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Can you read lips?
God can… and does.
“Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,’ he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men (Matthew 15:1-9 NASB).’”
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“Now the Lord had said to Abram:
‘Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV).”
True, this was a call to the man Abram (Abraham). Yet, I believe parts of the call were given to each missionary serving in the foreign missionary field. Missionaries have answered the call, saying yes to Yahweh.
They have left the security of family, friends and their homeland.
In return, God has blessed them with purpose, fulfillment and impact on others.
I’m blessed to call missionaries my close friends.
No, this is not a footrace.
Not, child play. The first one there doesn’t get to ride in the front seat.
Are you ready?
Beyond that, are you willing and able?
“And who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:13-17 HCS)
‘Hush… America sleeps.’
The unborn are aborted; in a stupor, we allow it to happen.
The bright future that God planned for his children will go unfulfilled.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).”
This is spiritual warfare. Evil forces are forcibly evicting the unborn from protective wombs.
What can we do to stem the tide?
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Support national, state and local right to life groups.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward (Psalm 127:3 KJV).”
“Fill er’ up!”
My best girlfriend’s dad owned and operated a Sunoco gas station in our rural Mycenae neighborhood. I’m sure ‘Fill er’ up’ was music to his ears. Back in those days, a dollar went a long way. The decision to fill the tank when stopping for gas was using common sense. Why put it off?
Why do people have a tendency to wait to make the most important decision of their lives?
“For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJ).”
He will fill you.
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJ).”
Words of someone ready to admit their guilt.
He or she is ready to come clean.
Words of one who confesses Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. Seeking Him, and His forgiveness; they are ready to receive His cleansing.
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15-16 NKJ).”
‘I confess. ‘
My heart throbbing in my ears, pounds out the message…
They have taken her away.
Emptiness in my stomach is not due to lack of food, but the absence of my bride of sixty-five years. Memories carry me back across decades to that first encounter, hearing her teaching a Sunday school class in a city mission. Her abiding faith anchors our family in storms of life.
Old age, an uninvited guest invades their lives. When did the falls and bruises begin? As aging issues progress, her health deteriorates to the point of not being able to turn over in bed. The contentious caregiver daughter-in-law is not able to lift her rigid body; bedsores develop confirming her need for professional care.
Will she be okay at the nursing home? What if she falls out of bed? Can they get her to eat?
Anxiety and bitter loneliness overwhelm him.
For more than half a century, we have lived, worked and aged side-by-side. Now, I stand alone in fear and deafening silence. I should be there if she wakes up. She’ll be confused.
He feels helpless, unable to turn back the clock, or restore her health. She once tenderly ministered to others as a home nurse; now with signs of dementia, depends totally upon strangers. Family members try to console him, with explanations that she rests in a safe place; she receives the attention she needs.
Stooping with weakened bones and a heavy heart, I walk the rooms of the house we shared.
Wish we never left the old home-place.
Several years earlier, they sold their family home, accepting the generous offer of a son and daughter-in-law to live with them. Paying their way, they willingly share social security money from a rubber-band bound black billfold.
He longs to rush to her side, hold her frail hand in his once more. Things he once took for granted, he now cherishes.
If only I could… pass my tea bag along to her for a second dunking, tussle her braided hair, rub her clammy brow and kiss her once rosy cheek…
Nursing home staff curtails visits; she needs undisturbed rest.
Does she even know I come? Lord, are you taking her home?
The facility promises to call if there is any change in her condition. A small table in the formal dining room holds the cold, indifferent black telephone. They vowed to call; he must not miss it when they did.
Waiting becomes an obsession; hour-by-hour, day-by-day, he stands watch and strains to hear the phone ring. Nothing else matters; he must know about his precious Belle.
He feels closed off from the world around him. Family members know the seriousness of his plight. Nearly deaf for years, his desire to hear the ringing of the phone seems unlikely. Hearing and understanding simple conversations are difficult under the best of circumstances.
It is amazing; during his vigil, he can hear the phone ring! He is heart of hearing. He hears with his heart what his ears no longer can. He deals with the loss of his love. Life goes on.
I am rocking on the back porch. Grandma enjoyed rocking out here so much. I miss her. I’m 90 years old, and hope to join her soon. Your aunt is addressing the envelope for me. [Letter that I received in 1968]
At age 91, he stumbles into my aunt and uncles bedroom telling them about a visit from an angel. Digitalis no longer strengthens his weary heart. It stops and he slips into eternity.
Hearing aids are beneficial to those who experience hearing loss. The heart is a hearing aid that does not require batteries; it keeps a steady beat powered by love.