John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
A Merry Heart
Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Baseball in Heaven
Two buddies Chris and John were two of the biggest baseball fans in America. For their entire adult lives, Chris and John discussed baseball history in the winter and they poured over every box score during the season.
They went to 60 games a year. They even agreed that whoever died first would try to come back and tell the other if there was baseball in heaven.
One summer night, Chris passed away in his sleep after watching the Yankee victory earlier in the evening. He died happy. A few nights later, his buddy John awoke to the sound of Chris’ voice from beyond. “Chris is that you?” John asked. “Of course it’s me,” Chris replied.
“This is unbelievable!” John exclaimed. “So tell me, is there baseball in heaven?”
“Well I have some good news and some bad news for you. Which do you want to hear first?”
“Tell me the good news first.”
“Well, the good news is that, yes, there is baseball in heaven, John.”
“Oh, that is wonderful! So what could possibly be the bad news?”
“You’re pitching tomorrow night.”
The New Minister
The new minister stood at the church door greeting the members as they left the Sunday morning service. Most of the people were very generous telling the new minister how much they liked his message, except for one man who said, “That was a very dull and boring sermon, pastor.”
A few minutes later, the same man again appeared in line and said, “I don’t think you did much preparation for your message.”
Once again, the man appeared, this time muttering, “You really blew it. You didn’t have a thing to say, pastor.”
Finally, the minister could stand it no longer. He went to one of the deacons and inquired about the man.
“Oh, don’t let that guy bother you,” said the deacon. “He’s a little slow. All he does is go around repeating whatever he hears other people saying.”
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities – brilliantly disguised as insolvable problems.” John Gardner
“Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln
Exodus 16:15b And Moses said unto them, “This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.”
After living what I felt was a “decent” life, my time on earth came to the end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table. As I looked around I saw the “prosecutor,” who was the most evil person I have ever seen.
I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him. The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Him. As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, “Let us begin.”
The prosecutor rose and said, “My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell.” He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own Attorney. Satan finished with a fury and said, “This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.”
When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.
He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, “Hello Father,” and then He turned to address the court. “Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished.” Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, “However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted Me as his Savior, so he is Mine.”
My Lord continued with, “His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from Me. Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy.” As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, “There is nothing else that needs to be done. I’ve done it all.”
The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips… “This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed.”
As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, “I won’t give up, I will win the next one.”
I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, “Have you ever lost a case?” Christ lovingly smiled and said, “Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, “Paid in Full.”
Power of Prayer
RA Torrey About the Prayer Life of DL Moody
On one occasion Mr. Moody said to me in Chicago: “I have just found, to my surprise, that we are twenty thousand dollars behind in our finances for the work here and in Northfield, and we must have that twenty thousand dollars, and I am going to get it by prayer.” He did not tell a soul who had the ability to give a penny of the twenty thousand dollars deficit, but looked right to God and said, “I need twenty thousand dollars for my work; send me that money in such a way that I will know it comes straight from Thee.” And God heard that prayer. The money came in such a way that it was clear that it came from God in direct answer to prayer.
Yes, D. L. Moody was a man who believed in the God who answers prayer, and not only believed in Him in a theoretical way but believed in Him in a practical way. He was a man who met every difficulty that stood in his way by prayer. Everything he undertook was backed up by prayer, and in everything, his ultimate dependence was upon God.
More than Conquerors
Romans 8:37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Building a Bridge
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said.
“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge… a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all – and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build.”