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Making Excuses or Making a Difference

Have you ever noticed how we are so good at making excuses? Nancy, my wife, took care of her father in our home for the last four years of his life. He had diabetes, but he would eat things that he wasn’t supposed to. One day the doctor lectured him about his eating habits. He responded,  “If my daughter didn’t bring that food in the house I wouldn’t eat it.” I thought that was such a lame excuse. Instead of taking responsibility for what he ate, he blamed Nancy.


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Good Intentions

This past Saturday my wife and I took our granddaughter to Tanners Orchard. We knew that she would enjoy the animals and other activities they have for children. We also wanted to have lunch at their restaurant and let her pick out a few things from the gift shop. But as we pulled up to the parking lot we noticed that it was empty. As we approached the main building we saw a sign that informed us they wouldn’t be opened until July 31. We intended to have a day of fun with our granddaughter at Tanners Orchard, but it didn’t happen.


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Maintaining My Purpose

This past week I had the privilege of attending the North American Christian Convention in Kansas City. I stayed at the Marriot. It was a beautiful hotel with plenty of action. As we arrived, the lobby was bustling with the buzz of people interacting. But as we checked in we were told that we would be staying in another building. It was an old hotel that the Marriot had purchased to accommodate additional guests.


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Good News?

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

Have you ever received good news that didn’t seem like such good news at the time, but later, when you heard the bad news, you realized just how good the news was? It happened to me on January 31, 1980. I had only been married for seven months. It was the first time I was away from my wife for more than a few hours. We had just found out that we were expecting our first child, and I didn’t have health insurance. We didn’t know what to do about our lack of health insurance, so I decided to join the Air Force. It was day twenty of basic training and the Training Instructor allowed us a few minutes to phone home. It happened to be my wife’s birthday, so I was anxious to call her and wish her a Happy Birthday. But when I called, she wasn’t there. Her mother answered the phone, and all she would tell me was that I shouldn’t worry because Nancy was alright. My first thought was, “Of course she’s alright; why wouldn’t she be alright.” Then she told me the bad news. The previous day, Nancy was involved in a car accident and she was currently in the hospital. In light of the bad news, the good news became a whole lot better news.


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The Gospel

It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since Rich Mullins, my favorite Christian singer and songwriter, died. He passed away from injuries in a car accident just outside of Peoria. He’s best known for his song “Awesome God.”

Recently I ran across some of his quotes. One of them really made me think. He said that he had heard thousands of sermons in his lifetime, but he hadn’t heard many that presented the simple gospel message. In fact, he said that he could probably count on one hand the number of sermons where he heard an explanation of the gospel.

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Save the Children

Years ago a man wrote the following letter to the editor in USA today:

 

“Will somebody help me save my son? My son is two years old and is a reflection of complete innocence. His vulnerability to this harsh, violent, ignorant and uncaring world just rips my heart apart. He knows nothing of the killing within the schools that are supposed to prepare children for the world. He knows nothing of the abuse that happens within the homes of children just his age. As he plays with his toys, he is oblivious to the tragedies that occur every day across the country. And as he clutches his blanket, sleeping soundly, dreaming of the mommy and daddy who love him, he has no idea of the complete social and moral decay of our country. Does anyone care anymore? Will someone please, please help me save my son?” —Edward Moats

 


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Go, Send, Do Not Grieve

This week I memorized Nehemiah 8:10 for my Bible Basics Sunday school class. In case you don’t know, Nehemiah was a Jew and he was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes while the Israelites were in captivity. Prior to this, a remnant of the Jews was granted permission to go back to Jerusalem so they could rebuild the temple; however, the walls of the city were still in ruins. A city without walls was considered disgraced.

 


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Foundation

This week in my “Bible Basics” Sunday school class we had Ezra 3:11 as our memory verse: With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: ‘He is good; his love to Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

 


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The Sacrifice of a Mother

Many women do noble things, but you (dear mother) surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:29).

 

It was winter in Korea. A woman in labor walked through the snow to get to the home of a missionary friend where she knew she could find help. A short way down the road from the mission house was a deep gully, spanned by a bridge. As the young woman stumbled forward, birth pains overcame her. She realized she couldn’t go any further. She crawled beneath the bridge. There, alone, between the trestles, she gave birth to a healthy boy.

 


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Leaving Home

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” – Luke 15:13

When I was growing up I remember having this thought: I’m going to party and have all the fun that I can, and then, before I die, I’m going to come back to Jesus and ask Him to forgive me. I was well aware of God’s grace and I knew that if I genuinely repented that He would forgive me and I would be able to spend eternity in heaven.

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