoy doing spring cleaning.  Are you involved in some things now that you would call times of refreshing?  During this time of year, many of us are involved with different projects around the house which leads to a real feeling of refreshing. 

     What about our spiritual lives?  Are you being renewed and refreshed every day?  Renewal comes in a variety of ways and sometimes it may not be exactly what we would desire.  Look carefully again at the passage above.  The verse which immediately follows that one tells us that our troubles are bringing renewal and eternal glory to our lives.  How can that be?  It is in those troublesome times that we are learning to lean more and more upon our Heavenly Father.  We are renewed and refreshed daily as we spend time in God’s Word and personal time alone with Him.  What is the result of our daily renewal?  We fix our eyes on what is unseen rather than the things we can see.  Therefore, whatever situation we face, God can use as a time of renewal and refreshing.

     What things in life really get you excited?  Spiritual renewal gets us excited about the things that really matter.  We are in the midst of difficult days that are only going to get worse.  We need daily renewal to help us in this time.  We will not find renewal and refreshing in the things of this world.  Only in Jesus do we really experience renewal and refreshing that lasts.  Our prayer is that you will be renewed daily as you seek to know and serve Him more each day.  May you be blessed abundantly as you seek His renewal and serve Him daily with all your heart.

                                                                                                                                We love you,

                                                                                                                                Brad and Virginia


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