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“Well, are you ready?”

   The silence of the bedroom was suddenly broken as he started coughing violently. Throwing back the covers he jumped to his feet and headed out of the room down the hall and into the living room. Both he and his wife had been sick for days now but she was on the mend and he didn’t want to disturb her sleep. By the time he reached the living room the spasms of coughs subsided but his head hurt and his eyes were burning. A growing pressure in the center of his chest made taking a deep breath impossible. It concerned him that this constriction might not be related to the bronchitis that he was diagnosed with yesterday.

   With head in hands he sat on the edge of the couch and prayed for relief as his mind raced. The pain in his chest was growing and expanding in all directions increasing his concern and causing him to fear the next spasm of coughs. “Dear God, what is going on?”He prayed,” Could this be it? I am nearly 60 and Dad didn’t even live to this age. My heart was supposed to be in good shape. Regular visits to the cardiologist and exercise were meant to thwart off any heart problems – right? Maybe this is it in spite of all my efforts!”
Although the living room lights were off there were a few beams of brightness that irritated his aching eyes. The glow of charging devices and the light from his neighbors back yard acted like tiny needles.  Unplugging the devices and drawing the blinds removed the brightness of those little offenders. But, as a car drove past the house it activated the motion-detector porch light which shone threw the front door like a floodlight into the living room. Blindly stumbling over to the door he flipped off the switch for the porch light and glanced out the window. His eyes, offended by the incident, squinted out to see a shadowy figure at the end of the walk in the driveway. Looking again, after his eyes adjusted, there clearly wasn’t anything there. Shrugging it off he headed back to the couch still praying that his chest pain would subside.
But now, inside the darkened living room, seemed to be that same tall slender figure he saw in the driveway, right there in front of him. He stood breathless and in pain staring at the form thinking to himself that he either had died or was about to die. Before he could speak he heard an inaudible voice ask him “Well, are you ready?” and then it was gone.

   Nothing about his circumstances changed after that brief encounter. He could barely take a full breath. His chest was still suffering from a growing sharp pain/pressure and his eyes were burning so badly that they helped him to dismiss what he thought he saw. His burning eyes had to be due to a high fever and that too would explain the delusion.
He returned to the couch only this time he prayed with a new found purpose. Was he ready? Well, if he wasn’t he would be. He fell asleep there, on the couch, praying to Jesus, without realizing that the pain went away and the coughing stopped.

    The next thing he knew she was waking him up and asking him if he was alright? “Yes”, he said. “Yes, I am okay. Now.”

Money Money Money $$$

Now that I have your attention!

       I read something today on a blog that got me thinking. It was a post, or rather an ad on a post, for a “Biblical system” to amass wealth and retire early. Hmmm…sounds interesting.

Money and religion have always made a controversial combination. Some equate poverty with Godliness referring to the humble birth and life of Jesus. Others use the commonly misquoted verse that money is the root of all evil as a way of accepting their lot in life while judging those more fortunate. In actuality the quote is found in 1Tim 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil; and while some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith. Yet it is true that Jesus overturned the table on the money changers in the temple it wasn’t just because of the money. But that’s a discussion for another time. Still others have taken the approach that wealth is our right as Children of the King and that God is just waiting to shower money down on us if we just exercise our faith and claim it. The pendulum swings too far both ways unfortunately and the truth is often found after it comes to rest.

Funny Money

There are many things said about money in both the old and the new testaments. Time does not allow me to list them all but I would like to share enough on the subject to kindle a fire in you to search the Word and find the truth for yourselves. God has no problem with a person being wealthy. From the beginning He gave great wealth graciously. To  Adam and Eve he gave dominion over the Garden and everything in it. To Noah He gave salvation from His judgement and the new world after the flood. To Abraham He gave the new land and the promise of children innumerable.

Moses records in Deuteronomy 8:18  “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Wait! What? Did I read that right? Yes, you did. God gives us the power to get wealth and He does to confirm that we are His!
To Solomon, God gave treasures untold ( the Bible records that Solomon was and is and always will be the richest man in the world – move over Bill Gates!) 2 Chron 1:11-12 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” But, did you see the reason why? yes, Solomon was given all that wealth because he didn’t ask for it. God saw that his heart was more concerned with the responsibility of governing Gads people rather then personal gain. So, clearly God has no problem with a person being wealthy. It the why and what of it that concerns Him. Why do you want wealth? What will you do with it when you get it. For that matter what do you do with the money you have now?

The Word of God expresses God’s hatred of unequal scales (unfair trading), excessive usury (excessive interest rates on loans), and the covetousness of being dissatisfied with what you have now while wanting more money, cars, and stuff like that guy over there! I could go on and on but will bring this to a close by reminding us of the woman with two mites. She gave to God all that she had and she drew Jesus’ attention more then those who gave a small portion of their great wealth. So, it’s not the MONEY that concerns God, after all, its all His anyway its just passing threw our hands today. More importantly it’s how we feel about it (Jesus said you can not serve two masters [both God and money] because you will love one and hate the other). It’s what we do to gain the wealth – lie, cheat, steal, rob God and our families of our time with them, etc. It’s what we do with it once we have it. Do we give back to the church so that the ministry can continue and expand? Do we give to the poor and widows? Do we save for our children? If we do not consider the thoughts and intent of our hearts concerning money we will only deceive ourselves into thinking that we are in control of our finances.

Did you know that the only time God actually tells us to test Him is in the area of Money and giving? Read it for yourself – Malachi 3:10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Looks like a challenge to me. What’s the matter – you chicken?!?!?

Happy New Year

Hey we’re back! Did you miss us?urban-sunburst.jpg
Well, Dell stood by their product and sent out a new (refurbished) PC after several failed attempts to get the nearly 3 year old back up and running. Once all the old info is placed into the knew system and I become better acquainted with Windows 8, I can get back to the business of sharing with all of you. It is my hope that as we go forward with this blog, that others will join the conversation. I have asked some of my respected friends to contribute their thoughts and welcome all comments from any and all of you out there. Until then, our hopes and prayers go out to you all for a good new year in the Lord. Let 2014 be your best year yet!!

What Child is this?

      What Child is this? What Child indeed. A child, born into humble circumstances yet the Creator of all. Born a fragile baby destined to conquer the grave. One Child born to die that many may live. 

        Tonight, as many people celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I am reminded of so many Christmas Eves and Christmas Days gone by, each one different yet one thing remains constant – Jesus Christ was born to die that we might live. What Love. What sacrifice. What a Divine plan to save a world lost. 

       Simply put, we celebrate the birth of a Baby with all the fanfare He deserves. Let remember that it is this Child Who will freely give His life so that we do not have to die. 

        FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE – John 3:16

       What Child is this? He is the giver of the best Christmas present anyone could ever receive – Eternal Life

     Merry Christmas to all!