Posts Tagged ‘life’

  

“And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭14:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

James Bosworth was a war hero, surviving a suicide mission at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 that needlessly claimed hundreds of British Cavalry and was immortalized in Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. Years later, while operating as a station manager, he was killed in a freak accident by a locomotive. The irony of his death was found on his tombstone epitaph: 
“Though shot and shell flew around fast, On Balaclava’s plain, Unscathed he passed, to fall at last, Run over by a train.”

Death is not something many folks want to talk about, yet it is as much a part of life as any other aspect. We all live, we will all die. And yet, what will our death say about us? How will we be remembered? As the hermit with no friends to mourn him? As the scared spinster that was too afraid to find the zest of life? As one who was religious but not very holy?

You are living your epitaph now. So live as you would like to be remembered! Be the one who loves people, who seized the moments, and had a passionate relationship with the Savior! Pass from this life to the next as an inspiration to follow! Your are loved! 

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“Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud.” (Matthew‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Many, many years ago, a guy named Luigi da Porto wrote a story about a tragically fated romance. Later, Italian writer Matteo Bandello released a novella based on da Porto’s story. This version inspired Pierre Boaistuau to write a poem regarding tragic love. Then in line with these guys, Arthur Brooke published a narrative poem in the same line of thought but his would not be the last. For his poem, The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, would later inspire one more guy who would render the final telling of the tale, which was none other than William Shakespeare and his dramatic production, Romeo and Juliet!

Most of the modern world has heard of Shakespeare and his classical story, but we seldom realize all the hands of inspiration that made it happen. The same is with the life of Jesus. The text from Matthew is but a clip from a rather boring bit of genealogy. Upon closer inspection, however, you realize that these guys were important because they were Jesus’ many-great grandfathers on Joseph’s side! While seemingly insignificant, their story is necessary so that a righteous and good man would marry a pregnant teenage girl and help raise the Savior of the world!

You and your life story matters! While seeming pale and paltry, your life enriches those around you. Allow God to use you to create greater love stories in the world! You are loved! 

  

“Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you.” (Psalms‬ ‭107‬:‭2‬ NLT)

Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them. “It saved my life,” says Greidinger, speaking praise for the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”

We all have things in our lives that we praise enthusiastically. From makes of cars to types of foods to brands of toilet paper, some things have made a marked difference in our quality of life. But when Jesus changes a life, redeeming them from life’s losses and establishing an eternal prize, THAT should receive our highest praise!

As you go about your day, take time to simply tell God “Thank you!” for saving your life. Then make it an everyday practice to simply declare to others how great God is. He’s the best thing you’ve got! You are loved today! 

  

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!” (Psalms‬ ‭104‬:‭33‬ NLT)

George Dennehy was born without arms, but he plays guitar like a pro. How? The 18-year-old from Ashland, Virginia uses his feet! The gifted teen told in an interview that he eats, types and washes his hair with his feet, and he says he’s primarily right-footed. He also said, “I want it [music] to be my career. I have the opportunity to speak/play at different events or churches, you name it! I’m hoping big things will happen.” 

And according to the Huffington Post, Dennehy isn’t the only teen who hasn’t let physical challenges stop him from achieving his dreams. Fourteen-year-old athlete Coleman Shannon, whose right arm ends at his elbow, recently pitched a no-hitter against his neighboring Little League team. And in 2010, armless piano player Liu Wei became a hit on “China’s Got Talent” and achieved Internet fame. 

We tend to be a society and people who are afraid to live or try because of failure, yet we are surrounded every day by those who take chances because they have to just to survive. Be one that achieves life instead of slumping towards existence! Live the vibrant life God gives! You are loved without excuse! 

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Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” (Psalms‬ ‭116‬:‭15‬ NKJV)

My Uncle Kennon was a wonderful Methodist pastor and Air Force Chaplain, but a terrible carpenter. One day he decided to reach the town drunk by repairing a hole on his barn roof. In the process, he accidentally dropped his hammer through the hole, which happened to land on the drunk’s homemade still, destroying it! Consequently, the man decided it was a sign from God, gave up drinking and got saved!

His wife, my Aunt Mary Elizabeth, was just as funny. Having taught classical music and played in numerous orchestras, she seemed to know absolutely everyone. In one story, her and a daughter were traveling out of state. My aunt struck up a conversation with an unknown couple from Japan, because she didn’t ever meet a stranger. In the course of conversation, they were good friends with a Japanese gentleman that she had taught music to in Japan when she lived there shortly after WWII!

My Uncle Kennon went to be with the Lord in 1990. Today, we lay Aunt Mary Elizabeth to rest. If God has a trophy room reserved for His saints, they should be on the top shelf. Always remember that our loss is Heaven’s gain, and our reward will be to join them again in Heaven! Celebrate life today! We are loved!

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But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NLT)

When I was a Youth Pastor, my Pastor and mentor, Gary Elrod, kept all his sermons in yearly binders, called them his “recipe books” that he could draw from. In my office today, I have the same thing. But in that line up of binders, going back to 1998, is one small, red binder: 2002, the hardest year of my life.

Just because we walk the Christ Life path does not guarantee us a life free from pain, or even a sustained season of it. But our mindset must be on the God who not only brings us into the valleys, but also has plans for us on the other side of them! So we can do as Paul did, letting go of whatever things have held you back or haunted your mind, and then pressing on with a confident reassurance of a new season while being held in the mighty hand of God!

On my sermon shelf are plenty of binders that stretch past that little red one. I keep it as a reminder that, as the Bible says, “it came to pass…” Allow God to convict, correct, heal, and guide your new year. Resolve the old and make room for the new life ahead! You are loved!

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God has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬ NLT)

On April 15, 2013, James Costello was cheering near the finish line at the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded, severely burning his arms and legs and sending shrapnel into his flesh. During the months of surgery and rehabilitation that followed, Mr. Costello developed a relationship with one of his nurses, Krista D’Agostino, and they soon became engaged. “I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy,” he wrote on Facebook. “It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”

Many things we encounter in life rarely makes sense until later. Sometimes, however, hindsight still doesn’t bring answers. That’s when trust comes in. God allows things to happen for a purpose, which is the scavenger hunt of life: trying to make sense of it all.

When life doesn’t make sense, hang in there. Answers come in God’s time. And for those things we don’t understand, just keep living. God will work it all out for your good (Romans 8:28)! You are loved today!