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Archive for February, 2013

Look at churches that fail and you will most likely find failure when it comes to obedience.

Pastor Bill

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A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW

Man, was I ever having a blast! Playing with my cars and trucks in the dirt was far better than sitting in a stuffy old classroom trying to learn how to read and do other boring stuff! And I was absolutely certain that Mrs. LaRue, my first grade teacher, would not even miss me. She would be watching all those other kids. She surely wouldn’t miss me! And besides, a nice warm September day like this was just too good to waste!

I continued to move the little cars and trucks quietly around the roads my brother and I had made in the dirt beneath the tree. I had concluded there could not have been a better way to spend the day. Suddenly, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. There stood my younger brother, Andy, staring at me from the corner of the porch on our house.

“What are you doin’ home?” he asked

“What does it look like?” I replied, “I’m playing cars and trucks!”

Andy stood looking at me a moment, and then turned and disappeared from sight. Oh, well, I was content to just be by myself, anyway. Man, this was livin’!

But not everyone seemed to agree with me. One of the first was my Dad. Oh, boy!. He did not seem to agree with my point of view regarding my need for any formal education. I could not understand it! Before I could get my wits about me, he took a firm hold of one of my arms, pulled me to my feet, and headed for the gate. In a matter of a few minutes he had marched me up the street, across the school grounds, and in the front door of the small one-room building where Mrs. LaRue taught the first and second grade students.

But he didn’t just leave me at the door at the back of the class room. Oh, no! He marched me right up to my desk that was located near the center of the room, and “helped” me sit down. How humiliating! And all the other kids, as well as Mrs. LaRue, were watching. I don’t remember that Dad said a thing. He simply looked me in the eyes a brief moment, turned and walked out. As Dad left, I came to the conclusion that I just might be in trouble—real trouble!

In Proverbs 13:21, there is a verse that states: “Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.”

I don’t know that I pictured myself as a 6-year-old “sinner,” but I have watched people over the years who have affirmed the reality of these words from the Old Testament. I did a computer search for the word “trouble” in the Bible. I must tell you that it is used often! Many times it is used with a promise, such as in Psalm 91:15, where we read these words: “When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.”

I suppose I would have agreed that Dad had “chased” me down that day I sneaked away from the school. And in looking back, I suppose I wouldn’t have seen many “blessings” associated with my conduct. But I sure appreciate the words of promise such as the many reminders our Heavenly Father gives us that, when we call upon Him, He will be with us when we are in trouble.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the words of direction You have provided us throughout the Bible. I need those! And thank you for the promises scattered throughout Scripture that remind me You are with us when we find we are assaulted by troubles in this journey through life. Yes, thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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Obedience is a must as we serve God. It is not a “maybe” or “If it seems best.”

Pastor Bill

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Nothing can be hidden from God.

Pastor Bill

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Too often, in our own strength, we underestimate our enemies.

Pastor Bill

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Don’t do things for God because you fear Him, do things for God because you love Him. Allow your relationship with God to demonstrate that it is one of love—not fear.

Pastor Bill

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WHAT A GRAND LIFE!

I had reached my decision. I had to take some action. Now! I had come to the conclusion that the first grade was no lark! In my young mind, there were far too many other things which needed my attention. There were things like all those little cars and trucks setting on the tiny roadways that I had so painstakingly designed and built in the dirt beneath the shade of that old willow tree in front of our house. My brother, who wasn’t old enough for school yet, was no doubt on his hands and knees at that very moment, pushing the little cars and trucks along the roads I had made! Life is just not fair sometimes!

Yes! My decision had been reached. “Dick and Jane,” and things like 1+1=2, would just have to wait. The time for action had arrived. It was now or never! And with that final thought I raised my hand high into the air over my head so the teacher, seated at her desk in front of our class of first and second grade students, could see me.

When Mrs. Larue asked me what I wanted, I replied that I needed to go outside to use the, uh, toilet. That’s right, “outside.” This was long before the days when our little town had such luxuries as indoor bathrooms.

In any case, Mrs. Larue consented and I quickly got up and walked out of the little one room school house, circled around towards the back as if I were headed to the outhouse, and then stopped. I looked around and didn’t see any teachers so I quickly turned, ran at high speed across the school yard and down the street a short distance to our home. I opened the gate, stepped into the yard, and a feeling of excitement swept over me as I looked at my little cars and trucks just waiting for me. My brother was nowhere to be seen. That was good. I was going to enjoy this! This day was turning out alright, let me tell you! I quickly sank to my knees in the soft dirt, picked up one of the little metal cars, and really began to enjoy this morning. Ah, what a grand life!

Hmm. If I only knew what was ahead! As I thought about this incident from my boyhood, I had to wonder if my younger brother and I had not tested the patience of our parents many times as we grew up!

I was looking through the Old Testament book of Proverbs as I thought about this first year of my education, and came upon these verses that seem somewhat applicable to me skipping school that day. In Proverbs 21:1, it says this: “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” And then, in verse 8, it says: “The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.”

Hey, now! I was only six years old, you understand. I am not sure you could have convinced me that what I had done was all that wrong, and I probably would have disagreed with anyone who claimed I showed my guilt by my “crooked path” and the way I was looking over my shoulder every so often. But, as I grew older, the meaning of those words from Proverbs certainly became more relevant to me. As an adult, the truths the Bible is filled with contain meaning—real meaning for me! I am thankful for the instructions God has given us, not only in the Book of Proverbs, but throughout the Bible.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the instructions for living You have provided us. I am so thankful You did not leave us on this earth to wander about trying to make it on our own!. Yes, thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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