Thursday, December 14, 2017

HEAVENLY GPS

In John 14:6, we read: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

“Grandfather, you missed the turn. Are we lost?”

“Humph. Don’t you trust me, Timmy?” Grandfather gripped the steering wheel, squinted through the windshield.

“Yes sir, usually, but according to the GPS on your truck, it’s telling us to make a legal U turn. Difficult to see the sign in this downpour.”

Grandfather pulled the truck over on the shoulder. “Let me take a look,” he said to Timmy. “Yep, we need to make that legal U turn. Sort of like people.”

“What do you mean, Grandfather?”

“Well, the Lord provides guidance for us. God’s Provisional System. He uses signs along the way. Parents, teachers, the Bible, and experiences. We can learn from them or ignore them.”

“What happens when we don’t use His GPS?”

“Remember what happened to the twins when they visited last summer?” Timmy laughed.

“Aunt Jenny was really mad. They found green paint in the barn and painted one another so they could be green martians. And the barn was off limits.”

Grandfather chuckled. “It took some scrubbing to remove that paint. Mighty painful.”

“But Aunt Jenny cleaned them because she loved them?” Grandfather nodded. “They should’ve made a U turn when they reached the barn door.”

“Exactly. The Lord Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He loves us and wants us to come to the Father through Him.

Kingdom Thinking. I stand amazed when I realize the Lord Jesus loves me and provides the way for me to spend eternity with Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same love to you. Won’t you come to Him?






















Thursday, December 7, 2017

LOVE TO THE Nth DEGREE

In II Corinthians 5:20-21, we read: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

“You finished college? Where? When?” Grandfather held up his hand.

“Why these questions, Timmy? You know the answers.”

“Because I want Sam to hear your answers. Especially your Forever Degree.”

“Oh. Got it.” He faced Sam. “BS in Biology, 1959. Masters in Biology in 1962,” he grinned. “Masters in Eternal Life--A work in progress.’

“Son, if the Lord Jesus loved me enough to leave heaven and come to earth as a man, that’s love. If He loves me enough to die on the cross with my sins nailing Him there, that’s amazing love. If He loves me enough to rise from the dead for me, that’s more than amazing love. But He didn’t stop there.”

“He didn’t?” Sam’s face was a mixture of confusion and hope.

“Nope. He ascended into Heaven, presented His blood as a sacrifice to the Heavenly Father, who accepted it, and declared me, mind you, me, righteous.”

“But you didn’t do anything,” Sam whispered.

“That’s right. But He didn’t stop there.” Sam leaned forward on the sofa, elbows on his knees.

“When I confessed my sin to the Lord, He washed me clean, came to live in my heart, never to leave.”

“Wish he could love me like that but I’ve done some bad things.” Sam dipped his head.

“Good news, Sam, the Lord Jesus has included you. But...”

“I knew there’d be a catch to it.”

“Let me finish, son. He knows all about you and loves you. He wants you in His Master’s program--a work in progress. But He’s a gentleman and won’t force Himself on you.”

“Me? He loves me?” Grandfather nodded, pulled Sam into his arms.

Kingdom Thinking. I stand amazed when I realize what the Lord Jesus has done for me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He promises the same to you. Please come.






Wednesday, November 29, 2017

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

In Matthew 18:1-4, we read: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.’”

“How can I be a little child? Most of the time you tell me to grow up and act my age.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Timmy, when I say grow up, I’m saying don’t be childish. There’s a difference in childlike and childish.”


“Childish like when I got mad with Sam and came home?” Grandfather nodded.

“Timmy, remember when the Hill's adopted their little boy? Mrs. Hill  had never seen him. Questions flooded her mind. How if he didn’t like her? She told me the doubts fled when his little arms went around her neck.”

“He loves his mom and dad.”

“You’re right. Why is that so?”

“I guess he trusts them. He knows they love him, too.”

“And that’s what the Lord Jesus offers us. The love and security in His love. Once we realize how much He loves us, we trust Him.”

Timmy tilted his head. “It’s hard to trust Him when I’ve never seen him.” He paused. “Oh, like when the Hill’s got their son? They’d never seen him but they loved him?”

“Exactly. They asked nothing of him. Just loved and nurtured him.”

Kingdom Thinking. I’m grateful the Lord Jesus gives pictures of His great love. I was terrified our son wouldn’t love me. But at the airport, seeing me for the first time, he stretched out his arms, came to me. Now when troubles come, I choose to remember the Lord loves me the same way. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you trust Him?








Thursday, November 23, 2017

CHOOSE THANKS



In 2 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

“But you don’t understand. I need to see if there is anything else I can do to help with my husband’s dementia.”

The receptionist stood, arms crossed, leaning against the counter.

Pain interrupted my thankful circuit. Mental anguish and doubt. Head down, shoulders slumped, I hurried back to the car. The receptionist wouldn't allow me to keep the appointment with the doctor concerning my husband. Not without his being present.

With head in my hands, I gave way to the flood of emotions that had been held at bay.

“Tap, tap.”

My head snapped up. A little lady stood there. I rolled down the window. She touched my shoulder.

“I saw you leave the office. Knew you were upset. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Man, would these tears ever slow down? She handed me a tissue. “Thank you,” I hiccuped. Peeking through my veil of tears, I saw wet tracks streaking her cheeks.

“Can I pray with you?” At my nod, she prayed. For love, for support, for my well being, but especially the assurance that the Lord Jesus knows and has a plan.

My husband is home with the Lord Jesus now, but I’ll never forget that lady. I give thanks to the Lord for having her in that place at the time I needed someone.

Kingdom Thinking. I give thanks to the Lord Jesus, not because I feel like it, but because of who He is. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. I don’t know what you’re going through today, but He does. He offers the same promises to you. Won’t you choose Him?




Thursday, November 16, 2017

THE MEGAPHONE


In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”


“How do you give thanks when you’re not thankful?” Timmy's chin quivered. “I don’t feel happy, Grandfather.”

“I know. I’m guilty of the very thing myself.” Timmy’s head snapped up, his eyes wide.

“You are?”

“Many times. Giving thanks is a choice.” Grandfather tilted his head. “Have you noticed that the Scripture doesn’t read, “Give thanks when you feel like it. It reads, “In everything give thanks.”

“But Grandfather, when I’m hurting, I’m not thankful.” Grandfather smiled.

“Remember several years ago, you were learning to ride your bicycle?”

“I had a hard time at first, but once I learned, I did okay.”

“Do you ever fall off your bike now?”

“Grandfather, you know I hurt my ankle practicing for the race. Now I’m sitting here with my foot propped on the stool.” He dipped his head. “And I can’t be in the race today.”

“How if we go to the race? We’ll fix a place in the back of my truck so you can see the races.” Grandfather opened the hall closet, pulled out a box. “This should do the trick.”

“Your megaphone? I can use your megaphone? All right?” He pumped his fist in the air.

“What’s different?” Grandfather cocked his head.

He held up the megaphone. "This will make me a part of the team.” He looked at Grandfather. “You knew that. You took something hurtful and made it exciting.”

Grandfather sat on the stool by Timmy’s foot. “That’s the way of our Lord, Timmy. When we give Him the hurtful things in our life, with His love, the results are for His Glory and our good.”

Kingdom Thinking. When I give thanks for all things in my life, the Lord Jesus brings good. Therefore I rejoice for this is His will for me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and loves me with an everlasting love. He promises the same to you. Won’t you come?





Thursday, November 9, 2017

FULFILLED


In Genesis 50:19-20, we read: “Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.’”

“I don’t think it was fair.” Timmy sat at he table, his chin propped on his hand. “Joseph could have thrown the whole bunch in prison.”

“Could have,” Grandfather agreed. “But remember, Joseph had the dreams. He knew they came from the Lord and  trusted Him to fulfill them. He knew God had a plan.”

“Plan?”

“Yes. The Lord always has a plan. His plan is for His Glory and my good. He wants me to trust Him. My problem is I want to help the Lord out.”

“Like the watermelon patch, Grandfather? I’m so sorry.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Yep. Good example. I was puzzled to see the melons dying on the vine. When I checked them a couple of days before, they’d looked fine. I found the answer when I turned them over.”

“I thought I would help you. I cut out a plug. Not ripe. I stuck it back in so it could keep on growing. I got tired after a while so I quit.”

“I’m glad. At least we’ll have a few melons to enjoy. The melons take time to ripen. Have to have good conditions.” He cocked his head. "Think about Joseph. God gave him a dream many years before. Now he was second in command to Pharaoh. God put him in a place at the right time so he could help save God’s people.”

“Grandfather, I know Joseph saw at the end of the story God had a plan. What about the times he was  sold by his brothers? Or thrown in prison for something he didn’t do? That’s hard to trust then.”

“You’re right. It is hard to trust when things go wrong. I must choose to trust God when things don’t make sense. I know He has a plan, for you and for me. He loves you, son.” Timmy hugged his Grandfather.

Kingdom Thinking. I choose to trust God. A conscious effort on my part because He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?









  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

THE GOOD AND THE BAD

In Genesis 41:28-30, we read: “This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land.”

“Timmy, how would you like to be the one to tell the Pharaoh seven years of famine will follow seven years of plenty?”

“I would rather tell him only about the plenty.”

“I agree, but if he only hears about the plenty, he won’t be prepared for the famine.”

Timmy tilted his head. “We need to hear the whole truth, don’t we? The good and the bad.”

“You’re right. Otherwise we can’t make a wise decision.” Grandfather chuckled. “It would be like the time you made a cake for my birthday and forgot to add the vanilla.”

“But I did add it.”

“After the cake had been in the oven for about ten minutes, you took it out, added the vanilla, and stirred.”

“It looked a mess, didn’t it?”

“It was sad, to say the least, but not too bad after we frosted it.” Grandfather and Timmy’s laughter filled the house.

“How does this have anything to do with Pharaoh, Grandfather?”

“Sometimes, we think God has forgotten something in His plan for us, but not so. Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, lied about, thrown into prison, continued to trust God, no matter the circumstances. When he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, not only did the Land of Egypt survive, but others came to Egypt to buy food. Pharaoh made Joseph second in command. Sort of like the frosting on the cake.

Kingdom Thinking. I see things as terrible, but the Lord Jesus uses everything to bring about His purposes. I trust Him for He loves me with an everlasting love and He has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DELAYED DREAMS


In Genesis 37:10, we read: “So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down before you?” And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

“How would you like to bow down to Sam?”

“Grandfather, that’s not fair. Sam thinks he’s so much smarter than I am. He always had money and...”

“Timmy, what you’re saying is you would find it difficult to do.”

“I would hate it.”

“That describes Joseph’s brothers. His fancy colored coat showed his brothers how important he was to Jacob, their father. His jealous brothers made fun of him. But when he told them his dreams? That they would bow down to him? They’d had enough. They would show him.”

“And they sold him into slavery?”

“That they did. For twenty shekels of silver. Under the going price.”

“You think they felt bad about selling their brother?” Grandfather shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, they lied about it. They killed a kid of a goat, dipped Joseph's fancy coat in it’s blood, and brought it to their father.

“‘Look what we found.’ Of course, their father recognized it, thought a wild animal had killed Joseph.”

“They never told his father what they’d done?”

“Not for many years. But I believe they were sorry but were scared to do anything about it.”

“Would they get a chance later?”

“Our Gracious God is a God of second chances.” Grandfather nodded. "A Great and Good God always gives second chances.”

“What about the dreams?”

“All in God’s timing, Timmy. What appears delayed to us, is God’s perfect timing.”

Kingdom Thinking. I must remember the Lord Jesus is always on time, never in a rush. He loves me with an everlasting love and promises never to leave nor forsake me. He is on time with you, too. Won’t you come to Him? He loves you.









Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE PRUNING

In John 15:1-2, we read: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

“Do I hear mumbling coming from you, Timmy?”

“Grandfather, why can’t we let these shrubs grow. They’re round,” He tilted his head. “Well, sort of.”

“We aren’t keeping them from growing. We taking out the weak parts. “Look here.” He held a stalk with brown leaves, then cut it out. “Now more light can get in and there’ll be new healthy growth.

“We prune and shape the healthy plant. When the storms come, they’ll survive.”

“Look at the difference, Grandfather.” Two shrubs, side by side, one trimmed, one not.

“Which one looks better?”

“You want me to say the one we trimmed?” Timmy asked. Grandfather chuckled.

“No, son. Tell me the truth. Which one looks best?”

“The trimmed one, Grandfather. But you already know.”

“Yes. But I want you to see the difference. Remember the little boy we saw at the grocery store yesterday?”

“The one screaming because he couldn’t have candy at the checkout?” Grandfather smiled. “His mother picked him up, left her groceries, and took him outside.” Timmy thought for a minute. “His mother is shaping him into a healthy boy. He can’t have everything he wants?”

“Right. He’s in training. Just like the rest of us. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to bear fruit. The fruit of love, joy, peace...”

“He loves me that much?”

“He does, indeed.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me.  He loves you, too. Won’t you come to Him?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

THE SWAP

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

“Impossible, Grandfather. Why would God do such a thing?”

“Well, Let me tell you what happened in our town a long time ago.

“Two brothers, Joseph and Jacob, lost their parents in an accident. Joseph, the older brother, felt the responsibility to take care of Jacob. No matter how hard he tried, Jacob rebelled. At first, it was mischievous  acts. He would take someone’s homework, cheat on a test. But as he grew into manhood, he became violet. He was feared by all, except Joseph, who continued to love him.”

“Grandfather. Why was Jacob so mean? Joseph lost his parents, too.” Grandfather nodded.

“One night, a store was robbed, the owner murdered. Jacob didn’t try to hide. Even signed his name on the counter.”

“That was dumb. Why would he do that?”

“Timmy, we, humans, are known to do some really dumb things.”

“But that...”

Grandfather held up his hand. “Arrested and tried, he was found guilty and sentenced to hang. Joseph was crushed. He had tried everything he knew to help his brother.

“On the day of the execution, Jacob, head bent, a hooded cloak partially covering his face, was led to the gallows. ‘Any last words?’ the executioner said. He shook his head. The lever released, the trap door opened, Jacob jerked, was still.

“A man came running, yelling. “Don’t kill him. You have the wrong person. I’m the guilty one.” The hood was removed. Joseph took his brother’s place. Jacob sank to his knees, tears running down his face. “Why would he do such a thing? Now what am I to do?

An arm came around his shoulders. “Go and tell. About the love of your older brother. The Love of the real Older Brother, the Lord Jesus. How He took your place and set you free.”

“Did he, Grandfather? Did he go and tell?” Grandfather smiled, nodded.

“He led me to the Lord Jesus.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love. He took my place on the cross. I deserved to die, not Him. Not only did He set me free, but He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you cone?






Thursday, October 5, 2017

THE POWER SOURCE


In 1 Corinthians 1: 22-24, we read: “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.


“Grandfather. Something’s wrong with my bedside light.”

“Have you changed the light bulb?”

Timmy nodded. ”And the plug’s in the outlet but the bulb won’t light up.”

“Hmm. Let’s check the electrical box. Get the flash light and let’s take a look.”

“Here’s the problem,” Grandfather pointed to the switch, bottom left. “It’s off.”

He toggled it to the on position. “Now, see if you have light.”

“It’s working,” Timmy called from his room. “Thanks, Grandfather.”

Later that morning, Grandfather said, “Timmy, why do you think your lamp didn’t work this morning? Do you not try hard enough? Or you thought if you waited for a long time, the light would come on?”

“No, Grandfather. The switch was off. No electricity could flow to the outlet. Did you turn it off.”

 “I didn’t.” He chuckled. “Maybe there was a power surge. But when we flipped the switch to on, problem solved. Electricity, or power, could flow freely to the lamp.

“Timmy. I thought the message of Love the Lord sent me was too simple. It didn’t make sense and sounded foolish. But, when I realized the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, the all powerful One, chose me, I was overwhelmed with His love. I chose to be His. To let His power flow through me.”

“Grandfather,” Timmy touched the tears on Grandfather’s cheeks. “You love Him. I want to choose Him, too.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus calls me to be His. He empowers me to do His work and to share His Love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and to love me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, September 28, 2017

NOT A QUITTER


In Matthew 4:18-20, we read: “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

“Hurry, Grandfather. I want to get to the pond and get the best spot.” He tilted his head. "May we eat our catch for lunch?”

“Mighty sure of yourself,” Grandfather chuckled. “Okay. Hop in and let’s be on our way. I’ll bring our picnic basket just in case.”

“Why don’t the fish bite, Grandfather? We’ve sat here for hours. How long do we wait?”

“Take a deep breath. Enjoy yourself, Timmy. You can’t rush fish.”

Timmy put his pole down on the dock, leaned back on his hands, and took a deep breath.

“Hey, you’ve got a bite. Grab the pole, pull him in. Careful. Don’t lose him,” He pat Timmy on the back. “Good job.”

“I did it, Grandfather. I caught a fish.”

“You did, indeed. But how if you'd quit?”

“I’d missed out, huh?” Timmy frowned. “No fish and no fun.”

“You right. You know, one day the Lord Jesus saw two fisherman, brothers, in fact. He said for them  to follow Him and He’d make them fishers of men. They left their nets and followed Him.”

“Did He, Grandfather? Fish men out of the water?”

Grandfather lips quirked. "The Lord taught them what you’ve learned today, Timmy. To be patient and kind. You can’t rush the fish or someone you want to come to the Lord. Know what?”Timmy shook his head. “The waiting time can be used to show folks they’re loved, worth praying for.”

“We’re not quitters, are we?”

“No, son. A fisherman never quits. He keeps on fishing, no matter how long it takes.”

Kingdom Thinking. As I rush through life, with all its demands, I need to stop, take a deep breath. The Lord Jesus, the Big Fisherman, teaches me to be fishers of men. He promises to love me with an everlasting love and never leave nor forsake me. He’s not a quitter. Won’t you come?

















Thursday, September 21, 2017

A BEE AND LITTLE SIPS

 In John 7: 38-39, we read: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

“I’m so thirsty, Grandfather.” Timmy shook his canteen, turned it upside down. “Not a drop in it.”

“Just hang on. If we keep on this trail, we’ll find a spring that flows from the rocks.”

“I don’t see anything but rocks and sand in this desert.”

“Did you see that, Timmy? A bee. Follow it. Maybe it’ll lead us to water.”

Climbing the rocks, Timmy yelled. “There. Water is coming from the rocks into that pool.”

At the water’s edge, Grandfather said. “Little sips, son.” He filled their canteens. “You must drink small amounts or you’ll get sick.”

“But I’m thirsty.” He leaned towards the water, but Grandfather grabbed him by his belt, hoisted him to a sitting position. He handed him his canteen.

“The Lord Jesus tells us if we come to Him and drink, He’ll not only take care of our thirst, but will fill us up to overflowing with living water. He uses our little sips to bubble over and share with others.”

Timmy poured water from his canteen, the water sparkling like diamonds in the sunshine.  This kind of water?” Grandfather chuckled.

“More precious than you can imagine. With your water, you’ll soon be thirsty but when we sip from the water the Lord gives us, we’ll never thirst. His living water lasts forever.

“How do I get this living water, Grandfather?

“By coming to Him.  We take little sips of His Word, the Bible, and He begins to fill us with His love that flows like a river.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus calls out to anyone who is thirsty to come and drink. And He promises whoever believes in Him, out of him will flow rivers of living waters. He loves you with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Are you thirsty? He waits for you.










Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE PRIZE

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, we read: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

“Sure you want to enter this race, Timmy? The competition will be tough.”

“I’m sure, Grandfather. Coach said this would be good experience for me.

“I have four weeks to practice. Will you time me? I’ll run in the field behind the garden.” And so as Timmy ran, Grandfather timed him with his stopwatch.

Three weeks later, Grandfather sat with Timmy at the breakfast table. “I’m proud of you, son. You’ve worked hard and you’ve come a long way. You'll do well.”

“You think I can win the prize?”

“Well, anything is possible. But you’re one of ten boys running in this race. Not everyone can win the prize but everyone can be a winner.”

The day of the race dawned fair. “Come on, Grandfather. Time to get going.”


“Had your breakfast? Didn’t think so. Eat, then we’ll get to the track for your warm up.”

At the track, Grandfather said. “Keep you hands turned in, arms relaxed--you okay?”

“Yessir, but my stomach's kind of squirmy.” Grandfather put his arm around Timmy.

The whistle blew and the runners started around the track. In good form, they were running well. Timmy led, but as he made the last turn, he saw Johnny stumble, hit the ground. He jogged back to him.

“My ankle,” Johnny said. “I twisted it.”

“Put your arm around my shoulder.” They walked from the track, the crowd applauding.

Grandfather came to help. “You didn’t win the race, Timmy, but you are a winner.”

Kingdom Thinking. Many times I’ve had my eye on a prize...my dreams, hopes, and aspirations. In this race of life, it’s not about winning but about being a winner. The Lord Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He promises the same to you in the race of life. Won’t you come to Him? He waits for you.





Thursday, September 7, 2017

THE BOARDING PASS


In Matthew 26:31-32, we read: “Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’”

“Timmy, hold on to your boarding pass. Go to gate 7, wait for me there.”

“Grandfather, look at all the people. How if I get lost?”

Grandfather turned him in the direction of Gate 7. “The sign for your gate is up ahead. See it? Go there and wait for me.”

“Yessir.” Timmy started towards the gate. “A toy store. Have plenty of time to check it out." He entered, looked for his favorite candy. On a display in the back, he saw model airplanes. Then he noticed stuffed animals. “I’ll buy a gift for my cousin.”

An announcement blared. “Timothy Scott. Please come to Gate 7. Your party is waiting for you.” His head snapped up. The candy, the airplanes, the stuffed animals--forgotten. He hurried to the gate.

“Where have you been?” Grandfather hands fisted on his hips. "You scared me. I thought...it doesn’t matter what I thought.” He smiled. “I’m glad you’re safe. Got your boarding pass?”

He searched his backpack, his face turning white. “Probably dropped it in the store.” Grandfather gabbed his hand to retrace his steps. “Here. It was in this zipper pocket.” He took a deep breath.

After boarding, Timmy said. “I’m sorry, Grandfather. I thought I had plenty of time.”

“Son, there’ll be times in life when you wander into places along the way. I want you to remember that no matter where life leads you, you’ll always belong to the Lord Jesus.

“But what I did was bad.”

“Did doing good things save you?” Timmy shook his head. “Well, if your goodness didn’t save you, then your badness can’t lose you. The Lord Jesus bought you, paid for your boarding pass with His shed blood on the cross. He knew you would stumble, but He’s waiting.”

“Like you waited for me, Grandfather?” Grandfather nodded, hugged his precious grandson.

Kingdom Thinking. No matter how far I stray or stumble, The Shepherd of the flock knows where I am. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, August 31, 2017

THE SWORD

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we read: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.”

“Grandfather, are you awake?” 

“I am now.” He snapped on his light. “Another bad dream?”

“Yessir. A scary one. Can I sleep in your room? I brought my pillow.” Pallet made, Timmy crawled in.

“Grandfather? I can’t go to sleep.”

“Have you used your sword?”

Timmy sat up. “I don’t have a sword.”

“Do you remember when you asked the Lord Jesus to come into your heart at camp?”

“Yessir.”

“Then you have a sword. Timmy, the Lord Jesus is a mighty warrior. He is the One who protects us.”

“Then why do I have bad dreams, get so scared?”

“Stand up for a minute.” Grandfather put his shirt on Timmy, then his jacket, his hat, his shoes. “Now, march.”

“I can’t stand up straight, much less march. All of this stuff of yours is heavy.”

“Ah, they weren’t made for you, were they?” Timmy shook his head. “Just as I’m removing the extra clothing from you, the Lord Jesus removes the things that wear us down, make us afraid. But we have to agree with Him, ask Him. So He gives us a sword, His Word, His promises.”

“Like 2 Timothy 1:7? That verse can be my sword?”

“Absolutely. Hide it in your heart. Use it when needed. The Lord knows we’ll add extra stuff to our lives. Stuff that hurts, weighs us down. The Bible calls it sin. His sword cuts it away.”

“Thank you, Grandfather,” Timmy said. “I’ll keep my sword where I can reach it.”

Kingdom Thinking. I need power, love and a sound mind to live in this world. The Lord Jesus gives me His Word, filled with His promises. He promises He’ll never leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come? He waits for you.














Thursday, August 24, 2017

TOO HEAVY TO FLY


In 1 John 1:8-9, we read: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“But you don’t understand, Grandfather. I’m not as bad as Derek. He...”

“Wait,” Timmy.” Grandfather held up his hand. “Let me see if I have this right. You didn’t carry the garbage to the compost bin. You didn’t make your bed. But you’re telling me this other boy...”

“Derek.”

“Yes, Derek. You believe his sins are heavier than yours?” Timmy tilted his head.  “See that steel pipe by the tree? What would you say if I told you that pipe could fly?”

“No way, Grandfather. Everybody knows it’s too heavy to fly.”

“It depends on the law in effect. I agree with you, the law of gravity makes us think steel can’t fly. But, if we apply the law of aerodynamics, shape the steel correctly, steel can fly. Look up.” They watched a plane pass overhead.

“The truth is, we are sinners. So the law of sin and death applies to all of us. Unless we realize the truth. If we confess our sins, the Lord Jesus forgives our sin and makes us so clean, we’re like new. The law of grace is more powerful than the law of sin and death.”

“We get to fly?” Grandfather smiled.

“Absolutely. The law of grace sets us free.” He paused. “Where’re you going?”

“To tell Derek about sin and airplanes.” Grandfather shook his head, a smile on his face.

Kingdom Thinking. For years, I put sin in categories. This one’s not too bad. That one, unforgivable. Then one day, the Lord Jesus came. He showed me sin separates me from Him. Then, in that dark moment of separation, He offered me grace. His grace. He paid for my sins and washed me clean. His grace trumps sin. He offers His grace to you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE SELFISH SERVANT


In Matthew 18:31-33, we read: “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’”

“After the master forgave the servant his debt of millions of dollars, he didn't forgive his fellow servant a few dollars? That’s selfish.”

“Ah, Timmy. That’s one of the problems of the ages. When we watch someone else, we see clearly.”

“Johnny’s calling me. We’re playing with my model airplanes.”

An hour later, “I’m leaving. You’re selfish.” Grandfather walked onto the back porch. “What’s going on?”

“Johnny went home.”

“I can see that. Why?” He sat on the back steps.

“Johnny called me selfish. But I need the money I loaned him to buy another plane.”

“How much did you pay for those?” He pointed to the six planes lined up on the dirt runway.

Timmy dipped his head, mumbled. “Nothing. You bought them for me.”

“Come sit by me, son.” Timmy swiped the tears welling in his eyes.

“Am I selfish like the servant we read about?”

“All of us are born into this world selfish.”

“You, too, Grandfather?” He nodded, grinned at Timmy’s look of surprise.

“We all need a savior, Timmy. So God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to pay for our sins.”

Timmy picked up his favorite plane. “Will you go with me to see Johnny?”  Grandfather smiled.

“Let’s go.”

Kingdom Thinking.  I came into this world, fists clinched--selfish. When I realized The Lord Jesus came into the world to save me from my selfish sinful ways, I gave my life to Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE BROWN BUNDLE MYSTERY

In John 6:8-9, we read: “One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’”

The Brown Bundle Mystery,” Timmy read the title, snuggled under the covers. “Sounds exciting.” Grandfather put on his glasses and began to read.

“‘Mother,' Jacob entered the house. 'I’ve heard a great crowd has gathered to hear the Teacher. May I go? I’ve done my chores.'

“‘Alone?'

“‘Rueben’s waiting for me by the gate.'

“'Not so fast, son. Here’s lunch. Five barley loaves and two fish. At least you won’t starve. Share with Rueben,' she said, handing him a brown bundle.

“'Thanks, Mother. We’d better hurry. Don’t want to miss something exciting.' Arriving, Jacob said.

“‘That’s what I call a crowd. Let’s get close to the hillside where the Teacher sits. We’ll hear better there.'

"It was late afternoon. 'Jacob, my stomach’s growling. Where is the lunch?'

“'You brought food? Good.’ A fisherman stood behind Jacob. 'Come. The Teacher needs you. By the way, I’m Andrew.' The boys ran to keep up.

“The Teacher smiled as Jacob put his brown bundle into His outstretched hand. He lifted His voice, gave thanks and began to distribute the food to His disciples and the disciples to those sitting down, as much as they wanted. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.”

“Wait, Grandfather. The Teacher fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish? Big loaves?”

“No. About the size of dinner rolls. But when we give what we hold in our hands to the Teacher, He uses it and multiples it for the good of others. Little is much when blessed by the Lord, even a brown bundle.”

Kingdom Thinking. When I keep my hands fisted, I miss out. But open, the things in my hands become gifts to Him. He multiples them for my good and His glory. He promises to love me with an everlasting love. He’ll never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?












Thursday, August 3, 2017

A STANDING INVITATION


In Matthew 11:28, we read: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Here you are, sir.” The lady at the grocery checkout handed Grandfather his receipt. “Have a good day.”

“Thank you, Melissa. And remember, you have a standing invitation.”

“What’s a ‘standing invitation,’ Grandfather?”

“Well, Timmy, Johnny has a standing invitation at our house.”

“Oh. Because he’s always welcome?” Before Grandfather could answer, Timmy asked. "Is something wrong with that guy? He looks sad.” A young man sat on the steps out of the way of traffic.

“Are you okay, son?” The young man mumbled a response. “Sorry, couldn’t hear what you said.”

“I’m fine.”

“Hey. Don’t talk that way to my Grandfather.” Timmy stood close. Before he could say more, Grandfather handed him his bag of groceries, stepped down, sat on the step by the young man. “Grandfather?” Patting the place next to him, he motioned Timmy to sit.

“What ya think you’re doing, old man? I don’t need your help.”

“I want to hear your story. You do have one?” The young man’s chin rested on his chest.

“Why should ya care? Nobody else does.”

“I care because Someone cares for me. Now, it’s your turn.” Tears welled in the young man’s eyes. “Are you hungry? Okay. Come home with us. I can fill your belly and I know Someone who can fill your heart.”

Kingdom Thinking. I was once that person who sat on the steps, desperate, hungry for the truth. Then the Lord Jesus came, sat by me, offered rest. He replaced my ill-fitting yoke of sin, bitterness, selfishness, and anger, with his shining yoke of love. A yoke that is forever mine. He promises His yoke is easy; His burden is light. Won’t you come? You have a standing invitation.






Thursday, July 27, 2017

A BOY AND HIS DOG - SEALED BY LOVE

In Ephesians 1:13-14, we read: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

“I heard the words ‘were sealed,’ but I don’t understand them.” Timmy tilted his head.

“I know. I see the question mark on your face.” Grandfather stared out the window. “Remember when we bought your puppy?”

“Uh huh. I got to hold Harley but we couldn’t bring him home. He still needed his mother.”

“Right. But we paid for him, trusted Mr. Jones to take care of him. He promised he would call us when Harley was ready to come home.” Grandfather quirked his left eyebrow. “How did you know which puppy was Harley? There were others.”

“Because I chose him. See the way his hair stands up on top of his head? None of the others were like him.” Grandfather chuckled.

“So you’re telling me Harley's special? You can pick him out of a litter of Boykin Spaniels?” Timmy grinned.

“I know he is mine.” Timmy picked up the pup. “I love him and he loves me.”

“Even when he chewed your baseball bat? And your new shoes? And when you have to feed him, be responsible for him?” Timmy held Harley close.

Smiling, Grandfather said, “Indeed he does love you and you love him. And that’s the way the Lord Jesus loves you. You fit in His arms.”

“The way Harley fits in my arms, Grandfather?”

Grandfather hugged Timmy--and Harley. “When we put our trust in the Lord Jesus and believe in Him, we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. He’s our guarantee of our inheritance to come. We’re sealed by His love. We belong to Him.

“Did you hear that, Harley? We’re sealed by love.” Harley licked Timmy’s face.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus paid for my inheritance and sealed me with His Holy Spirit. He Loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you accept Him? He loves you.









Thursday, July 20, 2017

AMAZING!!!

In Romans 2: 8-9, we read: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is he gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

“Timmy,” Grandfather called. “How about lend me a hand.”

Timmy hopped off the tire swing. “Okay. What do you want me to do?”

Grandfather pointed to the six-foot log on the garden path. “I want to weigh the bottom wire of the fence with it. That’ll keep out the critters.”

Timmy tried to lift his end without Grandfather’s help. “Oof. It’s too heavy. Can we cut it in half? That’ll make it easier to carry.”

“Nope. This’ll work and take less time. No shortcuts. Let’s do this. On the count of three.”

“One, two, three.” Timmy counted. He lifted his end.

"There. That should do the trick.” Grandfather stepped back to check the fence. “The pegs against the log will keep it secure.”

“I thought it would be heavy,” Timmy said.

“Why would you think that?”

“I tried to lift it. I couldn’t budge it.”

Grandfather thought a minute. “When we try to do things without our Heavenly Father’s help, they’ll be too heavy every time. I’ll let you in on a secret. I carried the heavy part of the log.”

“Wait. Then what part did I carry?” Timmy tilted his head. “You really didn’t need me, did you?”

“I needed you because I love you. I let you carry one end of the log while I carried the weight of it--in the middle. The Lord Jesus carries the weight of the cross providing us the gift of salvation. Nothing we can do to help the Lord save us. He’s done it all.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus died on the cross for me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. His amazing Love. Won’t you come?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

COME

In Matthew 11:28-30, we read: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall fine rest for your souls.”


“Help. I’m falling.”

“Timmy. Look at me.”

Grandfather stretched his hand towards Timmy. “Easy. A little bit farther. Don’t look down.”

Timmy’s foot pushed against the log as he lounged for his grandfather. The log slipped, splashed into the water-filled ditch. But Grandfather caught Timmy in his arms, hugged him tight. Timmy looked over his shoulder, saw the log twisting and rolling in the current.

“I thought the log would be safe.” He looked at Grandfather. “I was scared.” Grandfather smiled.

“You’re safe now. Did that walk on the log prove something?”

“I wanted to see if I could do it.” He shivered. "It didn’t look bad from the other side but halfway out, I...”

“Maybe the Lord wants you to learn from this. Remember our verse this morning?” Timmy nodded.

“The ‘Come’ verse?”

“That’s the one. Our Lord Jesus is always there. Sometimes we think He’s there because we call Him. But He’s there because He loves us. He knows we like to think we’re strong and able to do...”

“Like me? When I thought I could walk across the ditch by myself?”

“Exactly. But He’s aways there. All you need to do is call on Him.”

Kingdom Thinking. Instead of Kingdom Thinking, many times I "world think." So I must choose to rest in the Lord Jesus, believe His promises--He’ll never leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He waits for you to come to Him. Please come. Today.






Thursday, July 6, 2017

NO LONGER A SLAVE

In Galatians 4:6-7 we read: "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

“Grandfather, what’s an heir?” Timmy lowered the book in his hands.

Grandfather laid his paper on the footstool. “Well, an heir is one that inherits.” Timmy's forehead wrinkled. “Unless you’re referring to someone that pretends--puts on aires, or to the air we breathe?”

A giggling Timmy said. “You’re funny. I’m not talking about the stuff we breath or...”

Grandfather sobered. “All joking aside, becoming an heir is serious business. The responsibilities,  land, riches or debts, have now come into his possession. Taxes must be paid, transfer of titles--legal matters must be settled.” Timmy cocked his head.

“Once we become heirs, we take control of the inheritance. What happened in your book?”

“The young boy was separated from his father when their carriage overturned. Someone snatched him. Made him his slave. This happened a long time ago,” he explained. “For years he didn’t know who he really was. One day, he saw an older gentleman attacked by thieves, came to his rescue.

“The grateful man invited him to his home to reward him. He looked at the young man, asked him to look at a painting.

“‘That looks like me,' the slave said. ‘But I’ve never dressed like the man in the portrait.'

 “'That’s a portrait of me when I was your age. Who is your father?'

“‘I never knew my father. I’ve been a slave all my life.’

“'And my son was kidnapped at a young age. He has a birthmark on his forehead at his hairline.'
He smoothed back the young man’s hair. He gasped, then his eyes filled. 'Welcome home, son.’ And they lived happily ever after.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. For years, I lived as a slave. Then The Lord Jesus came, paid my debts, set me free. Now I say, “Abba, Father!” An heir of God through Jesus Christ. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He extends this invitation to you. Please come.















Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A GREAT FOURTH OF JULY


        We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, in January. Language school--studying a new language, new culture, new friends--could be overwhelming. Sometimes it would be nice to hear English spoken as first language.

        Then on July 4, we were invited to the United States Embassy in San Jose. As I stood there, a little jolt zipped through me--the joy similar to that of Frances Scott Keys when he saw the flag was still there? Old Glory flew proudly in the July breeze.

        Standing on a little piece of the United States felt--well, almost like home. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the trimmings were served. A glorious day to remember.

        When I accepted the invitation to be a part of the family of God, I felt a teensy bit of what Eternity will be like--with loved ones and friends. But all that fades in comparison to the Glory of the Lord Jesus and His Love for me. A most glorious day to look forward to. Because He lives and loves me, I, too, share the invitation with you! Celebrate!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

SAFE

In Nahum 1:7, we read: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

“Thanks for letting me camp with Timmy, Mr. Knight.” Sam dropped his sleeping bag on the porch.

Grandfather chuckled. "Timmy couldn’t wait to get started this morning. He’s out there now.”

Grandfather watched the boys work. They built a fire pit, circled it with stones, cleaned the area for their sleeping bags, and stacked wood for the fire. Grandfather glanced at the kitchen bulletin board.

A typed sheet of paper--Safety Rules for Camping--was thumb-tacked to the board.
      No. 1. Be prepared. Listed under it were the utensils and supplies needed.
      No. 2. Be safe. Never leave the campfire unattended, watch for changes in weather, etc.
      No. 3  Expect the unexpected. Have extra batteries for flashlights, safety kit...
      No. 4  Don’t panic!

In the late afternoon, Grandfather called. “Ready for dinner?”

Timmy and Sam helped carry the food to the campsite. Hot dogs with the trimmings, baked beans, and marshmallows to roast.

“Wow. This looks good.” Later, the food consumed, they held their long skewers over the fire, toasting the last of the marshmallows.

“Uh-oh,” Timmy’s marshmallow blazed. He jerked it from the coals. It flipped, landed on the kindling. The sticky mess stuck, the wood flamed.

Grandfather dumped his water on the wood, separated it, covered the smoldering embers with dirt. "Rule No. 4. Don’t panic.”

“It happened so fast, I forgot the rule.” Timmy hiccuped. “ I’m glad you were here.”

“I am, too, Timmy. You need to know who's your stronghold. No matter if it’s an accident like a flying flaming marshmallow or a roaring fire set to destroy you. We can trust in the Lord.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus is my stronghold in my day of trouble. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He will be your stronghold, too. Won’t you come to Him?



Thursday, June 22, 2017

TERROR IN THE NIGHT

In Zephaniah 3:17, we read: “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

“Grandfather.” Timmy tugged on Grandfather’s pajama sleeve. “Something awful is outside my window.”

“What?” Grandfather slung his legs over his bed, grabbed his robe. “Did you see it?” Timmy shook his head.

“Listen,” Timmy stopped, grabbed Grandfather’s hand as a spooky harsh trill pierced the silence. “What is it, Grandfather? I thought it was a bad dream but when I woke up, I heard it again.”

“Hand me your flashlight, Timmy.” He walked to the window in Timmy’s room, stood quietly.

When the mysterious noise sounded, Grandfather flashed his light into the night. Perched on a tree limb sat an Eastern Screech Owl.

“Cute little fellow, isn’t he?” Grandfather put his arm around his grandson. “He won’t hurt you. He’s perched on this limb near the streetlight waiting for his supper.” Just then, the owl swooped down, picked up a rodent, flew away.

“Wow. He didn’t make a sound when he flew. But he sure can make a racket when he talks!”

Grandfather chuckled. “That little owl jerked you from a deep sleep, Timmy. Our enemy does that many times in our life. When that happens, run to the Lord. He is The Mighty One. He rejoices when you come to Him. He will quiet your fear with His Love--”

“Like you did, Grandfather? With your light, the screech owl was kind of cute, not scary.”

Grandfather smiled, put his arm around Timmy. “Right. Now how about a cup of hot chocolate before  we head back to bed?” Timmy nodded, headed for the kitchen.

Kingdom Thinking. No matter what is happening in my life, I have to remember I am not alone. The Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. His love  brings quiet to my heart. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

IDENTIFY THE ENEMY

In Genesis 3:1, we read: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast in the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’”


“Stop, Timmy. Don’t move.” Grandfather crept up to the pile of pine straw against an old log on the path, inspected the snake coiled there. Red, black, and yellow bands. He looked closer, sighed with relief.

“You can move, son. It's a Scarlet King snake, not a Coral snake. It’s not poisonous.”

“Are you sure? How can you tell one from the other?” He cast a worried look Grandfather’s way.

“An old poem helps. ‘Red on yellow can kill a fellow, red on black is safe for Jack.”

“Grandfather, what if I can’t remember the poem? I-I froze. I stared at the snake and he stared at me.”

Grandfather chuckled. “One thing for sure. You need to be able to identify the enemy. Three snakes in our area are banded with similar colors--the Scarlet King snake, the Scarlet snake and the Coral snake. Only the Coral snake is poisonous.”

“It. It really sc-ared me,” Timmy hiccuped.

“Good. We need to fear the enemy. His bite is deadly. But, not if you receive antivenom.” Timmy’s forehead furrowed. “Antivenom is made from the venom of the snake. Antibodies develop. If a venomous snake bites us, the antivenom neutralizes the poison.”

“The venom doesn’t kill us?” Grandfather shook his head.

“Not if we take the antivenom.” Grandfather tilted his head. “The Lord Jesus took the bite of death for us, Timmy. He chose to have the antivenom created in His body by dying on the cross so when we come to Him with the bite of death, His blood gives us life. He is the only One with the antivenom.”

Kingdom Thinking. I stand amazed the Lord Jesus took the bite of death for me. So by Him, the antivenom is available to anyone who receives it. He loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave me nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come and receive Him?










Thursday, June 8, 2017

HOLD YOUR BREATH!

In 1 John 5:14-15, we read: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hear us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”


“Grandfather.” A hoarse voice jerked him out of a sound sleep. Awake, he realized the barking raspy cough came from Timmy’s room. Croup. Grandfather turned on the hot water in the shower,  hurried to Timmy’s bedside.

Timmy sat up in his bed, head against his bed pillows, the cough increasing in intensity. “Your medicine, son. Open wide.” Grandfather spooned in the pink liquid between coughing spasms. “Let’s get you into the bathroom--let the steam soothe your throat.”

As the medicine and the steam treatment took effect, Timmy looked at Grandfather, his eyes shimmering with tears. He swiped at them with his pajama sleeve. “Dinner’s out for tomorrow? I wanted to see my cousins.” He hiccuped.

“One thing I know, without a doubt. The Lord answers prayer.”  He gathered Timmy in his arms. As he prayed for this precious grandson, he relaxed, fell asleep, breathing easily. Grandfather laid his head on the pillows, tucked the covers around him.

“Thank you, Heavenly Father.”

The next morning after breakfast, Timmy announced. “I’m ready.” He zipped his jacket. “Come on, Grandfather. Let’s be first to arrive.” Grandfather smiled, grabbed his coat and truck keys.

The late November weather, ushered in a promise of rain, ominous clouds swirling. The wind tugged at Grandfather’s hat. “Timmy,” he said, snapped his mouth shut. I’m sorry, Lord, for almost voicing negative thoughts. 

“Yes, Grandfather.” Timmy fastened his seat belt.

“You’re looking mighty fine this morning. Feeling well?”

“Yessir.” He drew in a deep breath. “Don’t have to hold my breath today.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have confidence in Him, the Lord Jesus, because He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. I don’t have to hold my breath or wonder if He cares. He wants you to have confidence in Him. Won’t you come?



Thursday, June 1, 2017

A LITTLE CHILD LEADS


In Matthew 19:13-14, we read, “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’”


The flight landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, ahead of schedule. Timmy watched the passengers deplane. The stewardess stopped by Grandfather’s seat.

“Your flight won’t be called for another thirty minutes, sufficient time for the two of you to enjoy a snack. You’ll get to stretch your legs, too.”

“Thank you,” Grandfather said. “How about a snack, Timmy?” His grin affirmed the great idea.

A few minutes later, they stood on the concourse. “There, across the way. Let’s head over, get a bite in that small restaurant.”

Timmy scooted into a booth for two. “What would you like?” Grandfather said.

“Give him a beer,” a gravely voice called out.

“I’d like a Sprite and a hot dog, please, with catsup,” Timmy said, ignoring the voice. Grandfather nodded, gave their orders. At the pick-up line, he retrieved their food, then spread it on the table.

“Can I have the blessing?” Timmy asked.

“Of course.” Grandfather bowed his head.

“The Lord is good to me and so I praise the Lord. For giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen,” Timmy sang. He lifted his head, a pleased expression on his face.

In the deafening silence, Grandfather looked around. At the bar, heads bowed with hats off. “Hmm. Takes a little child, with a loud voice, to bring quiet to this place.”

Kingdom Thinking.  Many times I’ve tried to prove the Lord lives. But actions speak louder than words. The Lord Jesus promises He will never leave nor forsake me when people yell or try to discourage me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He says, “Come to Me.” The invitation includes you. Won’t you come?








Thursday, May 25, 2017

THE HEIR



In Galatians 4:l-2, we read: “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.”


“But, I’ll be careful with your coin collection.” He glanced at his grandfather. "You said it will be mine someday.”

“You’re right, Timmy. It will be yours but not today.”

A dipped head, a frown. “I don’t see why not.” Timmy stomped outside to the back porch.

“Hmm.” Grandfather put the coin box away, selected another box similar in size and shape, substituted it for the original. He closed the cabinet door, went into the kitchen.

“Want to go with me, Timmy?” He called. "I have grapes to deliver.”

“No Sir. I’ll wait for you here.” Timmy watched Grandfather go next door, then slipped into the study. I want hurt the coins. I’ll be careful and Grandfather will never know. He lifted the box from the cabinet, carried it up to his room, closed the door.

“Wow. He picked up one coin at the time, admiring it, lining it up on his bed. He turned the last coin over to check the flip side. It slipped from his fingers, rolled across the floor. “Whew, that was close.” He picked it up.

“Timmy?” Grandfather stood at the door. Timmy gasped, dropped the coin. It fell against the wall, slipped behind the baseboard.

“I’m sorry, Grandfather.” Tears pooled in his eyes. “Please forgive me.”

“Of course I forgive you. I love you, son. These coins, an early birthday gift today, will have to wait.”

Timmy nodded. "But you still love me?” Timmy hugged Grandfather, looked up at him. “I can wait.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake me. He knows I need guidance and when I'm ready to accept responsibility. He loves me with an everlasting love. He loves you, too. Won’t you come to Him?









Thursday, May 18, 2017

THE TUTOR


In Galatians 3:24-25, we read: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

“Understand?” Grandfather asked. Timmy shook his head, a puzzled look on his face.

“Our family lived in the country,” Grandfather said. “The nearest school, twenty miles away, made attending impossible. Father worked from sunup to sundown and Mother was ill at the time.”

“Wow, Grandfather. So how did you learn?”

“One evening, Father answered the door. 'Jim Andrews. You’re a sight for sore eyes. Come in.’ They were roommates at The College of Charleston.

“‘I heard you might need my help,’ Mr. Jim said.  ‘Especially with these rascals.' He ruffled my hair, then my brothers. He agreed to be our tutor.”

“Did you like him? What did he make you do?” Grandfather held up his hand.

“Mr. Jim instructed us from books but, he taught us to love nature and respect it.  He kept a tight reign on us to protect us. Especially after Michael wandered off after being told to wait for him on the back porch.

“Michael,” we called. “No answer. Everybody searched for my six year-old brother. Inside the house and outside. We were scared.  As I ran down the path to the river, I head a voice. ‘He-ooo.’ Michael’s special call. I found him standing in a small stream. grinning.

"‘Look at me. I’m fishing,’ he grinned.

“His grin disappeared when Mr. Jim ran, grabbed him. Several yards away, an alligator swam towards them. Mr. Jim put him down on the path, swatted his bottom all the way home.” Grandfather chuckled, Timmy laughed.

“Did Mr. Jim stay with you a long time?”

Grandfather nodded. “For a year, then he helped to build a school near us where he taught. That story of Michael reminds me of the tutor in Galatians. The law, our tutor, brings us to the Lord Jesus. The law protects us...”

“Like Mr. Jim did.” Grandfather nodded.

“But when we give our lives to Christ, the Lord justifies us, lives in us and through us. That doesn’t mean the law is useless, but our tutor has done his job.”

Kingdom Thinking. Even now, I have to remind myself the law brought me to the Lord Jesus. Now He teaches me all things. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him by faith?








Thursday, May 11, 2017

AWWW, LITTLE ONE


In Matthew 18:12-14, we read: “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that do not go astray.”

“Grandfather, I can’t find Beau. Can you help me?”

“When did you see him last? He’s only two months old. Probably asleep somewhere. Did you look in his bed in the kitchen?”

“Yessir. I called him and called him. Do you think someone took him? Or maybe he’s hurt or--”

“Don’t panic, Timmy. We’ll find him. Surely a three month old Boykin Spaniel can’t escape.”

“But he’s so small, Grandfather. He ate a good breakfast...”

“I’ll say. If he eats that much every day we’ll call him, Roly Poly.”Grandfather chuckled as they walked into Timmy’s room.


“Why are your clothes on the floor? I thought you put them in the clothes hamper.” Timmy dipped his head.

“I’m sorry. I forgot...but I’ll do it right now.” He lifted his dirty jeans. Curled up, fast asleep, lay a brown ball of fur. “Beau.” The puppy raised his head, blinked, and stretched. Timmy lifted him, held him close.

“Oh, Beau. You’re safe.” Grandfather watched as Timmy plopped down in the pile of clothes, hugging his puppy.

“You show me lessons every day,” Grandfather said. Timmy cocked his head. “Jesus told about one sheep that wandered away. The shepherd left the other ninety-nine to look for his lost sheep and when he found him, he rejoiced. He brought his sheep home on his shoulders.

“Now you know a little of how the Lord feels when one of His lambs is found.” Timmy nodded, hugged Beau close, murmuring to him. Buddy licked him in the face.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus seeks you.  He’ll pick you up in His arms and bring you to safety. He loves you with an everlasting love. He’ll never leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, May 4, 2017

SHINE LIGHT, SHINE


in Luke 11:33, we read: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”


“The storm knocked out our electricity, Grandfather. Do you have the candles?”

“They’re in the drawer in the kitchen. I’ll get them.” A flash of lightning illuminated his way.

 A scratch of the match and a candle flamed. “Put this candle in the candlestick for me.”

“Yessir,” Timmy grabbed the candle. It sputtered, went out.

“No problem.” Grandfather lit another, handed it to Timmy. “Carefull. Not so fast this time.

“Tell you what, Timmy. Let’s put these candles under a flower pot.”

“But Grandfather, if we hide them, we’ll be in the dark.” He shivered. “I’d rather have light.”

“Bright fellow.” He chuckled. "Light gives us life, Timmy. It also gives us hope. In the early days of Israel, the lamp burned during the night. The clay lamp, filled with olive oil gave light, chased away the darkness.The light also let folks know the family was home.”

“Like the night light in my room?” Timmy said. Grandfather nodded. “I feel safe with it on.”

“The most important light is the Lord Jesus, Timmy. When you asked Him into your life, He brought light because He is Light. His light shines through you.”

Timmy frowned. “All the time? When I do bad things?”

Grandfather smiled. “Sometimes, you close the blinds and don’t let the light shine through but He’ll never leave. He’s a Gentleman and will never force you to do something against your will.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus, the Light of the world, offers His love to you. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Would you like to walk in the Light? He offers it to you so you can let His Light shine through you.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

WHAT? NO CONDEMNATION?


In Romans 8:1-2, we read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death.


“Thanks for helping me cut the sugarcane, Timmy. We’ll sample it when we get back from the grocery store. Wait for me in the kitchen while I get my wallet and keys.”

“Yes, Grandfather.” Timmy listened to Grandfather’s steps on the stairs fade as he went to his room. The sugarcane glistened in the sunlight on the kitchen table. His mouth watered, thinking of the juicy sweetness. No one’ll know if I cut a tiny piece.


“How hard can this be?” He held the cane in a vertical position. His tongue poked out the side of his mouth as he sliced the sheath with the kitchen knife. “Piece of cake.” He rotated the cane to slice the next section, lost his grip. The knife sliced the tip of his thumb.

Realization and pain collided. Blood spurted.

“Grandfather. Help me. I’m so sorry,” he yelled. Tears streaked his face. “My thumb. My thumb. Stick it back on.”

 Grandfather wrapped the thumb. “Hold this tight.” He grabbed his car keys. "I’ll get you to the Emergency Room.”
“That should do it,” Doctor Black said, as he snipped the tape, covered the bandage. “Keep your hand elevated to help with the throbbing. Here's a prescription for pain.” He handed it to Grandfather.

Back at home, Timmy asked. “Are you mad with me, Grandfather? I disobeyed you. Will you punish me?” His voice choked on his tears. "Do you still love me?”

“Nothing can stop my love for you, Timmy. I’m sorry you didn’t obey but I don’t need to punish you. You’ve punished yourself.” He was quiet a minute. “God’s love is like this.” Timmy looked at him. “When we give our life to Jesus, all of our sins are nailed to the cross. From that time on, He is in the process of cleaning us up. You cut your finger but you couldn’t fix it, right?” Timmy nodded. “Dr. Black did.”

“I’m never going to disobey again, Grandfather. And you know what?” Chuckling, Grandfather shook his head. “I’m going to love you forever!”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake us. He loves us with an everlasting love...a love with no condemnation. Would you like that kind of love? He offers it to you.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

THE DIFFICULTY OF TRUSTING


In Isaiah 26:3, we read: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”


“Grandfather, how can you sit and read in this storm?” Grandfather put his book down. Lighting flashed. The lights flickered, brightened. Thunder rumbled, rattling the windows.

“Timmy. Look at this. He opened his Bible. A picture of a mother bird on her nest. Lightning slashed the sky, rain pelted the leaves around her. Head tucked under her wing, she slept.

“Why do you think she can sleep through the storm?”


“Her nest doesn’t look safe.” Timmy examined the picture. “I don’t understand,” he said.

“It’s all about trust. She trusts her nest is secure and she’ll be able to protect her chicks.”

“But Grandfather, how if the nest falls?”

“She trusts it won’t.”

“But how if lightning strikes the tree? How if...?” Grandfather held up his hand.

“Trusting is difficult. Impossible, really.” Timmy stared at Grandfather. “Unless you realize the ‘love factor,’” Grandfather said.

“The ‘love factor?’” Timmy tilted is head.

“Before you could swim, you’d climb to the top of the slide in the deep end of the swimming pool. ‘Come to me, Timmy, I’ll catch you,’ I’d yell. You’d slide down and with you in my arms, we’d go under and come up laughing. Remember?”

“I knew you would catch me, Grandfather.” Grandfather nodded.

 “You trusted me. Our Lord’s more trustworthy than I am. He’ll catch you, son. Trust Him.”

Kingdom Thinking. When I have trouble trusting my Lord, I remember what He says in His word. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He catches me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him? He’ll catch you in His Arms.





Thursday, April 13, 2017

FINISHED!

In John 19:30, we read: “So when Jesus received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”


“Grandfather, you look like the man in the painting.” He pointed to the portrait over the mantel.


Grandfather nodded. “So I’ve been told. But this painting is of my great grandfather. See the different style of clothes? I’m happy I didn’t have to wear that stiff collar. Must have been awful.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Your hair and eyes are like his. But you don’t have a beard.”

“We know the painting is of my great grandfather, but who is the artist?”

“Does it matter?” Timmy asked.

“Yes. How if the artist didn’t like my great grandfather and changed the shape of his nose or the color of his eyes?” Grandfather raised his left eyebrow.

“I’ll get my magnifying glass.” Timmy stood on a stool, checked. “No signature.”

Grandfather removed the portrait. Great grandfather’s name, date of birth, and date of death were neatly written.  Michael Joseph Blackwell, b 13 April 1839, d  27 October 1897.

“How will we know for sure?” Timmy said.

“Family records. We’ll check them. Also we can check the census records.”

“The Lord Jesus did the same for us, Timmy. He said, ‘It is finished.’ He completed the work, our life picture, necessary for us to be in His family. He did it all. For me. For you. His signature? His nail scarred hands. Will be forever so we’ll know He paid the price.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus went to the cross for me. He paid for my sins with His shed blood. He did the same for you. He loves you and promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come to Him?