Sunday, June 10, 2012


A man sat in a restaurant, quietly reading his Bible.  Two men at a nearby table were beginning to argue.  One, obviously very upset with the other man, abruptly got up to leave and loudly said to the other man at his table, "Go to Hell!"  The man who had been reading his Bible, turned to the man still sitting at the table, lifted his Bible so the man could see what he was reading and said "Hey...for what it's worth...I've been reading the manual and you don't HAVE to go if you don't want to."

Hell.  People can use it all day as a word of profanity out in the world.  Odd thing is, not many in the church want to talk about Hell today.  It's almost as if, if we don't speak of it, it's not real. 

I think many preachers are afraid to talk of Hell today.  They are afraid of being labelled one of those "hell fire and brimstone" preachers, and Heaven knows, no one wants to be one of THOSE! 

Yet Hell is just as real as Heaven.  People can talk all day long about Heaven, because after all EVERYONE is going there, right?  I mean have you ever been to a funeral where it was said of the deceased "Well, we know where he is and no matter what he was suffering here, it is no comparison to what he's suffering now"?  No.  Even if the person never gave a hoot about God, never professed Him as Lord, never darkened a church door, people will say all sorts of things about him being in a better place, no more suffering, we'll see him again one day, etc.   Why?  Because no one wants to admit that someone is actually in Hell.

I heard a preacher this morning on TV preaching a sermon on Hell.  He made some very good points. 

He said "No one goes to Hell because they are bad.  No one is in Hell because he was a murderer, a child molester, a rapist or a scoundrel."  I bet that statement shocked a lot of people!  But it is a true statement.

Does that shock YOU?

You see people go to Hell for one reason.  They chose to. 

Bet that shocks you too!!

But it is true.  Because the only reason anyone ever goes to Hell is because they CHOSE to reject Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 

Every person must choose what they will do with Jesus. (Romans 3:23)  He died to pay for our sin and He freely offers us the gift of eternal life.(John 3:16, Romans 6:23).  But we must CHOOSE to follow Him, to accept that free gift of salvation.(Romans 10:13)  God is a gentleman and He does not force that gift down our throat. (Rev. 3:20) It is our choice.  We can choose Jesus and Heaven or we can choose do live life on our terms and choose Hell. 

So which do you choose?  Heaven or Hell??

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


"Each day is a gift; that's why they call it the present."

As I was walking this morning, I was suddenly overcome with how grateful I am for an ordinary day.  A day to get up, dress myself, read, walk a mile or two without impediment, eat normally and have plans for the day that do not include a hospital, a nursing home or a mortuary.

Sound morbid?  No, it's just that as I think over the number of people I know who are either battling an illness themselves or caring for someone who is or walking through the illness of a loved one, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for.

Everything can change in a heartbeat.  Our normal, everyday routine can suddenly be thrown into oblivion, never to be regained, by one phone call. 

Just a few examples:

We have all been touched by the PRAY FOR TREY campaign.  Trey is the young football player from Collierville High School who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.  This is an older adult's disease, not the disease of a 16 year old.  In just a matter of days, Trey's and his family's world was turned upside down with that diagnosis.  Now their days are filled with meds, treatments, side effects of the multitude of drugs Trey takes and the concerns of what tomorrow may bring, all the while trying to maintain an element of normalcy for their younger son.

We have neighbors who also have a 17 year old grandson in Millington who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Tanner has endured great pain, chemo and side effects that have left him weak and in the hospital for weeks.  A football player like Trey, Tanner did not envision his senior year being like this, nor did his family. (Please remember as you pray for Trey, to also pray for Tanner!)

A week ago a family of four was hit by a drunk driver.  The mom and two children were seriously injured.  The 2 year old did not survive.  The mom and older child are home, but with grave injuries that will take a long time to heal and overcome.  And now they have to bury their child and there is NOTHING normal about that!  All their world as they knew it came crashing to a screeching halt in a split second!

An article in Sunday's Commercial Appeal told of a man who suddenly became gravely ill to the point that doctors decided he was not going to make it.  They thought he was in a coma.  But, suddenly his wife notices that his leg twitches when she turns up the music she was playing for him.  She summons the doctors who begin to confer with one another.  It is finally decided that this man has suffered from the effect of botulism.  He could hear everything they were saying, but the nerves had rendered him totally lifeless looking.  Now he is beginning a recovery which may take more than a year.  He still cannot talk, although his mind is as sharp as ever.  His wife painstakingly spells the alphabet to him, to spell out what he wants to say.  Numerous volunteers take shifts with him so his wife can work and maintain their health insurance.  He cannot do anything for himself, but doctors are very hopeful that he will regain it all in time.  He was in his 40s and relatively healthy until this happened to him just before Christmas.  I'm sure he is looking forward to a normal day in his future.

I think too often we take NORMAL for granted and don't appreciate how wonderful it is to spend a "normal" day, even with its stresses and headaches and annoyances. 

Somewhere in the world today, there are people who are in prison and being tortured because they name the name of Christ.  They would give anything for a "normal" day.

A world away, our military are serving in places of grave danger, bullets whizzing by, explosions at every turn, never knowing if they will see tomorrow or their loved ones again.  They long for the day when they can return to "normal".  Some never will. 

In other parts of the world, children roam the streets, begging for food, sleeping wherever they can find a place to lay their little bodies down.  Parents are dead due to war or AIDS or some other atrocity.  These are the "forsaken children".  Their "normal" is nothing like ours. 

So if you have the pleasure of taking  your kids to the park today or maybe to the pool; if you got up and drove to work this morning, hating the rush hour traffic; or if today seems like just another day, stop and thank God for NORMAL days.   Thank Him for the ability to get up on your own without assistance, to drive to work or to play, to be able to hear the sound of your children's laughter and yes, even their bickering, for it is the sound of life and the sound of a NORMAL day.....

and that is a GIFT!!!!!!!!!!

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24