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God’s Wonderful World

God Cared For You

Ideal Pastor

Staying Away From Church

Trust In God

Horse Or Donkey

Influence Of Christianty

Ten Little Christians

Stumbling Block

No Excuse Sunday

Real Commitment

God’s Wonderful World

The world that God created is full of wonders.

Salt for example is a wonder.
It is composed of two poisonous substances: sodium and chlorine, either of which if taken
individually could kill you.
Yet when these two substances are combined they produce a substance called salt
that is necessary for life.

Water is another wonder.
It's chemical formula is H2O.
That means two parts of hydrogen for each part oxygen.
Oxygen is an oxidizer while hydrogen so readily burns that it can be explosive.
Yet when hydrogen and oxygen are united into water you can use it to put out fires!

Yet the greatest wonder of all is the regeneration that takes place when one is saved.
How God can take a poor, vile, hopeless sinner and transform him into a respectable person
is the greatest wonder on this earth.
Yet, it happens everyday.
On the skid row of our cites, in the wealthy and poor homes, in jungles, in Chinese houseboats;
in fact, whenever any soul will accept Christ, the wonder of the new birth is taking place.
That's the real miracle of God's creation.

God Cared For You

There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you.
But don't worry.
You're in good company...

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig tree pruning.
Jacob it was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was a bull frog (just kidding); he was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a worry wart.
Mary may have been lazy.
Sampson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.

Did we mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul... well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn't require a job interview.
He doesn't hire and fire like most bosses.
He is more our Father than our boss.
He doesn't look at our financial gain or loss.
He's not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

As much as we try, God's gifts are free.
We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be... well wonderful.

Satan says, "You're not worthy."
Jesus says, "So what? I am."
Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.
God looks back and sees the cross.

God doesn't even calculate what you did last year.
It's not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasonswhy God should not have called us.

But, if we are truly born again in Christ, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath,
He'll use us in spite of who we are, where we've been,  or what we looked like.

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Ideal Pastor

Someone has suggested that a good pastor is one who preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down.
He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8 AM to 10 P. M. in every kind of work, from preaching to custodial service.
He makes minimum wages, wears good clothes, buys books to study regularly, has a nice family,
drives a good car, and gives more than most each week to the church.

He also stands ready to contribute to every good work that comes along.
The ideal pastor is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years.
He is at once tall and short; thin and heavy-set, and handsome.
He has one brown eye and one blue; his hair is parted in the middle with the left side dark and straight
and the right side brown and wavy.

He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older people.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him
seriously dedicated to his work.
He makes 15 calls a day all church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched,
and is never out of his office.”

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Stumbling Block

Jesus said that it would be better for one to have a millstone tied around his neck and that he be cast
into the sea than to offend a child.

Do you wonder how many times a week child hears and sees the offers made by dealers of tobacco
and alcoholic beverages?
Do you wonder how many little ears are forced to hear vulgar language at home, on the street or elsewhere?

For all who would like to protect our children should hear this little story.

A plainly-dressed woman was noticed to be picking up something in the street – a poor slum street.
The policeman on the beat noticed the woman’s action and watched her very suspiciously.
Several times he saw her stoop, pick up something and hide it in her apron.
Finally, he went up to her and with a gruff voice and threatening manner demanded,

“What are you carrying off in your apron?”

The timid woman did not answer at first, whereupon the officer, thinking that she must have found
something valuable, threatened her with arrest.

The woman opened her apron and revealed a handful of broken glass.
I just thought I would like to take it out of the way of the children’s feet,” she said
.

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Real Commitment

Back some months ago a remarkable television program on PBS.
Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace” is an introduction to the life of one of the most remarkable
Christian martyrs of recent times.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was a German Lutheran minister
who joined the German resistence when the evils of Naziism became apparent.
He was arrested in 1943 for plotting against Adolf Hitler, and hanged at Flossenberg prison
on April 9, 1945.

The film denotes Hitler’s demand that German citizens swear a type of allegiance that Christians
could only render to Christ himself.
Bonhoeffer is pictured in Berlin in 1939 as the film opens making this statement:
Let’s not delude ourselves that if we take the loyalty oath to Hitler that it means
they’ll let us worship in peace.
The Nuremberg laws are an attack on Christianity itself.
Adolf Hitler demands nothing less than total commitment.
He’s the elected chancellor, yes.
But more than that, he considers himself der Fuhrer and as “the leader”.
He craves to be the conscience of every living German.
But his claim upon us is a claim that a Christian can only accept from Christ Himself
.”

Thus Bonhoeffer and a small group of friends, pastors, and seminary students refused
to take a loyalty oath.
He helped write a document called the Barmen Declaration that called on Christians
to remember that their first allegiance is to Christ alone.

He and other German churchmen who refused to accommodate their faith to the evils of Nazism
left the state-supported churches and  created what came to be called the Confessing Church.

One who watches the film comes to understand what Bonhoeffer meant by writing that
only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient, believes.”

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Trust In God

Dwight L. Moody said it this way:

"Trust in yourself, and you are doomed to disappointment;
trust in your friends, and they will die and leave you;
trust in money, and you may have it taken from you;
trust in reputation, and some slanderous tongue may blast it;
but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.”

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Horse Or Donkey?

I have read that when thoroughbred horses face attack from predators, such as wolves, they stand
in a circle facing each other, and kick out at the enemy with their back legs.

Donkeys, on the other hand, do the opposite. They circle facing the enemy, and use their hind legs
to kick each other!

When Christians who are surrounded by a world of unbelief and moral corruption act like,
well, vulgar donkeys rather than reverent thoroughbreds, the outcome is reasonably predictable
.

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Influence Of Christianity

Because Christianity's influence is so pervasive throughout much of the world,
it is easy to forget how radical its beliefs once were.
Jesus' resurrection forever changed Christians' view of death.

Rodney Stark, sociologist at the University of Washington, points out that when a major plague
hit the ancient Roman Empire,  Christians had surprisingly high survival rates.

Why?
Most Roman citizens would banish any plague-stricken person from their household.
But because Christians had no fear of death, they nursed their sick instead of throwing them out
on the streets.
Therefore, many Christians survived the plague.

 -- "2000 Years of Jesus" by Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK, March 29, 1999, p. 55.

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Staying Away From Church

To stay away from church services because we have so many other engagements and so little strength left
is like staying away from the table  because we are so weak and hungry, and it takes all our time
to sweep and wash dishes.

The church is the place to get spiritual strength for other duties,
just as the table is the place to receive bodily strength.

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No Excuse Sunday

To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special
"No Excuse Sunday."

Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."
Murine will be available for those with tired eyes... from watching television too late on Saturday night.
We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if I ever came to church."
Blankets will be provided for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those
who think the church is too hot.

We will have hearing aids for those who say, "The Pastor speaks too softly,"
and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly.
Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.

Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.
There will be 100 T.V. dinners for those who cannot go to church and cook dinner also.

One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature.
Finally, the sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies
for those who have never seen the church without them.

Just suppose the Lord would begin tomorrow to make people  as sick as they claim to be on Sunday.
Just suppose the Lord would take away the child whom the parents use as an excuse
for staying away from church.

Some things sound humorous, but they are serious!
What is your excuse for not attending the House of the Lord?

See you next Sunday!

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Ten Little Christians

Ten little Christians standing in line.

One disliked the preacher, then there were 9.

Nine little Christians stayed a very late.
One overslept Sunday, then there were 8.

Eight little Christians all their way to Heaven.
One took the low road and then there were 7.

Seven little Christians chirping like chicks.
One disliked music, and then there were 6.

Six little Christians seemed very much alive,
but one lost his interest and then there were 5.

Five little Christians pulling for Heaven's Shore,
but one stop to rest, then there were four.

Four little Christians each busy as a bee.
One got his feelings hurt, then there were three.

Three little Christians knew not what to do.
One joined the sporty crowd, then there were two.

Two little Christians, our rhyme is nearly done,
differed with each other, then there was one.

One little Christian can't do much ‘tis true,
brought his friend to Bible study, then there were two.

Two earnest Christians, each won one more.
That doubled the number, then there were four.

Four sincere Christians worked early and late.
Each won another, then there were 8.

Eight splendid Christians if they doubled as before.
In just so many Sundays, we'd have 1024.

In this little jingle, there is a lesson true,
you belong either to the building or the wrecking crew!

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