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"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."---Matthew 6:24

Wednesday, May 11, 1999--->

I just got home from my youth/college group's weekly session.  Something struck me like a bolt of lightning tonight as I sat there in that room with my friends and the leaders.  I have gotten away from GOD.  And I'm ready to go back into His waiting arms.

In this day and time, this fast-paced world keeps us all constantly on the go.  School assignments, work, boy/girlfriends, television shows, and so much more engulf the majority of our time.  We are not spending enough time just reading God's word and talking to Him, using the excuse, "Oh, I've just been so busy."  Yet, when it comes to something that we REALLY want, then we will make sacrifices to get that certain thing.  I'll use something that I did last weekend as an example for the rest of you:

My local radio station was having a "win it before you can buy it" weekend giveaway, and what else was the prize?  The Backstreet Boys new CD, MILLENNIUM.  I kept trying throughout the day to be the lucky ninth caller and score the prize.  I did call the radio station once, to ask them a question about a song, and I commented to the DJ, "Yeah, I get through to you when you're not giving anything away."  He told me that the best times to get through and to have better odds of winning would be between the hours of 1 am - 7 am.  So I stayed up all Friday night, trying to win.  I STILL DIDN'T.  Yet, Sunday morning, I was too lazy to get up at 9 am and go to church.

You know, while I do truly love the BSB's music, I have to realize that my relationship with God is far more important than any song, television show, or magazine that BSB may be appearing on.  God is the one who is always there when I need Him, and He's the one who sacrificed His SON so that I could know Him personally as my SAVIOUR, and spend eternity praising Him in Heaven.

The BSB are great, I'm not disputing that.  BUT GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT.  GOD is the one whom from this day forward, I will try my hardest to please in everything I do, and I will strive to keep Him the top priority of my life.  After all He has done for me, I know I can do at least that much for Him.

And I hope and pray that my writing this has not been in vain.  If you have been putting ANYTHING before your relationship with GOD, I urge you to stop, and make things right again.  Without GOD you would not be around to HAVE those things.  GOD gave them to you, and not because you deserve it, but because HE loves you.  Show some appreciation and put HIM first!

Psalm 146:3-5: "Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God."

Mark 11:25 (NKJV):  "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him... "

1 Corinthians 13:4-10 (NIV):  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (so don't spread rumors!).  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears."

Philippians 2:3-8 (NKJV):  "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem (value, think highly of) others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name."

Psalm 61: 1-3 (NIV):  "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe."

"Some things are true whether you believe in them or not." --- Seth, City of Angels

Ok people. You know how I sometimes get into this mode of deep thought, right? Well, it happened again! lol. Here's what I have been thinking a lot about lately:

We are taught as children to believe in trivial little things, such as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Perhaps those who came up with the ideas of these two characters felt the need to create these fantasies to give us a foot-hold on the commotion surrounding the holidays, thinking that we would not be able to understand the concept of a Saviour. Or maybe they didn't think that the birth and the resurrection of our Saviour was reason enough to celebrate. That is really sad, when you just sit and think about it. We so easily accepted the idea that a chubby, white haired, elderly man in a red suit could deliver toys to all of the children in the world in one night. However, it is such a hard thing for a lot of the former believers of Santa to now believe that there was a man named Jesus who was crucified upon a rugged cross, nails driven through his flesh, to give them the chance to BELIEVE in him, and see eternity in Heaven.

We are expected in school to just accept the things that are taught in the classroom. The Big Bang Theory, Evolution. These are ideas that people came up with because they did not find the foot-hold called Jesus Christ. They were looking for more complicated ways to explain the wonders of the universe. Guess what, people? It isn't as complicated as they think. In fact, it really couldn't be any simpler.

There is something that I have such a problem understanding. I do not understand why the majority of people will believe anything that is said on the 6:00 news, or in a newspaper, the tabloids, or even fan-made web sites, but, they have such a hard time grasping onto the idea that the Bible is true. People say that the Bible contradicts itself. Well, watch two different news stations, or read two different newspapers. "Contradiction" is there, too. Yes, the Bible does have some parts that are about the same occurrences, but are explained differently. That is because they were observed by different people, and those people got different things out of them. You and I can look at the same painting, and get totally different things from it. It's the same with the Bible. Hey, it's a book that DOES explain the wonders of the universe. It works on every level possible. Two people can read the same passage, and have it relate directly to different occurrences in their lives. I think that is extremely cool.

A lot of people have such a problem grasping onto the idea that God literally DIED for them. Maybe it is because they could never see themselves dying for those who have caused them pain. Maybe they don't think that anyone could have ever or will ever love them that much. They are wrong.

You can ask someone, "Do you believe in God?" and they can say, "Yes." But, is that person's belief in God the same as his or her belief was in Santa? Just because someone told he or she that God exists? It is good that they have been told, but, demons believe in God, and they aren't going to Heaven anytime soon. When someone truly believes in God, they also believe in His Son, and in His word.

You know, I am sure that you have all heard someone say, "You may be the only Jesus someone will ever see." They are so right. So, maybe we need to stop just TELLING people about God's love, and start SHOWING them, as well. And that is my deep thought for the day. I know, I know, it was kinda long. But, I'm not going to apologize for it. I think God wanted me to say it.

Love ya'll lots!

This was sent to us...please read it.

The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before.  It's not influenza, but three or four people are dead, and it's kind of interesting, and they're sending some doctors over there to investigate it. You don't think much about it, but on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say it's not three villagers, it's 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it's on TV that night. CNN runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the disease center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been seen before.  By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story.  For it's not just India; it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you  know it, you're hearing this story everywhere and they have coined it now as "the mystery flu".

The President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering,how are we going to contain it?  That's when the President of France makes an announcement that  shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. And that's why that night you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed Your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated from a French news program into English:  There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe. Panic strikes.  As best they can tell, once you get it, you have it for a week before you know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms. And then you die.

Britain closes it's borders, but it's too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton, and it's Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes the following announcement:  "Due to a national security risk,all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas, I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing."

Within four days our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear.   People are selling little masks for your face. People are talking about "What if it comes to this country," and preachers on Tuesday are saying,  "It's the scourge of God."

It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, "Turn on a radio, turn on a radio." And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made: Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu.

Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country.  People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote.  Nothing is working.  California. Oregon. Arizona. Florida. Massachusetts. It's as though it's just sweeping in from the borders.  And then, all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It's going to take the blood of somebody who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing:  Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken.  That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals.

Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, and they've got nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fingers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and they say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world.

Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming.  He's yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again!  And your son tugs on your jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. Wait a minute. Hold on! And they say,   "It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn't have the disease. We think he has got the right type."

Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging one another - some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you, sir.  Your son's blood type is perfect. It's clean, it is pure, and we  can make the vaccine."

As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming and praying and laughing and crying.  But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and you wife aside and says, "May we see you for a moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need. . . we need you to sign a consent form."

You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-how many pints?"  And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all!"  "But -- but ... You don't understand."  "We are talking about the world here. Please sign.  We -- we need it all!"  "But can't you give him a transfusion?"  "If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?"

In numb silence, you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" Can you walk back? Can you walk back to that room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What's going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything, happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?" And when that old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've - we've got to get started. People all over the world are dying."  Can you leave?  Can you walk out while he is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why -why have you forsaken me?"

And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some  folks sleep through it, and some folks don't even come because they go to the lake, and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care.  Would you want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED!  DON'T YOU CARE?"  Is that what GOD wants to say? "MY SON DIED. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?"

"Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great Love you have for us."  You can now SPREAD THE GOSPEL...or delete it...

We didn't delete it...don't leave this page without taking it to heart.  Please.

Parody of Christina Aguilera's "Blessed"

When I think how life used to be
Always walking in the shadows
Then I look at what You've given me
I feel like dancing on my tiptoes
I must say everyday I wake
and realize You're by my side

I know I'm truly blessed
For everything You give me
Blessed for all the tenderness You show
I'll do my best
With every breath of me
So that my faith will never go

There are times when You test my faith
'Til I just feel I must surrender
But Lord, I'm so glad to say
That my faith's just growing stronger
You walked by in the nick of time
You answered all my needs and prayers

I know I'm truly blessed
For everything You give me
Blessed for all the tenderness You show
I'll do my best
With every breath of me
To see my faith never goes

I'm blessed with Your love and my salvation
Blessed when I hear You call my name
I'll do my best with faith that's ever-growing
To make sure this nation feels the same

Deep inside of me
You fill me with your gentle touch

I know I'm truly blessed
For everything You give me
Blessed for all the tenderness You show
I'll do my best
With every breath of me
So that my faith will never go

There was an atheist couple who had a child.  The couple never told their daughter anything about the Lord.  One night when the little girl was 5 years old, the parents fought with each other and the dad shot the mom, right in front of the child.  Then, the dad shot himself.  The little girl watched it all.

She then was sent to a foster home.  The foster mother was a Christian and took the child to church.
On the first day of Sunday School, the foster mother told the teacher that the girl had never heard of
Jesus, and to have patience with her.  The teacher held up a picture of Jesus and said, "Does anyone know who this is?"  The little girl said, "I do, that's the man who was holding me the night my parents died."

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.