Worms and Mothers

   Little boys love worms.  I like worms too. Especially when they are on a hook at the end of my fishing line. Sometimes after a good rain I can pick up worms from the church parking lot early in the morning. I keep them in the fridge which doesn’t make my wife real happy. Besides feeding them to the fish I feed them to our bull frog in our goldfish pond.

   Here is a story about worms that is true. A minister decided to use worms as an illustration to make a point in his children’s moment in the worship service. He placed three worms into three jars. The first worm was put in a jar with alcohol. The second worm was put in a jar with cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a jar with good clean dirt. As the minister concluded his talk he showed the results. The first worm in the alcohol was dead. The second worm in cigarette smoke was dead. The third worm in the good soil was alive.

   So the minister ask the kids this question, “What can we learn from this demonstration?” The kids were silent for some time. Finally an older lady about five rows back said, “As long as you drink and smoke you won’t have worms!” That was not quite the answer the minister was looking for. He concluded his children’s moment by quoting 1 Peter 2:11- “Don’t have anything to do with fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

   And now some quotes from famous mothers in honor of Mother’s Day.

Paul Revere’s Mother: “I don’t care where you think you have to go. Midnight is past your curfew!”

Mona Lisa’s Mother: “All that money you father and I spent on braces, you better smile!”

Humpty Dumpty’s Mother: “If I told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, don’t sit on that wall.”

Columbus’ Mother: “I don’t care what you have discovered. You still could have written!”

Napoleon’s Mother: “Are you hiding your report card in there, take your hand out and prove it.”

Custer’s Mother: “Now George, remember, don’t go biting off more than you can chew.”

Abe Lincoln’s Mother: “A stovepipe hat? Why don’t you wear a baseball cap like all the other boys!”

Goldilocks Mother: “I got a bill from the Bear family. You know anything about this Goldie?”

Jonah’s Mother: “That’s  a nice story, but where have you really been for the last three days?”

Superman’s Mother: “Clark, we have decided you can have your own cell phone. Now quit spending so much time in those phone booths!”

   I hope you will remember your Mother this Mother’s Day. Why not go to church with her or bring her with you if she is still living? Or you could give her some worms for Mother’s Day!

 PS> Kids may think a mom is yelling at them when she calls it motivational speaking!


   What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? (Psalm 117)

   What is the longest chapter in the Bible? (Psalm 119)

   What chapter in the center of the Bible? (Psalm 118)

     You can count them if you want but there are 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and there are 594 chapters after Psalm 118.

     When you add the chapters before and after Psalm 118 you get 594 + 594 =1118.

   What verse is the center verse in the Bible? (Psalm 118:8)

Does this verse say anything significant about the will of God and how we fit into it?

   Psalm 118:8- “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” So the next time someone says they would like to know the will of God tell them they can find it in the center of God’s book the BIBLE!

   Dr. Anthony Shaw, from Los Angeles flew from his home to the East coast for a medical seminar. He liked mysteries, so just before he boarded the plane he bought a thriller mystery and wrote his name and address in the front of it so he could read it on the plane. As soon as the plane was in the air he immersed himself in his book.

   Almost four hours later the pilot came on to tell the passengers they would be landing in Tampa shortly and they needed to prepare for landing. He was not quite finished with his 522 page book so rather than taking the whole book with him he tore out the last 13 pages and stuffed them into his pocket. He dropped the rest of the book (509 pages) in the seat pocket of the seat in front of him. He deplaned and caught a taxi. On the way to his hotel he finished the 13 pages. Now he was free to give his attention to his medical conference workshop.

   At 1:00am the phone rang in his hotel room. It was his wife who gave him a phone number to call. She said she got an urgent call that he needed to return. He dialed the number and when the call was answered he said, “This is Dr. Shaw from Los Angeles. I am sorry to call you so late but I was told it was urgent that I call.” To his amazement the voice on the other end was a total stranger. “Thanks for calling Dr. Shaw. I found your mystery thriller in the seat pocket on the plane. I read the book but there were pages missing. I am wondering if you can tell me how the book ends?”

   As we live the Christian life we know how the book ends! That should help us live our lives for Christ every day. May God bless you as you live the Christian life.

Breakfast and God’s Word

You have probably heard that the best meal of the day is breakfast because it gets you going for the day. Just like a good breakfast can get you going for the day, so can a good portion of God’s Word. Psalm 34:8 says O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Ezekiel 3:3 says He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.

A good devotional or just spending time reading God’s Word will keep you grounded and is never wasted time. You will be laying up treasure in heaven. It will help you study for your final exam. A little learned each day is better than waiting till the last minute an pulling an all nighter.

A man walked into a café and ordered three flat tires, a pair of headlights and a pair of running boards. The waitress not wanting to appear stupid took the order to the cook and ask if he knew what the man wanted. He explained to the waitress that the man wanted three pancakes, two eggs sunny side up and two strips of bacon. As the order was being coked the waitress took the man a bowl of beans.

The man said he didn’t order the beans and wanted to know what they were for? The waitress said, “I thought while you were waiting for your flat tires, headlights and running boards you might want togas up!”

Have a great breakfast and remember to get into God’s Word before you go for the day!

“The Christian Life and 2017”

   So what is a Christian who is living the Christian life? The best definition of “Christian” is a follower of Christ. Acts 11:26 tells us that the followers of Christ were first called “Christians” at Antioch. King Agrippa responded that Paul had almost persuaded him to become a “Christian” in Acts 26:28. Peter adds that we should not be ashamed if we suffer as a “Christian” but in the name “Christian” we should glorify God (1 Peter 4:16).

   Jude 1-2 says there are three things that a Christian is: 1) Called, 2) Beloved, 3) Kept. Jesus has called us to follow Him. If we follow Him then we understand how much He loves us. That means that we are His beloved ones because we have accepted a relationship with Him as His children. As long as we keep the faith we can say that we are kept in Jesus. Our living for Him causes us to pursue purity and holiness as we have been called out of the world.

   Here are some thought from others about living the “Christian” life. “The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that will outlive it.”  –Wm. James

   “Everyone who ever followed Christ became a fisher of men. If you aren’t fishing, then you aren’t following.” –Norman Vincent Peal

   Bob Morehead wrote in the Overlake Christian Church newsletter the following pledge. I suggest you take this pledge for 2017 because it will help you live the Christian life.

  “I   (your name),  am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

   My past is redeemed, my presence makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

   I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love with patience, live by prayer and labor with power.

   My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

   I won’t give up, shut up, let up or show up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me.

   And when Jesus comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.”

   Have a Happy New Year and may you live the Christian life in 2017 better than you ever have before!

The Christmas Gift

    If you were to guess what the best Christmas gift is, you might say it is Jesus if you are a Christian. I can’t argue with that. He is an indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).

   However, I want to suggest that the best Christmas gift we have is our life. It is a blessing from God. We should recognize the source of our life and be thankful to God for it. With our life we have the opportunity to do much good. If you are breathing there is a responsibility that comes with this gift of life.

   We can fulfill our responsibility and make the most of the opportunity life gives us by consulting the One who gave life to us. It only makes sense that the giver of life has the best answers to sustain and maintain that life.

   Life is priceless. Each moment is valuable and should not be misused or wasted. With God’s help we can make our life into something valuable. It is our duty to make our life an example that is worth following. Practicing the “Golden Rule” should be a priority- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12).

   As we live the life God has given us we need to remember that life is like a vapor (James 4:14). It is only here for a little while and then vanishes away. Only one life ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last! Don’t put off serving the Lord because you are not promised a tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

   We also should remember that when life is over we all have to stand before the Lord and answer for what we have done (Hebrews 9:27 and 2 Corinthians 5:10). There are no do overs in life. Once a day is gone we can’t get it back again. Life is like a tube of toothpaste; once we squeeze it out, it is almost impossible to get it back into the tube.

   We only pass this way once so we should try to make our life really count for something. Make the world a better place because we were here. Finish life strong.

   Today is God’s gift to you. What will you do with it? An average day in America sees 28 mailmen and women bitten by a dog. Over a billion cigarettes are smoked. There are 63,288 car crashes. 10,000 babies are born and 5,200 people die each day. 500 million cups of coffee are drank and there are 2 billion dollar bills in circulation each day. 1.1 million people are in the hospital on an average day and over 1,000 people die from cancer. 2,740 kids run away from home while 5,962 couples marry and 2,900 couples divorce. On average each of us will produce 6 pounds of garbage today and every day.

   The average family in America will spend $275 per child buying Christmas presents this year. I wonder how much the average family in America will give to the church this Christmas?

   Live to make a life rather than live to make a living. Live each day as if it were your last because it very well could be! Finish strong and well. The truest end to life is to know the life that will never end. It is not the length of your life but the life in whatever the length that really counts.

   This Christmas why not make the gift of life that God has given you really count by living for the Lord and investing it in others. That might just be the greatest gift ever!

Congress Declares the Bible “The Word of God”

I recall when Ronald Reagan was President and Congress made a law that seems to be forgotten today.  Here is the law signed by President Reagan and passes by both houses of Congress:

PUBLIC LAW 97-280   OCT. 4, 1982

Public Law 97-280 96 STAT. 1211 97th Congress

Joint Resolution

Authorizing and requesting the President to proclaim 1983 as The “Year of the Bible”

Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people;

Whereas deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our Nation;

Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas many of our great national leaders-among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson-paid tribute to the surpassing influence of the Bible in our country’s development, as in the words of President Jackson that the Bible is “the rock on which our Republic rests”;

Whereas the history of our Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals, families, and societies;

Whereas this Nation now faces great challenges that will test this Nation as it has never been tested before; and

Whereas that renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through Holy Scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

Approved October 4, 1982

A Lesson on Looks

   You have probably heard that God doesn’t look on the outward appearance of a person because God looks upon the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). You have also probably heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

   Maybe you have watched “America’s Got Talent” and your first impression of a contestant is that they will surely get “X”ed out by one of the judges only to be surprised by their talent. Things and people are not always what they seem!

   Commissioned in 1936, the RMS Queen Mary was the most awe-inspiring ocean-going vessel in the world. She was 1,019 feet long, at 81,237 tons she displaced twice as much water as the Titanic, had 12 decks (the promenade deck was 724 feet long), and carried 1,957 passengers plus a crew of 1,174.    

   Transformed from a luxury liner to a troop transport in World War II she carried 765,429 members of the military to and from the European war zones. The Queen Mary was retired from regular passenger service in 1967 after making 1,001 Atlantic Ocean crossings, and is presently harbored in the port of Long Beach, California. Even today, her magnificent and gleaming exterior cuts a beautiful profile against the blue waters of the Long Beach harbor. But when the Queen Mary was retired from active passenger service, it was discovered that part of her gleaming exterior was hiding something far less attractive and substantial.    The Queen Mary’s three elliptical smoke stacks 36 feet long, 23 feet wide, and ranging from 70 down to 62 feet in height were made of sheets of steel over an inch thick. During her decades of service, at least 30 coats of paint had been applied to the massive smokestacks, forming a shell around the steel interior. But when the smokestacks were removed for maintenance after her decommissioning, it was discovered that they were nothing but shells of paint. When lifted off the liner and placed on the docks, they crumbled! Over the years, the thick steel of which they had been made had turned to rust from long exposure to heat and moisture. The beautiful exteriors of the smokestacks revealed a rusty, crumbly interior that spoke not of beauty and elegance but of deterioration and decay. The external appearance was hiding the internal reality.

   Most of us would probably be guilty of trying to appear better than we really are on the outside and on the inside. We must remember that we can’t hide from God, who knows our hearts, and we can’t hide from His Word that is living, active and sharper than any two-edged sword… and is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of our heart (Hebrews 4:12).

   Hebrew 4:13 goes on to say, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” God knows all and sees all. All of us will stand before Him and answer for the life we lived (Romans 14:10 and Hebrews 9:27).

   For those of us that that are faithful until death we will get the crown of life (Revelation 2:10) because Jesus has cancelled out our debt nailing our sin to the cross (Colossians 2:14).

   Are you in need of a faith lift today? If so, go to Jesus. He has been giving faith lifts for almost 2,000 years now!

“Sounding the Alarm”

   When you were younger did you ever pull the fire alarm? I hope you didn’t. I was tempted to in elementary school to get out of class for a little while but I didn’t do it. Another kid in my class did and we could hear the principal, Mr. Fansler,  applying the board of education to him because our classroom was near the principal’s office. That was enough to convince me it was not worth pulling the fire alarm.

   In our world today there is so much going wrong that the alarm ought to be going off 24/7. I don’t buy baloney that some are telling us that our country has never been better. Even in the church today there should be an alarm going off because I believe the church is in trouble too.

   Some of you have a GPS device. What happens when you don’t follow the directions? You hear the words “recalculating” don’t you. In a way, when you hear that word it is an alarm going off that you had better pay attention to or you might end up at the wrong destination.

   I want to sound the alarm about something because I believe there needs to be some “recalculating” in the church today. I do not believe the Christian Church/Church of Christ is the only ones that are going to heaven. In fact there are probably a lot of member in these churches that are not going to make it to heaven. I believe the only ones who are going to heaven are the people who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and follow the truth found in the Bible. The sermon series I just finished on the New Testament Church was an important series of messages because I believe we need to sound the alarm. The Bible is full of “Life and Death” statements that we can’t afford to ignore or compromise.

   To get to heaven we must follow the Bible and I believe we must accept it all as the divine inspired infallible Word of God. I see the churches roll as being an encourager and helper to get us to heaven. The church was never meant to be an end in itself. The church exists to help get us to heaven.

   God wants all people to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). God wants all of us to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).  There is only one way to get into heaven and that is not to go in the church door but go in the Christ door. John 10 says that Jesus is the door into the fold (church). Acts 4:12 says there is salvation in no one else other than Jesus. We get into Jesus by being born again John 3:5 says. We are born of water and the Spirit (baptism). When we are baptized we put Christ on (Galatians 3:27).

   We must study the Word of God because there are always things we can learn and there are always things that we need to be reminded of that we already know. We need to be stirred up and remember the truth because it is the Truth (Jesus Christ) that saves us.. The alarms that are going off today should causes us to make sure we know that if we died today we would go to heaven because we have an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God!

   1 John 2:3-6 says, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

My Drug Problem

   You may not know this about me but when I was a teenager I had a drug problem. It was all because of my parents.

   I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church on Sunday night. I was drug to church on Wednesday night for youth group. I was drug to vacation Bible school and church camp every summer. I was drug to bed every night to say my prayers and read my Bible. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents.

   All those drugs are still in my system and they still affect my behavior today. If more parents gave their kids these drugs America would be a better country and we would have better churches too.

   A little girl got lost in the maze of city streets. She wandered around for some time until she met a Policeman. She was in tears as she told the Policeman her troubles. She didn’t know her address but she said, “If I can just find my church, I can find my way home from there.”

   The cry of so many in our world today is for help because they are hopelessly lost in sin and they can’t find their way. If we, the church, can come along side them we can show them the way because we have found it ourselves.


“No Laughing Matter”

    A man once counseled his son that if he wanted to live a long life he should sprinkle some gun powder on his cornflakes every morning. The son did this religiously and it worked. He lived to be 98. When he died he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren and a 15 foot hole in the side of the crematorium.

            ILL> I heard Cotton Jones tell this story a few years ago. A man walked into a pet store and ordered 10 mice and 42 cockroaches. The pet store owner looked up and said, “That is a very unusual order.” The customer replied, Well, I’m moving out of my apartment and the lease agreement says that I must leave the apartment in the same condition I found it in or I don’t get my deposit back.”

  A man once counseled his son that if he wanted to live a long life he should sprinkle some gun powder on his cornflakes every morning. The son did this religiously and it worked. He lived to be 98. When he died he left 14 children, 28 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren and a 15 foot hole in the side of the crematorium.

Cotton Jones told this story a few years ago. A man walked into a pet store and ordered 10 mice and 42 cockroaches. The pet store owner looked up and said, “That is a very unusual order.” The customer replied, Well, I’m moving out of my apartment and the lease agreement says that I must leave the apartment in the same condition I found it in or I don’t get my deposit back.”

  Laughter is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22) and there is a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But would you laugh at Jesus? People did in Mark 5. Jesus went to a man’s house named Jairus because his daughter was very sick. By the time Jesus got to Jairus’ house the girl had died. Jesus said that the girl was not dead. He said she was just sleeping. That is when the people laughed at Him.

Jesus took the girls parents and Peter, James and John into the room where the girl was “sleeping” so He would have witnesses. When Jesus spoke the words, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” the girl immediately got up and began walking.

   The crowd that had laughed at Jesus was not laughing now. Mark 5:42 says the crowd was “astonished” or amazed. Jesus blew their minds by doing the unimaginable. This miracle caused many to believe in Jesus and His power over death. There is a tradition that says Jarius’ daughter became a witness for the Lord and won many followers to Jesus.

Following Jesus is definitely no laughing matter. Are you taking your relationship with Jesus seriously?