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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Celebration of Life

Another funeral, another reminder of life’s fragility! Gloria and I attended a funeral this morning. The deceased loved one was the mother of a man we know from one of my former interim pastoral ministries. Because the mother was a believer, death transitioned her from Earth to Heaven. Because her son, his wife, and daughters are believers, they regarded the memorial service as a celebration of their loved one’s life.

Knowing Jesus as Savior is life’s most important treasure. As Jesus commented, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). Wealth alone offers the soul no benefit. It cannot fill one’s heart with joy and peace. Nor can it pay anyone’s way into Heaven. On the other hand, joy and peace are benefits of knowing Jesus, and all who know Him are guaranteed entrance into Heaven.

Some people take a blasé approach to death. “When your number’s up, it’s up,” they say. However our eternal destiny is bright and glorious if we know the One who puts the numbers up.

Reasons to Rejoice

Often, when I feel discouraged and start planning a pity party, I reflect on reasons to rejoice.

• Christ has saved me. I am forgiven and I am a child of God.
• My heavenly Father loves me and has promised to take good care of me.
• I possess a title deed to a beautiful chunk of real estate in Heaven.
• Everything that happens to me has been approved by my Father in Heaven for my good and His glory.
• Suffering is temporary; life with Christ is eternal.
• God has blessed me with a wonderful family and good friends.
• The Bible brims with promises to pick and chew on.
• Christ is with me always.
• Things are only things.

From How to Handle Life’s Hurts by Jim Dyet © 2005, Regular Baptist Press

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Go, Broncos! Go, Chick-fil-A!

Chick-fil-A offered a free sandwich yesterday (Labor Day) to anyone who showed up wearing a sports team logo. Gloria wore a Colorado Sky Sox shirt, and I wore a Colorado Rockies shirt. The service and sandwiches were good.

Colorado Springs is home to many residents who have moved here from various U.S. cities, so we were not surprised to see shirts representing da Bears, the Cubs, the New York Yankees, the Dodgers, the KC Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings, the 49ers, LSU Tigers, Miami U. Hurricanes, FSU Seminoles, San Diego Chargers, the Raiders, the Lions, and many other teams. Everyone ate a freebie sandwich happily and peacefully. No one shouted, “My team is better than your team.” It was just one big, happy family of sports fans!

Someday believers from around the world will sit down together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The fellowship will be happy and peaceful. No one will shout, “My church or denomination was better than yours,” but don’t be surprised if we all exclaim, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12)

You may remember the hymn, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” A missionary version of one stanza reads:
“When the roll is called up yonder,
We’ll be filled with joy and wonder
When we see that blood-bought number.
Some from every tribe and nation will be there.”

Let’s let others know today that we are on Jesus’ team!